Let's Talk About Parenting

The majority of adults in the US living with mental illnesses are parents. However, service providers often express concern that they are not prepared to work with clients who are parents, feeling they lack the necessary tools and skills to identify and meet their needs. Let’s Talk About Parenting (LTP) supports providers to explore the experiences and impact of parenthood and family life on adult clients and to identify their goals and needs, keeping parenthood and family life in mind. LT-RP is an adaptation of the Finnish Let’s Talk model, an evidence-based psychosocial intervention to assist adult clients/parents with mental illness to identify and meet the needs of their children. Click here to read more about this project. 

Children's Behavioral Health Highlights

Issue #4: Strengthening the children's crisis system of care through school-based health centers

This brief provides an overview of a training and coaching initiative offered to behavioral health clinicians working in five SBHCs located in a city in northeastern Massachusetts. It describes the scope of the training and coaching activities, the results it had on the SBHC team member’s comfort in addressing crises, and overall impressions regarding the role of a SBHC in the larger “crisis system of care.”

Issue #3: Supporting Staff and Families through Transition

An oft used phrase in behavioral health care is, “transition planning needs to start on day one” but how does this work in practice? This brief describes the development of youth and family transition indicator assessment tools that can be used to help gauge where a youth or caregiver is on several areas thought to indicate readiness for transition such as:

  • knowledge of community resources
  • established connection to natural supports (e.g. friends, family, religious/spiritual community etc.),
  • ability to manage challenging behaviors  

While this brief describes the development and use of the transition indicators tools in the context of intensive care coordination, these tools can be adapted for use in a range of behavioral health care settings including residential treatment, outpatient therapy, or in-home therapy. 

Issue #2: Field Based Supervision

This brief describes the efforts of one program to significantly change their approach to direct observation of staff. Since most newly learned behavior is fragile, supervision and ongoing coaching activities provided by a skilled practitioner are a critical aspect of a coherent workforce development program. Yet, not all supervision is created equal. The traditional model of office-based supervision—in which staff meet individually to review and discuss their work—has been insufficient to adequately assess whether staff are progressing appropriately with necessary skill acquisition.  While this brief focuses on a field based supervision strategy within a Community Service Agency, the approach and lessons learned have applicability to a range of human service contexts.

Issue #1: Building Collaborative Teams to Support Youth and Families

This brief describes the steps a Massachusetts Community Service Agency took to foster teamwork between family partner and care coordinator teams, the results of their efforts, and lessons learned for other organizations interested in improving communication and collaboration between individuals working as a team to support youth and families.

DMH Connections Articles

  • June 2015: EOHHS Secretary Sudders "Imagines the Future of Children's Behavioral Health" at the 2nd Annual Symposium
  • March 2015: Children's Behavioral Health Knowledge Center Welcomes New Director
  • December 2014Children’s Behavioral Health Worker Certificate Program
  • September 2014Helping Families Talk about a Parent's Mental Illness
  • May 2014CBH Knowledge Center Officially Launches! 

Services in Support of Community Living for Youth with Serious Behavioral Health Challenges: Intensive In-Home Services

Intensive-In-Home Services (IIHS) is a home and community based service that states and communities are increasingly including in their service arrays as an alternative to costly out-of-home care. Services in Support of Community Living for Youth with Serious Behavioral Health Challenges: Intensive In-Home Services, a new brief from the TA Network, written by Kelly English from the CBH Knowledge Center and colleagues from The Institute for Innovation and Implementation at the University of Maryland, explores implementation essentials and financing of IIHS and provides examples of how IIHS has been operationalized in 6 states.