The Hackett Center for Mental Health, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health (MAMH), recently convened and hosted the 4th Annual Nantucket Children’s Mental Health Summit. This was the second year the Summit was virtual, with a prestigious group of mental health experts from Texas and Massachusetts sharing their expertise and engaging in timely, lively discussions about how to improve child, youth, and family mental health.
Maureen Hackett kicked off the Summit by focusing on how participants had maintained collaborations this past year (including via our first ever “Interim” Summit), and how the Summit has had a tangible impact on work being done in both Texas and Massachusetts. Maureen also called on the group to continue these collaborations and shared her vision that participants identify strategies that will make a difference in the lives of young people with mental health conditions.
Obviously, it’s really crunch time for mental health, for our communities, and as it pertains to childhood and adolescence, so this discussion could not have come at a better time.
– Jair Soares, Pat R. Rutherford, Jr. Chair of Psychiatry at McGovern Medical School and Executive Director of UTHealth Harris County Psychiatric Center
Participants in this year’s Summit included leaders from Baylor College of Medicine, UTHealth Houston, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Rice University, UMass Medical School, and Tufts School of Medicine, along with Texas and Massachusetts state officials and special guests from Northwestern University and the University of California San Francisco.
Dr. Gary Blau, Executive Director of The Hackett Center for Mental Health, served as emcee for the Summit, and guided participants through the 1½-day event, including a friendly game of Texas vs. Massachusetts “Kahoot.” (A Texas participant topped the podium, by the way.)
Session topics included “Returning to School in the Aftermath of COVID-19: Strategies to Address Trauma and Grief”, “The Intersection of Racism and Youth Mental Health”, and “New Horizons in Pediatric Integrated Care: Can the Collaborative Care Model Work for Children and Youth?”
Following presentations, participants engaged in robust discussions about “Putting Policy into Practice®” and, during the second day, the group set forth a “Call to Action” that focused on collaborative strategies, including shared workforce support and training opportunities, review and analysis of health equity data, and a focus on helping both Texas and Massachusetts implement measurement-based and pediatric integrated care. These steps are intended to help ensure all individuals are receiving the mental health supports they need.
We are grateful to all the passionate summit participants for their leadership, time, and commitment to making a difference in the lives of children, youth, and families.
What we need to figure out is how do we create a world that is responsive to kids in trouble? This includes teachers, mental health clinicians, people who work with parents, and system of care professionals.
– John Sargent, MD, Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Tufts Medical Center and Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine