SPAN The Bridge Newsletter pictorial graphic.  Your weekly access to SPAN news, resources and events.

September 14, 2022 | Issue 45 (View newsletter as webpage) Para leer este boletín en Español, haga clic aquí

Important News

Image of graph showing fewer mental health staff for Black students in NJ.

New Jersey's Black Students Have Reduced Access to School Mental Health Staff

“In New Jersey, students of color are more likely to live in poverty and attend a school with harsher discipline...The solution to this isn’t to cut back on their access to mental health staff; it’s to give them more access to the professionals they need.”

Report Author Mark Weber, Ph.D., New Jersey Policy Perspective

Over the past decade, access to mental health staff for Black students decreased, while white students’ access increased. This occurred in spite of the increased focus on mental health for students since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

New Jersey’s Black Students Suffer a Decline in Access to School Mental Health Staff, is the report that tracks the number of mental health staff in schools across New Jersey. 

Mental Health staff include:

  • nurses,
  • counselors,
  • behavior specialists,
  • psychologists, and
  • social workers 

The report reviews the number of mental health staff in schools to the number of students of different races and ethnicities enrolled in those schools.

The report concludes that policymakers must improve staffing levels of mental health support professionals to meet the needs of students.


Read the full report here.


Decorative image of doctor with teen and parent

A Family Toolkit: Pediatric-To-Adult Health Care Transition 

Youth and families report many barriers to transition, including: 

  • Feeling unprepared to move to a new doctor
  • Feeling unprepared to manage their own care
  • Anxiety about leaving their pediatrician
  • Difficulty finding a new adult doctor
  • Understanding the adult health care system

Got Transition developed a toolkit for families to use to reduce barriers during the transition from pediatric to adult health care. 

The toolkit includes:

  • Health Care Transition Timelines
  • Parent Guide
  • Questions to Ask Your Doctor
  • Changing Roles
  • Charting the Lifecourse Tool
  • Turning 18 Tip Sheet
  • Planning to Move from Pediatric to Adult Care Tool
  • System Differences
  • Transition Readiness Assessment
  • Health Care Transition Quiz

Download the Toolkit here

Check out additional resources from Got Transition here

SPAN is a partner in the National Healthcare Transition Resource Center for Youth with I/DD

Learn about the Center on Youth Voice/Youth Choice here

The People’s Gathering –

Healing NJ Together

The People's Gathering logo

The NJ People’s Gathering is a first of its kind, open, online learning collaborative conference, being held on September 22, 2022, to bring together people from all walks of life to discuss healing solutions to the big issues affecting New Jersey’s communities:

  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
  • Collective trauma from the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Youth mental health and well-being
  • Material needs (homelessness, hunger) being experienced within our communities
  • Substance Use Issues
  • Racism, Homophobia, and Misogyny
  • And more.

The NJ People’s Gathering will be held virtually and accessible for 24 hours beginning on September 22, 2022.

This special event is sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Children and Families Office of Resilience and Stockton University. They will use new technology to support multiple meeting rooms that remain accessible for 36 hours! Register and you will see for yourself how innovative and interactive this conference will be. Please also invite members of your professional and community networks.

This online conference is participatory and collaborative. Participants propose the topics that will be discussed and set the agenda for reform.

To learn more and to register, click here.

Upcoming Events

SPAN offers a variety of learning opportunities for families and the professionals who work with them.

Highlighted Event this week

REAL Transition Partners Lunchtime Learning - Healthcare Transition


October 4, 2022

12:00 - 1:00 PM

Transitioning from pediatric to adult healthcare is a big step for a youth or young adult with a disability. We will discuss the new Healthcare Transition Toolkit developed by Got Transition and its National Family Health Care Transition Advisory Group. 

This toolkit is filled with resources to help families and youth make a smooth transition from the pediatrician to an adult care provider

Register Here. 

See all of SPAN's upcoming events with details and registration links here 

Para recibir la edición en Español de este boletín semanalmente en su correo electrónico 

haga clic aquí para suscribirse


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