Behavioral Health News | Volume 8, Issue 1
Behavioral Health News
SBH launches research website
Dear SBH Family:

I want to introduce you to an exciting new project that we've been working on over the past year. Many of you have noted that we know too little about each other's research. And this could not be more true. This led us to work with our faculty to design the new School of Behavioral Health research website. The aim of this site is to give our students (past, current, or interested in joining), alumni, and faculty a chance to get an enhanced sense of what we are doing, aside from our teaching roles, across the School.

Since we undertook this project I have been astounded by the diversity and depth of our faculty's research. It is truly exciting to gain a deeper insight into our SBH family and to see how deeply community-committed we are. Moreover, as you will see, most of our research is made possible by the many creative and hard-working students that work with their faculty mentors on quality innovation and translational projects. While the work is diverse and ranges from basic science research to local and international community outreach, it has one shared denominator: a commitment to benefit our communities and improve lives.

Please check out the new site and enjoy browsing through the many projects conducted by our wonderful SBH faculty and students. And please do not hesitate to contact us if questions arise or if you want to get involved.

With warm regards,

Susanne Montgomery, PhD
Associate Dean for Research Affairs

Community Engagement
LLUH Vaccination Clinic
The School of Behavioral Health, in conjunction with the School of Religion, is supporting the Loma Linda University Health Vaccination Clinic at the Drayson Center through the provision of a Whole Person Care (wellness resources) table.

Students are encouraged to volunteer and can sign up here. Volunteers are also needed to support many of the other operations of the LLUH Vaccination Clinic; sign up here if you'd like to participate.

Behavioral Health Summer Academy
The 2021 Behavioral Health Summer Academy will once again be held virtually. This two-week summer program for 2021 high school graduates (or equivalent) is intended to provide guidance on a future career in the behavioral health professions. Two college credits are available, free for accepted participants.

Application deadline: May 14, 2021

Factors Associated with Depression Levels among Latinas during the COVID-19 Pandemic
In a recent SBH Blog post, Dr. Maud Joachim-Célestin shares the results of a lifestyle-based intervention, led by community health workers, that sought to mitigate pandemic-related stressors for a group of Latinas in the Inland Empire.

Mindfulness for Parents of Children with Autism and Developmental Disabilities and Benefits for Child Mental Health
Hadley McGregor, a Clinical Psychology PsyD student in Dr. Cameron Neece's lab, recently published an article titled "Effects of MBSR Parent Intervention on Internalizing Problems in Children: ASD Status as a Moderator."

Faculty Field Notes
Nonsuicidal Self-Injury (NSSI)
On Self-Injury Awareness Day, Dr. Kimberly Freeman provided an overview of Nonsuicidal Self-Injury (NSSI) on the SBH Blog.

"With support," Dr. Freeman writes, "individuals who engage in self-injurious behaviors can learn more adaptive ways to deal with their pain and lead more healthy lives."

Student Scoop
Child Life Specialist students fill the gaps during COVID-19
The S.H.O.P.S. program was specially designed for our Child Life Specialist MS students, providing them opportunities to gain essential pediatric experience, develop a working knowledge of the hospital, and enhance their didactic learning by serving as an avenue through which integrated course assignments can be fulfilled.

Child Life Fellowships promote innovation and behavioral health integration across Loma Linda University Health
Child Life Fellowships at Loma Linda University Children's Health and with the Behavioral Medicine Center's Mastering Each New Direction (MEND) program have increased innovation and collaboration.

Update: Holiday Card Service Project
A huge thank you to everyone who contributed to the Department of Social Work & Social Ecology's Holiday Card Service Project!

Student and Phi Alpha Honor Society President Jose Esparza reports that over 1,000 holiday cards were created for senior InnovAge participants in San Bernardino, helping to brighten the holidays during a difficult year for this group.
Alumni Alcove
In Memoriam: Lovelyn Cruz Santos
It is with deep sadness that we say goodbye to our dear colleague, friend, and student, Lovelyn Cruz Santos. An extraordinary professional, Lovelyn was a long-term employee of the San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health, a regular supporting member of the Loma Linda University International Behavioral Health Trauma Team, and more recently a student in the Loma Linda University MSW Program.

Lovelyn was an inspiration and a blessing to all who knew her. She truly embodied the values of the social work profession, which were evident in her unwavering commitment to the recovery and resiliency of individuals experiencing behavioral health challenges. Her warmth and generosity will continue to live in our hearts.

Rest well, dear friend. You will be forever loved.

Beverly Buckles, Dean
2020 SBH Alumni Magazine: Now available to read online!
Our latest alumni magazine features many wonderful alumni as well as updates on what's happening in the School of Behavioral Health! Features include:

  • Cultivating New Ground
  • Race, Racism, & Mental Health
  • Scholarship program designed to increase diversity of mental health workforce
  • The SBH Summer Academy — A Pipeline for Success

If you did not receive a print copy in your mailbox, be sure to update your contact information with us using this form!

