Behavioral Health News | Volume 7, Issue 1
Behavioral Health News
"I am so proud of the Department of Psychology doctoral students like 1st year PsyD student Jada Hammond (pictured here), faculty, and staff for the strong representation at the LLU Blackout Demonstration held on campus this week. We kneel for prayer and we kneel for PEACE."
SBH Statement on Racial Violence and Discrimination
"The centuries of racial, social, economic and political injustices in our country are clearly not resolved. Evidence of this reality continues to be brought into focus with the senseless slaying of Ahmaud Arbery while jogging in Brunswick, Georgia; the shooting death of Breonna Taylor by police in Louisville; the untrue and racially motivated accusation of violence against Christian Cooper in New York City; and most recently, the heartbreaking and horrifying killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Unfortunately, these are only the more recent examples of the violent consequences of social injustices and racist ideologies that we all need to confront and commit to eliminate."

COVID-19 and Mental Health
COVID-19 Mental Health Resources

To help support our community, we’ve created some materials that we hope will be useful to you. We’ve also collected some additional quality resources from other sources.

Read more
Open Mindfulness Sessions
SBH mindfulness sessions will continue through the summer, so please join us by Zoom on Tuesdays (12-12:15 PM) and Thursdays (11-11:15 AM).

Each exercise is followed by 15 minutes of optional guided discussion. These meetings are open to all, so please invite family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, or anyone else who may benefit.

Webinar: Telehealth & Group Intervention
The  PRO-Parenting Project  is a multi-site NIH-funded 16-week randomized controlled trial of a modified behavioral parent training (BPT) intervention for parents of young children with developmental delays. This webinar discusses how parenting groups were transitioned to a telehealth format due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and provided strategies and tips for initiating and conducting group behavioral intervention via Zoom.

SBH Blog
SBH Goes Global!
Scaling Up Behavioral Health Services in Sierra Leone
"Sierra Leone is considered a low-resource setting for mental health services," writes Dr. Zephon Lister , Associate Professor of Counseling and Family Sciences. "A low-resource setting is typically characterized by a lack of funds to cover health care costs, on an individual or societal basis. In one 2013 report, there were fewer than five practicing psychiatrists in the country and only one psychiatric hospital. Today, there are still fewer than 30 trained practicing psychiatrists and other mental health professionals in the country. The FASCET Program is designed to decrease stress and increase overall wellness for fifth grade teachers, students, and parents in Sierra Leone."

Community Engagement
How to End Homelessness in the City of Riverside
Talolo Lepale, Assistant Professor and Director of Field Education for the Department of Social Work and Social Ecology, recently authored a blog post in which he discusses the nuances of practicing congregational social work within religiously affiliated organizations and Christian churches, along with Riverside's Love Your Neighbor Collaborative and the Riverside Mayor's Pilot Social Work Internship program.

Translational Research
Celebrating training grant opportunities for SBH students
Kelly R. Morton, PhD  is a Professor of Family Medicine and Psychology at Loma Linda University. She has been a leader in bringing training and research grants to the School of Behavioral Health. These grants aim to both provide opportunities for student funding and enhanced training in health and primary care psychology. We celebrate Dr. Morton's accomplishments, and the fact that her efforts have often helped to provide paid opportunities to our graduate students.

Click below to read about three recent grants she obtained for Loma Linda University, as well as a fourth just awarded to other SBH faculty from the Department of Psychology (Principal Investigator  Dr. Bridgette Peteet  and co-Principal Investigator  Dr. Patricia Flynn ). In addition, Dr. Morton and faculty from the Department of Social Work & Social Ecology (Principal Investigator  Dr. Qais Alemi ) have applied to a current HRSA Initiative to support graduate behavioral health education with tuition support, mentoring, and training.

