What's Happening

Check out what our people and partners are researching, thinking, reading, writing, watching and doing!

(Note: Opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of ETR as an agency.)

Having Real Talks with Teens: A Roadmap to Better Communication
October 6, 2016
Having Real Talks with Teens: A Roadmap to Better Communication

By Jennifer Salerno, DNP | October 6, 2016
Founder, Possibilities for Change

Whether you’re a parent or an individual who works with youth, you are placed in an influential role to help keep teens safe and healthy. But that’s no easy task!

Risky behaviors account for the majority of teen injury and premature death. In the face of these challenges, educators, providers and parents need concrete strategies to support teens in smart decision making.

The research of my team at Possibilities for Change, along with my work at the School Based Health Center Program and the Adolescent Health Initiative at the University of Michigan, have introduced evidence-based practices and principles that support better communication with teens. In our work, we leverage motivational interviewing techniques to encourage teens to think through their motivations, plan ahead for risky situations and feel empowered to make positive choices. Our ultimate goal is that they make safe and healthy decisions for themselves. 

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Tags: Communication, Teens, Parents, Risk reduction
National Public Health Week 2016: Bringing Attention to Mental Health
April 7, 2016
National Public Health Week 2016: Bringing Attention to Mental Health

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | April 7, 2016
Senior Editor, ETR

I’m one of the folks who genuinely looks forward to National Public Health Week (NPHW). I’m proud to call myself a public health nerd. I quote health statistics at dinner parties. I talk to the kids in my neighborhood about the importance of bicycle helmets and safety belts.

I’ve also got a background in mental health. Naturally, I was gratified to see President Obama bring attention to mental health in his Presidential Proclamation on NPHW. “We are striving to promote mental health as an essential component of overall health,” he states, “helping to ensure access to mental health care and services and working to prevent suicide.”

One of the most important things we can do in public health is end the stigma about depression. 

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Tags: Mental health, Public health
Sleep Disorders in Veterans: Effective Non-Pharmacologic Treatments
October 1, 2015
Sleep Disorders in Veterans: Effective Non-Pharmacologic Treatments

By Allison Siebern, PhD, CBSM | October 1, 2015
Sleep Health Integrative Program, Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Fayetteville, NC

When I tell people that I’m a sleep psychologist, their first response is usually to tell me how they sleep. Sleeping is a universal process that everyone can relate to in one way or another. Because it is something we all do, there is little stigma or hesitation in discussing it openly.

One population that is greatly affected by sleep disruption is veterans. It is estimated that veterans are four times more likely to be affected by sleep issues than the general population. This is why I joined the Veterans Administration (VA) as a frontline provider. I love the field of sleep medicine and want to help veterans improve their sleep. 

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Tags: Sleep, Veterans, Cognitive behavioral treatments
How School Mental Health Programs Can Help You Prevent Crises
September 15, 2015
How School Mental Health Programs Can Help You Prevent Crises

By Alicia Rozum, MSW, PPSC | September 15, 2015
Project Director, Mental Health, California School-Based Health Alliance

Student mental health is a big concern among educators. Over 20% of youth have a diagnosed mental health disorder. Many classroom behavioral issues, such as acting out, poor self-regulation and attention issues, are related to mental health concerns.

With the advent of California’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), California schools and communities are bringing increased focus to issues such as student engagement and school climate. Mental health services in schools are a cost-effective way to increase attendance and reduce suspensions and expulsions (see, for example, here and here). And while our agency’s practice is within California, these principles are working in schools throughout the nation.

At the California School-Based Health Alliance, we are big believers in school mental health services. Good programs can literally be life-savers. A couple of years ago, I had a chance to work with a high school student named Nick. His story offers a powerful proof of that statement.

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Tags: K-12, Schools, Mental health, School mental health
Improving Sleep Disturbance in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment: Report on Our Research
July 6, 2015
Improving Sleep Disturbance in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment: Report on Our Research

By Erin Cassidy-Eagle, PhD | July 6, 2015
Director, Research, ETR

It’s almost time for bed and you get that sinking feeling in your stomach. Will it be like last night? And the night before? And the three weeks before that?

Sound familiar? If it does, you are not alone. An estimated 50-70 million US adults have sleep disorders. Older adults are much more likely to complain about trouble sleeping. Poor sleep in older individuals is also a risk factor for a range of other concerns, including declining cognition, depression and greater functional impairment.

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Tags: Research, Sleep, Older adults, Mild cognitive impairment
Grieving Children: An Essential Role for Schools
February 10, 2015
Grieving Children: An Essential Role for Schools

By David Schonfeld, MD | February 10, 2015
Director, National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement

Grief in children is real, powerful and common. Over the course of their school lives, 9 in 10 children will experience the death of a family member or close friend. One in 20 will lose a parent.

Think about this for a moment. Chances are that in almost every class, in every school throughout this country, there is at least one grieving student. Grief can have an impact on that student’s learning, school performance, social development and emotional health.

Schools have a unique and essential role to play in supporting grieving students. Some fairly simple interventions can help students navigate their experience more successfully and better manage school, friends, family and their own emotions. The newly introduced Coalition to Support Grieving Students offers schools and staff a rich set of resources to help them provide support that is both practical and meaningful.

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Tags: K-12, Schools, Grief, Teachers