Kentucky Coalition For Healthy Children Newsletter

Issue 8 | January 2023

Working collaboratively on policies and practices in and around schools that promote equity and improve the physical, social, and emotional health and well-being of children, youth, and families.
The opinions and viewpoints expressed in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the positions of all coalition partners.
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KCHC Member Highlights

Virtual Training | Effective Advocacy – Making Every Voice Count! – January 23, 11am-2pm EST

Legislative advocacy – changing public policy to improve people’s lives – is important for health and mental health professionals, consumers, family members and community advocates. The legislative process - state and local - and ways to make policy change happen through advocacy will be described from the perspective of an experienced lobbyist/psychologist, policy analyst/advocate and legislators who know Frankfort and local policy well. Dr. Sheila Schuster, Executive Director of the Advocacy Action Network, Emily Beauregard, Executive Director of Kentucky Voices for Health, and Representatives Lisal Wilner and Russell Webber are presenters. Questions to be addressed: “How can I make my voice be heard? Why get into the game? How can I become a player? How can I influence the outcome?” Skill Level: Beginning

View the event flier and click here to register.

In-Person Training Event | Health for a Change: Staying WKY Strong - January 27,

10 am- 2 PM CT

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, Community Foundation of West Kentucky, and Mental Health America of Kentucky are hosting this mental health training event at the Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park. Sessions will include education on how to help children and adults that survived recent natural disasters in Kentucky.

Click here to register and learn more.

In-Person Advocacy Event | Children’s Advocacy Week – week of February 8

Join advocates from across Kentucky for virtual events throughout the week and in-person events at the Capitol on February 8th. If you are a teacher or with a youth-serving organization interested in bringing a group of students to the Capitol for the Rally for Kentucky Kids on February 8, contact Jami Garth.

Click here to register.

Policy Agenda |2023 Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children Released

The Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children has been released for 2023. The Blueprint is a policy agenda supported by a diverse coalition of supporters with the shared beliefs that thriving communities launch strong families, strong families launch successful kids, and successful kids launch a prosperous future for Kentucky. This year’s Blueprint includes 11 wide ranging priorities including mental health to juvenile justice.

Read more.

Upcoming Meetings |State Interagency Council 2023 Meeting Schedule

The mission of the State Interagency Council is promoting healthy children and transition-age youth across Kentucky: Building a collaborative System of Care to promote children’s hand transition-age youth’s social, emotional and behavioral well-being where they live, learn, work, and play. The first three meetings are on January 25, February 22 and March 22 from 1-3pm ET.

See the full meeting schedule.

Event Series | ThriveKY upcoming virtual events

Tune in to two upcoming events from ThriveKY, “a coalition of organizations who pursue systemic change to assure that the commonwealth meets the basic needs of every Kentuckian” led by KCHC executive partner Kentucky Voices for Health.

  • ThriveKY & CHFS Quarterly Advocacy Updates for State & Federal Policy Updates - February 14, 2PM-3:30PM ET | Click here to register.

One-Pager | Family Glitch Coverage Explainer

Kentucky Voices for Health has produced a document explaining how more Kentuckians now qualify for health plan savings due to new rules that went into effect December 16.

Download the one-pager.

What's New in Children's Health

Report | Center for Law and Social Policy 2022 Youth Data Portrait

The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) has released its 2022 Youth Data Portrait, which analyzes updated data related to Economic Justice, Healing and Wellbeing, and Safe Communities for youth and young adults. The economic justice data shows how federal investments did a better job of reaching young adults than prior years, but the “economic recovery” has maintained or exacerbated economic injustice for young people. The health and wellbeing data shows some progress for young people on health insurance coverage, but continued evidence demonstrates how a youth mental health crisis is raging unabated. Finally, the data on safe communities shows that criminalization and violence—rather than safety—continue to define young people’s experiences in their communities.

Summary video and Data Portrait.

Report | 2022 U.S. National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health by State

The 2022 Trevor Project Report presents findings on the experiences of thousands of LGBTQ youth in the U.S., segmented by state. The Trevor Project, the leading suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ young people, produces innovative original research that amplifies the experiences of diverse LGBTQ

young people and brings new knowledge and clinical implications to the suicide prevention field. These data provide critical insights into the suicide risk faced by LGBTQ young people, top barriers to mental health care, the prevalence of anti-LGBTQ victimization, and the negative impacts of recent politics. Importantly, this research also points to ways in which we can all support the LGBTQ young people in our lives by detailing per state LGBTQ young people’s access to accepting communities, LGBTQ-affirming spaces, and social support

among family and friends — protective factors that are consistently associated with better mental health and lower suicide risk.