Students conduct health disparities research
Students from the Social Policy & Social Research PhD program in the Department of Social Work & Social Ecology have undertaken this key research:

  • Lisa Lares: Post-Incarceration Mental Health in Older Adults Study: An Underexplored Other Health Disparity
  • Nipher Malika: Prostate Cancer Health Disparity Research

Student Scoop
Six Hartman Lab students present at 2019 Society for Neuroscience conference
Students Dhira Patel, Sasha Trofimova, Tori Togashi, Bianca Tolan, Willie Hardeman, and Nika Kalynovska each presented research in October of last year.

Alumni Alcove
Heather Saenz, MS, CCLS
Alumna Heather Saenz's innovative training of EMS students includes the utilization of child life assessment to help children understand what is happening to them.

"As an EMT, Child Life Specialist, and EMS instructor," says Heather, "I feel it is very important to give responders the skills that help reduce the anxiety children feel during these unfamiliar and very scary situations."

Bridging Two Shores: Claire Muldrew, LCSW
Claire Muldrew graduated from the Loma Linda University School of Behavioral Health's MSW program in 2015.

Originally from a small rural village in Northern Ireland, she completed her undergraduate degree at Brunel University in London, England. She then began working in England as a social worker, where she spent seven years in adult mental health.

Homecoming 2020 and beyond
Dear SBH Alumni:

It wasn't that long ago that we met for our LLUH Homecoming--just this past March. Since then our world has been hit with both the COVID-19 pandemic and increased racial tensions in our country. I've been reading more and more articles on the coming mental health crisis that appears to be growing as a result of both concerns.

As a practicing psychologist I have seen firsthand how my patients' anxiety-related disorders have worsened over the past couple of months. I've never been more convinced of our country's need for your services. As you help to heal those you work with, please consider sharing some of your success stories with us.

In addition, SBH and your fellow alumni would love to hear about innovative practice or research projects that you are working on related to either the pandemic or racial tensions in the country. I wish you all the best, and hope that I can connect in person with you at our next Homecoming event.

- Dr. Adam Aréchiga , Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs
Awards and Accomplishments
Dr. Jackie Williams-Reade publishes new book
Dr. Jackie Williams-Reade 's new book, Self of the Therapist in Medical Settings: A Sociocultural and Systemic Perspective , was published recently as part of the AFTA SpringerBriefs in Family Therapy series.

"Drawing on their own experiences and that of their colleagues, [the editors] walk readers through medical culture and practices and the unique challenges behavioral healthcare workers face in these settings. Zubatsky and Williams-Reade help readers find their own worth and value in medical settings while demystifying the medical culture. Their practical 'dos and don'ts' inspire confidence that one can negotiate this new terrain."

Dr. Maya Boustani co-awarded grant to evaluate YASP intervention program
Maya Boustani, PhD and Sigrid Burruss, MD were awarded a Grant for Research and School Partnerships (GRASP) to enhance and evaluate the Youth Alternative Solutions Program (YASP)--an early intervention for substance use that has been offered for the past twenty-five years. Using a community-engaged approach, the goals of the project are to enhance YASP with evidence-informed strategies (with input from substance abuse experts, participating families, and stakeholders) and to evaluate the program's feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effectiveness.
New Faculty
Alex Dubov, PhD, MDiv
Dr. Alex Dubov earned his PhD in Bioethics from Duquesne University, where his thesis investigated the use of Behavioral Economics to facilitate crucial choices at the end of life.

He will support the School of Behavioral Health as an expert in bioethics and implementation science. He will also continue to pursue his research agenda, facilitate the expansion of regional research collaboration supporting the needs of persons with HIV or AIDS, and provide integrated and focused attention within our school regarding the needs of these populations as part of our behavioral health priorities.

New Program: Doctor of Social Work (DSW)
Our new Doctor of Social Work (DSW) degree emphasizes clinical leadership and dissemination of practice and education innovation over the course of a 3-year hybrid program. Apply now for Fall 2020!

