Congratulations to Silver and Gold Star SHAPE System Schools and Districts
  In Connecticut, 32 school     
  districts  and 36 schools have 
utilized the SHAPE (School Health Assessment and Performance Enhancement) System. The  SHAPE System is a dynamic, free online system to improve school mental health  accountability, excellence, and sustainability.   Schools and School Districts can use SHAPE to:
  • document their service array and multi-tiered services and supports 
  • advance a data-driven mental health team process for the school or district
  • access targeted resources to help advance school mental health quality and sustainability
  • achieve SHAPE recognition to increase opportunities for federal, state and local grant funding. 

To date, the following school districts and schools have reached the two highest recognition levels in SHAPE:

Status Schools Districts Schools
Gold Star Status 
  • Bristol 
  • Enfield 
  • Stamford 
  • Windham
  • Bristol Eastern High School
  • Torrington Middle School
Silver Star Status 
  • Waterbury 
  • Pulaski Middle School (New Britain)
  • Slade Middle School (New Britain)
  • Torrington High School
  • West Rock 
  • Stream Academy (New Haven)
  • SPARK (Windsor)

To learn more, access cost-free technical assistance and get started, please contact CT SHAPE Technical Assistance Lead Rebekah Behan, Project Coordinator at 860-679-8726 or
Findings from Mobile Crisis Study Featured in National Publications
Jeff Vanderploeg co-authored an article in the July issue of Psychiatric Services entitled, "Impact of Mobile Crisis Services on Emergency Department Use Among Youths With Behavioral Health Service Needs." The article explores findings from a year long study conducted by Michael Fendrich and colleagues at UCONN's School of Social Work through a grant from the Children's Fund of  Connecticut. The study found that Connecticut's Mobile Crisis Intervention  Services was associated with a 25% reduction in subsequent youth behavioral  health emergency department use. 

Study results were  also featured  in CHDI's  Issue Brief 65  and several news outlets including:

US News and World Report article

U.S. News & World Report "Mobile Help for Mental Health: A Connecticut program aims to meet kids in crisis where they physically are."


UCONN Today "Mobile Crisis Service Reduces Youth ER Visits for Behavioral Health Needs, Says Study." 


CONCEPT Initiative Featured in National Publication
From 2011 to 2018, Connecticut's CONCEPT initiative helped to transform the state's child welfare system to be trauma-informed. CONCEPT was recently identified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) as one of only thirteen examples of promising approaches for systematically addressing child trauma.  CONCEPT is described in the DHHS resource,  " Trauma-Informed Care: Connecting Research Policy and Practice to Build Resilience in Children and Families ,"  which is intended to increase understanding of the effects of trauma-informed approaches on systems, communities, children and families.  Funded by a federal grant to the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) from 2001-2018,  CONCEPT was a collaboration between DCF, CHDI, The  Yale Child Study Center,  The Consultation Center at Yale, family advocates, and community providers. Learn more at

Bounce Back Featured as Successful Program in The Day Newspaper 
An article in The Day newspaper, "Program helping youth deal with trauma sees unheard of success," shined a spotlight on how Bounce Back is being used successfully in several New London and Groton elementary schools. Exposure to trauma can have a profound impact on school functioning. Recognizing this, schools are doing more to help children recover from traumatic stress.
Bounce Back is a brief, trauma-focused group intervention for elementary school-aged children. The evidence-based model was adapted from Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS). Both models are available at no cost to schools in Connecticut through a statewide initiative funded by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families.

CHDI's Issue Brief 69, "Helping Students Recover from Trauma: Connecticut Elementary Schools are Finding Success Using Bounce Back,"  includes recommendations for school administrators and policymakers to expand access to Bounce Back and other school mental health supports.

Click here to learn more about CBITS and Bounce Back. 
Staff News
Jack Lu Joins CHDI as the New Director of Implementation
Jack Lu  joined CHDI on July 1 as the Director of Implementation. He will help lead the dissemination and implementation of multiple evidence-based treatment initiatives with a particular focus on training and site-based consultation. 
Jack  previously worked as a Senior Project Coordinator for the MATCH and Mobile Crisis Performance Improvement Center initiatives at CHDI from 2014 to 2016. 

For the past three years,  Jack  has held a tenure-track Assistant Professor position at the Jane Addams College of Social Work at University of Illinois-Chicago where his primary interests have been in community-based participatory initiatives, health equity, refugee and immigrant communities, and models of integrated care.  Jack  also taught courses in qualitative research, research methods, human oppression, program eva lu ation, and mental health advanced clinical practice. He holds a Ph.D and Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Connecticut and a Bachelors in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts. 

A list of Jack's publications is available  here .
Amanda Kach Joins CHDI as a Data Analyst 
Amanda Kach  joined CHDI this month as a Data Analyst for Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and outpatient mental heath services. Prior to joining CHDI, Amanda worked in both elementary and middle schools as a special education teacher. She has a MEd in Rehabilitation Counseling with a concentration in Pediatric and Developmental Disabilities and a BS in Special Education with a concentration in Children's Literature.  
Michelle Delaney Promoted to Senior Associate 
Michelle Delaney  was promoted to Senior Associate at CHDI on July 1. She currently supports evidence-based treatments (EBTs) and the School-Based Diversion Initiative (SBDI). In September, she will transition solely to SBDI. Michelle joined CHDI in 2011 as a Data Analyst and has worked primarily on the Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) initiative helping providers and stakeholders expand the delivery of TF-CBT and other EBTs to thousands of children statewide. In her new role, Michelle will have broader responsibilities for supporting the expansion and sustainability of SBDI. 

Farewell to Annabelle Bass
Annabelle Bass left CHDI this month to pursue an MS degree in Psychology at William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. She joined CHDI in 2018 as an intern and was subsequently hired as a Data Analyst for Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and Modular Approach to Therapy for Children and Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, or Conduct Problems (MATCH-ADTC). We wish Annabelle much success in her future endeavors. 
Join the Team: CHDI is Hiring!
CHDI is looking to expand our team. We are seeking candidates with the education, experience, and dedication to contribute to effective policies, systems, and practices that improve children's health and well-being. 

CHDI is currently hiring for the following positions:  

CHDI is committed to providing equal access to our employment environment and ensures that all employment-related decisions are in accord with the principles of equal opportunity.

View our profile on LinkedIn
Child Health and Development Institute
860.679.1519 |

Copyright ©2018. All Rights Reserved.