Download the full report.

Download the Kentucky report.

In Your Community

Fostering Resilience in Russell County

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky has been developing and administering programs designed to increase the knowledge, awareness, and skills of adults interacting with children to foster resiliency and address Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) since its Investing in Kentucky’s Future Initiative launched in 2012. The initial ACEs pilot projects in the initiative were implemented in five Louisville elementary schools in low-income neighborhoods, planned and implemented between 2013-2017 through partnership with a coalition that stemmed from the Investing in Kentucky’s Future initiative, the Bounce coalition. Based on the success of the urban ACEs project, the Foundation and Bounce developed the Rural ACEs project starting in 2019 and concluding in May 2022 with the Russell County School district, this time with all the schools in the district, elementary, middle, and high school.

Additionally, given the importance of engaging more community partners to address ACES and foster resilience in children, the Foundation added a community component to the Rural ACEs project and engaged the Lake Cumberland District Health Department (LCDHD) to implement the approach. The LCDHD is a ten-county health department in the same area, with staff who are also members of the coalitions in the area.

The Russell County project included, in schools, professional development for teachers, staff and bus drivers, counselor and FRYSC consultations, peer support groups for students, and education for parents, caregivers and the entire community. Bounce worked with the LCDHD to deploy “train-the-trainer” programs which promoted the growth of 10 resilient communities.

The Foundation’s Urban and Rural ACEs projects have had strong evaluation components. The key outcomes of the project in Russell County include:

  • Staff from all schools received training in understanding and using strategies to build resilience in students.
  • Advanced training on topics such as de-escalation, self-care, effective problem-solving, and trauma-informed classroom management was delivered to teachers at all levels.
  • Elementary student suspensions decreased by 50 percent.
  • The school climate survey applied to all students, at the start and end of the grant, showed gains in “Caring”, Belonging”, and “Safety” for elementary students which resulted in an improvement on 71% of the survey items.
  • Teachers reported increased ability to provide student supports improved from 43.6 percent at baseline to 97.1 percent reporting “adequate” or “extensive” skills.
Take Action!

The Kentucky Coalition for Healthy Children (KCHC) has developed its 2023 Children’s Mental Health Policy Agenda. The policy agenda was developed following a series of presentations from public and private experts in children’s mental health to the KCHC Steering Committee, the work of an ad hoc children’s mental health work group, and discussions by the full KCHC Steering Committee. The children’s mental health policy agenda has been sent to all members of the Kentucky General Assembly.

Please share the children’s mental health policy agenda with your organizations and networks. Contact your legislator to highlight the importance of addressing children’s mental health issues this session. Information on legislators, bills, committee schedules and more can be found on the KY General Assembly page. 

Children’s Mental Health Policy Agenda

KCHC Chair Letter to the members of the Kentucky General Assembly

Call to Action to take on Trauma

The Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice has issued a Call to Action to urge Congress to prioritize addressing trauma and passing bills like the RISE from Trauma Act, which funds trauma-responsive work across the country.

Click here to sign on with your support on the call to action.

In Case You Missed It

Kaiser Family Foundation | More Than 4 in 10 Republicans and a Third of Parents Now Oppose Schools Requiring Children to Get Vaccinated for Measles and Other Illness, Up Since the COVID-19 Pandemic Began

Kentucky Department of Agriculture | USDA expands local foods in school meals through cooperative agreement with Kentucky

American Diabetes Association | Federal Court Grants Preliminary Approval to Ground-Breaking Settlement That Will Ensure NYC Children with Diabetes Receive Appropriate Care in School

The Hill | CDC warns of future surge in diabetes among young Americans

Cook With Us!

Follow along as we make healthy, kid-friendly recipes with a focus on seasonal ingredients.

Warm up this January with a 20-minute Chicken Creole

Contact Us!

Do you have an upcoming event or exciting news to celebrate with our coalition? Please email Alexandra Kerley at to be featured in an upcoming KCHC Newsletter!

Amalia Mendoza | KCHC Newsletter | 502-326-2583 |
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