Susanna Bun's SIMS Trip to Baja California, Mexico
My name is Susanna Bun and I’m a first-year graduate student in the Child Life Specialist MS program at Loma Linda University. During my first quarter in the program, I was offered a chance to go on a Students for International Mission Service (SIMS) trip to the Door of Faith Orphanage (DOFO) in Baja California, Mexico. This was my first time traveling to Mexico. It was also my first time visiting an orphanage and I was excited to go. Since I started the child life program, I knew that I wanted to put myself out into the world and be exposed to various experiences with children in all different situations. The DOFO trip was a perfect one to start with. DOFO serves orphaned children and the poorer community of which they are a part. Their values of family, education, and community service were evident throughout their entire place. While at DOFO, we were given a tour of the orphanage and were able to meet some of the children on the site. The other volunteers and I implemented activities like soccer, arts and crafts, and a teddy bear clinic.

When it was time to leave and head home, my view on the world seemed to shift and change. I have not had a lot of experience working with underprivileged children and this trip made me want to be more proactive with working and volunteering with this population. This trip has completely changed my view on what we can do as child life specialists. We can help in so many more ways than just in the hospital. I was suddenly thinking of all these places where a child life specialist would be beneficial—like in a foster home—and I wanted to do more outreach work. Before this trip, I remember wanting to volunteer and participate in so many different opportunities, but I had never had the courage to do so before. This trip has reminded me of this and has renewed my passion for helping others, especially children and their families. I am excited to see what the future has in store for me in the field of child life and I cannot wait to participate in all of them.

All SBH students receive $1,000 toward a School of Behavioral Health global practice international trip.
Find more information about Students for International Mission Service here .
Book Recommendations
This issue's book recommendations come from some of our administrators!
Dr. Susanne Montgomery (Associate Dean for Research)
by Nadine Burke Harris, MD

In light of overwhelming evidence of the long-term effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) this book provides a forward-looking view and points to options to not just note them as “given” and accept their consequences, but articulates that we can do something to address these. It also calls for prevention.

ACEs are stressful and traumatic events that include abuse, neglect, and living in a dysfunctional household which we now know are associated with adults, smoking, driving drunk, alcoholism and illicit drug use, poor physical health, including asthma, skin diseases, digestive disorders, sexually transmitted infections and chronic diseases, and poor adult mental health, including depression and suicide attempts Indeed, ACEs researchers have argued that these childhood traumas are among the most significant social determinants of health that lead to health disparities in adulthood (Malika, et al under review). In her book, the deepest well, Dr. Burke Harris explains, in simple terms these imprinting effects of ACEs but does not stop there—she offers a set of tools, based on science which anyone can use in their lives to help us deal with these long-term past experiences.

This is a well-written and engaging book that in an accessible fashion shares critically important science-based information that can help save lives affected by the toxic stress those exposed to childhood adversity live with. It also points to the need of protecting children, our future generations from the ill effects of these devastating live stresses. I encourage all in the behavioral health professions to read this book and then share it with persons who could benefit reading it and maybe having a discussion with them about it.
Miriam Domingo (Associate Dean for Finance and Administration)
by Ron Lieber

Part of good parenting also includes talking about money with our kids. When parents shy away from the topic, they lose a tremendous opportunity to model the basic financial behaviors that are increasingly important for young adults and also to imprint lessons about what the family truly values. The foundation of the book is a detailed blueprint for the best ways to handle the basics: the tooth fairy, allowance, chores, charity, saving, birthdays, holidays, cell phones, checking accounts, clothing, cars, part-time jobs and college tuition. It identifies a set of traits and virtues that embody the opposite of spoiled and shares how to embrace the topic of money to help parents raise kids who are more generous and less materialistic.
Dr. Kimberly Freeman (Executive Associate Chair, Department of Social Work and Social Ecology)
by Andi Green

I really like this book as it teaches children that worrying actually prevents them from doing and acting on the important things in their life. They also learn that when they worry it makes the things that they worry about grow even bigger--worry feeds worry. By actively doing things, we are too busy to worry and this makes worry go away. "Don't feed the worry bug."
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Our mission is to provide a spiritually supportive context for teaching, clinical practice, and research innovation that pursues integrative behavioral health aimed at reducing health disparities and promoting social justice in a global context locally and globally.