Child Life Specialist alumna presents at North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference
In November, Jaime Moran, MS, CCLS presented her research poster, titled "Incorporation of Child Life into Clinic Workflow," at the virtual North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference.

"Our role is not always easily understood," writes Jaime. "In fact, Child Life services remain widely unknown around the globe."

Virtual Homecoming focuses on pandemic-related behavioral health issues
"This pandemic has impacted the entire globe and directly changed our professions," writes Dr. Adam Aréchiga. "From higher education to outpatient psychotherapy, there have been changes. In a few short months we all got a crash course in video conferencing. Zoom fatigue became a real thing, and our patients began to appreciate the ease of telehealth visits."

Awards and Accomplishments
Megan Krantz
Clinical Psychology PhD Student (4th year)

Society of Pediatric Psychology Annual Conference - Sleep Special Interest Group Poster Award

"Understanding Sleep Difficulties among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder from Underserved Populations: Practical Considerations for Clinicians"

Olivia (Liv) Triplett
Clinical Psychology PhD Student (2nd year)

Society of Pediatric Psychology Annual Conference - Student Award

"The Effect of Modifiable Health Behaviors on Pediatric Sleep Quality"

Announcements and Updates
New online option added for MFT MS program
No one can deny it. There is a major need for students to have more and more flexibility in how they attend graduate school. Advanced learners are working while they pursue master's and doctorate degrees. Often they have family and other commitments. Those commitments do not stop when we enroll in a master's program.

In direct response to this need, the Department of Counseling and Family Sciences has mirrored our current Marital and Family Therapy MS program—which is approved by the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) for licensure in the state of California and has maintained national accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education for many years—in an online environment.

Tuition rates held steady for 2021-22 academic year
Tuition for all degree and certificate programs in the School of Behavioral Health will be held steady at current rates for the 2021-22 academic year. The decision to hold tuition steady is in direct response to the economic challenges that individuals and families are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

12th Annual SBH Food Drive

The goal for this year was to match last year's total cash value of $700.00. Through the generosity of all of you, the end total was $2,085.00 to the Helping Hands Pantry and $400.00 to Carol's Kitchen in Beaumont. The services provided by these sites were needed this year more than ever. Your kindness and caring has made a difference.

For the month of April, we're turning our attention to something very important: our wonderful pets! See student, faculty, and staff pets by searching the hashtag #SBHpets on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn!

P.S. The above is Dr. Nick Rockwood's beagle mix, Sonny, who hopes you have a good day.
Understanding the Language of Children: The Play Therapy Certificate
Research has shown play therapy to be an effective approach for a wide range of behavioral and emotional problems, such as anger management, grief and loss, family disruption, trauma and anxiety, depression, and attention/hyperactivity deficits. Through our Play Therapy Certificate program, students learn about the power of play as an essential part of the healing process for children.

March was Social Work Month and Child Life Month!
Honoring our social workers
by Celia Fernandez-Sutton, MSW, LCSW
Class of 2016

"We work to uphold our value of fighting for social justice, and use our authority and power to help those who are marginalized, vulnerable, and at risk," says Celia. "Although we are not always thanked for all the hard work that we do, our services never go without reward."

March for Child Life
by Colleen M. Cherry, MS, CCLS
Class of 2013

"Outside of [the hospital] system," says Colleen, "few families are aware of the profession, even though many more children could benefit from the services child life provides. Sharing awareness of the field is a positive step towards providing much needed interventions."

The Impact of COVID-19 on Vulnerable Youth
Homes are overcrowded, parents need to stay home to care for children attending online classes, and there is great concern for lack of basic necessities. This is especially true for vulnerable youth and their families, with reports of disproportionate risk for food insecurity, as well as poor academic, emotional, and social outcomes.

Resource Recommendations
This issue's recommendations come from MSW student and Phi Alpha Honor Society Vice President Crystal Ruedas!
by Colleen O'Grady

This can be for those who have kids in their teens or pre-teens or even those providing services for adolescents.

A parental figure—or at least one supportive person in someone's life—can impact an individual's mind by simply demonstrating that they care. Research has shown that once there is an important and reliable figure in a child's life, their self-esteem increases.
by Dr. Kirk Honda

This YouTube channel dissects certain individuals' behaviors on shows. It's not only exciting to view celebrities being analyzed on communication and interpersonal growth, but it helps to understand from a mental health perspective what is healthy and unhealthy in relationships. Certain cues can help guide students in an internship or their personal lives on what to acknowledge, identify, and be aware of if someone wants a positive change.
by Master Shi Heng Yi

This TEDx Talk can be very beneficial to students—especially graduate students.

"Meet Shaolin Master Shi Heng Yi in his serene talk about self-discovery. Learn why rainfall is an essential part of each flowering. And every small step—part of the journey to the highest peak. The hindrances along the way to self-discovery and personal growth are easy to overcome. Learn how from his talk."
LLU School of Behavioral Health

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.