Hope for youth mental health in San Mateo County - Becker and experts talk hot lines and in-person resources in town hall
San Mateo Daily Journal Article
"Officials at the state level have heightened their focus on supporting youth mental health initiatives. About $250 million in the state’s budget will go toward addressing the behavioral health needs of people under age 25 over the next three years with funds supporting a Youth Suicide Reporting and Crisis Response Pilot Program, a wellness and resilience support program, establishing peer-to-peer support programs and developing digital support services for remote mental health support and video services for parents of children struggling with mental health issues."
"Beyond school campuses, Bonini and Gloner noted agencies throughout the region have stepped up to provide culturally comprehensive care to communities. Both highlighted StarVista which offers a number of programs in San Mateo County and most recently launched its Youth Stabilization, Opportunity, and Support Team, a mobile response team specializing in treating mental health crises of youth ages 0 to 25."
"This works if our community is aware of the issues,” Bonini said. “Some of the statistics show we were already in a mental health crisis before the pandemic but as with many things it’s just been unearthed or revealed so we really need to make sure that at all the points in the system people know where the resources are.”
$4.7 billion to increase access to mental health and substance use supports for those ages 0- 25 and Assembly Bill 2508 (Quirk-Silva, D-Fullerton)
Governor Newsom has taken a strong position in support of youth mental health access and supports. This is terrific news following many years of crisis, which were only exacerbated by the traumas of the pandemic. See CSBA Article HERE. "The new legislation urges more responsibility to serve students’ social-emotional, mental and behavioral health needs."
Are you concerned about the Math Framework being considered by the California Department of Education? If so, you can find out more information about the status of this twice-revised and delayed decision and what the framework input has been so far at this upcoming Roundtable Panel...
Ed Source: "You can find out more about the current process for developing a new Framework with the California Department of Education (CDE) on July 28, 2022.
The state's twice-revised framework for K-12 math instruction is on pause, likely for months, as the California Department of Education considers hundreds of suggestions for changes and critiques that call for rewriting the nearly 1,000-page document.
The debate reflects fundamental disagreements over how math should be taught and what high school courses should be offered. Many K-12 math teachers support the framework’s call for a vastly different approach to math instruction; many higher ed professors say it would leave too many college-bound students unprepared for STEM careers."
When: July 28. 2022 at 1pm
Who: A panel of distinguished educators and experts
Where: Zoom - Register HERE
Behavioral Health Commission Approves Recommendations for Improved Mental Health Crisis Response to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors
As a member of the San Mateo County Behavioral Health Commission, I am proud to share that in July, our Commission voted unanimously to approve Mental Health Crisis Response Recommendations to the Board of Supervisors, following the hard work of our Ad Hoc Subcommittee, as well as many discussions with our community, to assemble a comprehensive set of recommendations that are person-centered and representative of best practices to protect individuals experiencing mental health crises in San Mateo County.
The recommendations include:
Please read the recommendations and feel free to contact me for further details!
*Our recommendations are also consistent with NAMI's position on Mental Health Crisis Response, recommendations and best practices to protect those experiencing crises related to mental illness.
Star Vista launched its Youth Stabilization, Opportunity, and Support (SOS) Team this month.
The Youth SOS Team provides over the phone or in-person response to youth ages 0-25 living in San Mateo County that are experiencing an escalation in mental health symptoms, ranging from suicidal ideation to undiagnosed mental health disorders.
The team is comprised of mental health clinicians and family partners to comprehensively address any assessment, psychoeducation, therapeutic, or case management needs. Anyone may access this 24/7 service by calling the crisis hotline at 650-579-0350.
Today's New York Times article, "In the Fight Over How to Teach Reading, This Guru Makes a Major Retreat," describes how a legend in reading and "writing workshops" has reformulated her base curriculum to include a focus on the science of teaching reading, including letter decoding and phonics basics.
What's interesting about this article is that this is not the first time Ms. Calkin's theories have been questioned. In fact, when I used two of her text books while earning my degree in Elementary Education between 1990-1994, the "whole language" movement was in full swing. I did not go to Teacher's College, but I went to a well-established school for teaches in Upstate New York called Russell Sage College. Lucy Calkins was indeed considered the leader in this area at that time.
In California, however, when the "new" school standards were implemented in 1997-1998, phonics became a focus and "whole language" teaching methods were questioned. Although, I am sure some of these methods persisted. They were again questioned in 2011 with the roll-out of the Common Core Standards, and phonics instruction was woven into the then-current reading programs and texts -- though, there was also parallel focus on "balanced reading," I assume because the education community (and the publishing houses) were tied to it, I have to imagine.
As I visited classrooms in the the SMFCSD during 2013-2017, there were Calkins "writing workshop" lessons and mentoring being implemented, there was a focus on balanced reading... and there were phonics. Also, to be clear, when I taught in the mid-90's, my lessons (within the whole language scheme) included phonics. I am not sure it was, or could be, extracted from lessons.
So, the questions are: Can phonics and balanced literacy co-exist? Can some children learn to read without direct phonics instruction? Perhaps. Is a delay in phonics instruction a best practice? Likely not.
Children's love of literature, word decoding skills, and reading comprehension is a multi-faceted process -- and while this article certainly shows a change of course for Ms. Calkins, I do believe that phonics have never been omitted entirely, but their emphasis as the most-important component of reading as varied over the years. This article - and Lucy Calkins' position on the matter - may once and for all settle the fact that phonics should come first, but given the nature of education publishing houses - and the vast amounts of money to be made from "selling" teaching strategies, I am not entirely certain that this is the final word.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. As a member of the San Mateo County Commission on Disabilities, the San Mateo County Mental Health and Substance Abuse Recovery Commission (MHSARC), and the Board of NAMI San Mateo County, as well as a mom of a child with a psychiatric disability, I am always focused on raising awareness of mental health & mental illness resources and supports. There are a number of events in our community this month to raise awareness and to connect our community to a vast array of resources. If you would like more information about what to do in a mental health crisis, how to get connected with mental health or psychiatric services, or how to meet parents or peers with experience navigating the systems in San Mateo County -- including schools, BHRS, and medical facilities, please feel free to contact me or find more info at: San Mateo County Health, NAMI San Mateo County, Star Vista -- some of our key mental health organizations and resources in San Mateo County.
The County Board of Education provides leadership and citizen input for county educational programs and services operated by the San Mateo County Office of Education, including services provided to school districts and the community. (BP 9000) The mission of the San Mateo County Office of Education is to ensure and improve the quality of learning for all students in San Mateo County by providing exemplary leadership and innovative, effective programs and services which enable local districts and the county office to educate students to realize their potential. (BP 6110)
The San Mateo County Office of Education operates Court and Community Schools & Programs to support students throughout the County. If you are interested in learning more about or sharing your experiences with the schools and programs operated by the San Mateo County Office of Education, please feel free to contact me. You can also find out more here.