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The Latest Updates from California Children's Trust

Read on to learn about our recent work to advance the transformation of children's mental health. Listen to recordings of other Critical Conversations, and find out how we are Raising Awareness and Taking Action With Our Partners.

Critical Conversations

In Case You Missed These Webinars

NAMI Annual Conference.
On October 12 Alex Briscoe and Jevon Wilkes, CCT’s Director or Youth Engagement and the Executive Director of California Youth Coalition (CCY) presented results from a new survey on the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable youth. The survey of CCY members found that 91% of those responding sheltered in multiple locations over a one week period, 78% needed help finding work, and Medi-Cal was their primary safety net. Listen to the recording.

California Alliance for Children and Family Services Fall Institute.
On October 15, Alex Briscoe and Ben Miller, Chief Strategy Officer at Well Being Trust, presented “Fragmentation Hurts Families and Communities” to discuss the disconnection that is driving our country’s mental health crisis and innovative funding solutions to reimagine how mental and behavioral health services are delivered for greater well-being. Listen to the recording.

Raising Awareness

“For the first time in the history of the public mental health system, you can qualify for social and emotional support without a diagnosis,“ comments Alex Briscoe in this important article on how New California preventive mental health coverage puts ACEs front and center.

Assemblymember James C. Ramos successfully led the passage of AB 2112, creating a statewide Office of Suicide Prevention. As one of the sponsors of the bill, Alex Briscoe joined Assemblymember Ramos and others at a press conference to present the goals of this important new office.

According to an audit report issued on Sept. 30 by the California State Auditor, suicides among those ages 12 to 19 increased 15% between 2009 and 2018, and incidents of self-harm increased 50% during the same period. Alex Briscoe states, “You don’t have to be a teacher, you don’t have to have kids to figure out that something is happening with children. Half of all young people who attempt to kill themselves have not been previously diagnosed as having suicidal thoughts.”

Press conference coverage:

The San Bernardino Sun: Local legislators celebrate new Office of Suicide Prevention, stress need for more.

Inland Empire Community News: State suicide prevention efforts to remain legislative focus

Taking Action With Our Partners

Centering Youth Voice

The third MHSOAC Youth Innovation Idea Lab just wrapped up, and a committed group of youth leaders and adult allies—including CCT’s Alex Briscoe—came up with an impressive set of ideas to reimagine mental health services to better serve youth in their schools and the community. See these inspiring and moving youth designed Multimedia Voice Pieces that are the platform for this youth-led work.

Preventing ACEs

California is increasingly documenting the crisis facing its children: Fifteen percent of children under the age of five show signs of experiencing abuse or neglect, 5% of children have an incarcerated parent, and 20% of children report witnessing a family assault. And, according to the California Department of Public Health, two-thirds of adults in the state say they experienced a traumatic childhood experience. Referred to as adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), the recognition of these traumas and challenges is increasingly driving an essential dialogue about both treatment and - crucially - about prevention. Beyond Screening: Achieving California's Bold Goal of Reducing Exposure to Childhood Trauma, developed with the support of CCT partners including Well Being Trust, Children Now, and First 5 Alameda County, presents a comprehensive approach to addressing the inequitable community conditions that increase the risk of ACEs for children, families, and across whole communities.

New Research on Mental Health in 2020

In a recent webinar, Mental Health Research 2020, Well Being Trust, Viacom, and the newly formed organization Inseparable share detailed findings on how Americans feel about mental health, their concerns in accessing mental health services, and how racism is deepening the mental health crisis.

ACES Trainings

California Alliance of Children & Family Services and Catalyst Center are now offering ACEs training with the goals of a) increasing provider insight into ACEs prevalence, b) developing screening capacity, c) exploring tools to assess your local communities who experience ACEs, and d) identifying strategies to facilitate a warm handoff by utilizing community resources for referral. Learn more and register here.

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