CABH Interns with Children's Mental Health Network
"It is everything I wish I would have had in graduate school!”
Scott Bryant Comstock, President and CEO of the Children’s Mental Health Network (CMHNetwork) provides practicum and field placement opportunities for several graduate programs including the University of South Florida’s Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health (CABH) Master’s Program. The CMHNetwork, which promotes and advocates for the availability and effectiveness of high-quality services for children with mental health needs and their families, is an excellent match for the CABH program.
“When working with students, my goal is to help them feel and experience real-life situations,” said Bryant-Comstock. “If they are going to do policy work, they need to know what that means. I like to help them learn to ask the right questions while talking to a variety of individuals including clinicians, researchers and a cross section of people and agencies working with children and families. They even get to talk to lawyers representing real families with children in the system. Where else are you going to get that real-life experience? It is everything I wish I would have had in graduate school!”
Current CABH Student Interns with CMHN
Read her "Morning Zen" article! Julia Brookover is pursuing an MS in Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health with a concentration in Developmental Disabilities and a certificate in Positive Behavior Supports with the University of South Florida. She works in service and support administration and coordination for individuals with developmental disabilities in Ohio. She has, in the past, worked in various case management roles for agencies serving individuals with developmental disabilities, including long-term residential sites. During her internship, Julia will work to research ways in which case management for individuals with developmental disabilities and mental health needs is changing, responding, and innovating in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nekesha Nash is in the Master of Science degree program in Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health with a concentration in Leadership at the University of South Florida. Nekesha has worked as a case manager determining eligibility for public benefits and currently works as a director over the licensing, designation, and monitoring of substance abuse treatment providers and Baker Act receiving facilities in the state of Florida. During her internship, Nekesha will represent the Children’s Mental Health Network on a task force in the development stages to address gun violence. Nekesha’s focus on the task force will be examining and researching information related to mental illness and mass shootings. Nekesha is excited for the opportunity to work with the Children’s Mental Health Network and disseminate information related to the progress of the task force initiatives to stakeholders and supporters of the CMHN through the Morning Zen posts and other communicative means.
Mattie Shaw is currently attending the University of South Florida, pursuing a Master of Science degree in Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health. Mattie is concentrating on Leadership while also pursuing a graduate certificate in Children’s Mental Health. Mattie has a passion for mental health advocacy and is working toward becoming a program supervisor for a residential facility. Mattie will be researching how COVID-19 has impacted residential facilities, and what these facilities are doing to remain open and functioning. Concepts such as social distancing have caused challenges for these residential facilities. The purpose of this project is to research those challenges further and articulate what solutions can make a difference during and after this pandemic. Mattie is excited to be a part of such a relevant and vital topic, and be able to assist the Children’s Mental Health Network in providing recent, and up-to-date information to the community on the impact COVID-19 is having on residential facilities.
Heather Smith is currently attending the University of South Florida pursuing a Master of Science degree program in Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health. Heather has a keen interest in being involved in program and policy creation for high risk youth in the foster care system. This project will assist the Children’s Mental Health Network in identifying locations across the United States with high suicide rates. Once cities with a substantially high suicide rate per capita are identified, there will be further study to determine if there are cluster locations where a high number of suicides occur. The project will also assist the Children’s Mental Health Network in developing outreach plans for community leaders to better address suicide attempts at these locations.
Anna Tedder is in the Master of Science degree program in Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health with a concentration in Youth Mental Health. Throughout her career, she has worked with children and adults with developmental disabilities who also have mental and behavioral health challenges. She currently works in a Florida school district as a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst in the Alternative Education Department. Her primary focus is working with elementary schools to provide training and support to teachers working with students who have experienced significant trauma, have been diagnosed with a mental health or behavioral disorder as well as those students who struggle with being able to remain in the general education classroom due to disruptive or aggressive behavior. During her internship, Anna will be researching prevention and early intervention programs that can be utilized within the school system, their successes, and the barriers keeping schools from being able to implement these programs. As Anna’s goal is to help facilitate the implementation of early intervention and prevention programs within the school system, she is excited to be working with Children’s Mental Health Network to research effective programs and provide evidence-based support for the adoption of these programs by school districts.
Haley Vernoy is currently attending the University of South Florida pursuing a Master of Science degree program in Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health. Most of Haley’s career has been as a clinical RN working with Open Heart and Cardiac ICU patients, and now she works in Orthopedics. She is continuing on for her Master’s in Behavioral Science with the hopes to become an advocate for children with mental health related disorders in her community. Haley will be working on examining how the 21st Century Cures Act has impacted the mental health arena, more specifically the current function of the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee.
Read more about her field placement work in her post, "Reflections on Policy, Process and the ISMIC."