Toolkit for Parents, Teachers, and Caretakers
Child & Youth Health: New Resources for Special Populations
- The Center for Children with Special Health Care Needs has developed a Child and Adolescent Depression and Anxiety Toolkit. The toolkit provides online health information and links to external resources and PDFs. Information is categorized as follows: 1) information for families; 2) treatment and referral; 3) medications; 4) resources (for families, youth, professional, multilingual); and 5) additional mental health issues.
Promising Practices in Mental and Behavioral Health
RAND's Promising Practices Network (PPN) website provides summaries of programs and practices evidenced through research to improve the lives of children, youth, and families. Three new Behavioral and Mental Health programs were added the PPN:
- Social Decision Making/Problem Solving program. This program helps children aged 5-13 years develop social and decision-making skills, self-esteem, self-control, social-awareness, and skills for coping with stress and emotions. Evaluation of program participants yielded improved socialization and greater emotional and behavioral self-control in stressful situations.
- Coping Cat program This cognitive-behavioral therapy intervention draws upon cognitive
restructuring, simulation, real-life exposure, and relaxation training
strategies to teach children and adolescents to recognize anxious
feelings and develop appropriate coping strategies. Participants
reported improved coping skills and reductions in anxiety, fear, and
depression. Parents of participants reported improved behavioral,
social, and health outcomes for their children.
- Reaching Educators, Children, and Parents program A school-based skills training program targeting children who
experience both "internalizing" behaviors (withdrawn, anxious,
depressed) and "externalizing" behaviors (aggressive, oppositional,
impulsive). The program aims to reduce psychological problems and to
prevent more serious problems from developing in children who are not
receiving formal mental health services. Overall program results
demonstrate reductions in both internalizing and externalizing
- State Behavioral Health Innovations: Disseminating Promising
Practices," a new report published by the Commonwealth Fund, identifies
and describes 17 promising practices in state behavioral health service
purchasing and quality improvement. The findings are based upon field
expert interviews, and fall within six categories: 1) enhancing
consumer-centered care, 2) criminal justice/mental health collaboration,
3) system integration, 4) the use of performance incentives, 5) quality
improvement, and 6) other promising practices. The report was compiled
in response to the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health
and the Institute of Medicine's findings that mental health care
delivery in the U.S. "requires radical improvement and reform."
Maternal, Child & Adolescent Health: New Resources and Research
- Resources: The MCH Library released a new edition of Knowledge Path, "Adolescent Violence Prevention," for use by health professionals, policymakers, educators, community activists, and families. This latest guide, compiled from public health, medical, criminal justice, education, and social services disciplines, provides resources that: 1) measure, document, and monitor adolescent violence, 2) identify risk and protective factors and, 3) report on promising intervention strategies. The guide also includes resources on specific aspects of adolescent violence including bullying, firearms, gangs, media violence, school violence, and violent-crime victimization.
- Research: "The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds," a new report
published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, describes the
importance of play to a child's cognitive, physical, social, and
emotional well-being. The report also provides guidelines and specific
advice for pediatricians to promote changes in children's social and
environmental contexts to enhance opportunities for play.
- Evaluation of a neonatal intensive care unit program, conducted by
researchers at Arizona State University College of Nursing & Healthcare
Innovation, yielded positive outcomes for both infant and parent
participants.Creating Opportunities for Parent Empowerment (COPE) is 4-phase educational intervention program implemented early in the Neonatal
Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Through each phase parents are provided with
information on: 1) the appearance and behavioral characteristics of
premature infants, and 2) activities to assist parents in caring for
their infants. Two hundred and sixty families participated in the study
that resulted in: reduced maternal stress in the NICU, reduced maternal
depression and anxiety 2 months following the intervention, increased
positive interactions with infants, and stronger beliefs about parental
roles. COPE infants had a 3.8 day shorter NICU length of stay and a
3.9-day shorter total hospital stay. Additionally, the program decreased
hospital costs by $5000 per infant. With 480,000 low birth weight
premature infants born annually in the U.S., $2.4 billion could be saved
each year if the program were adopted by NICUs nationwide.