DASH Partner Update – July 2021

Division of Adolescent and School Health: Healthy Youth. Successful Futures.

Dear Partners,

For many, summer is a time to rest and recharge before the coming school year. Now that we’re vaccinated, my spouse and I took the opportunity to travel to the Northeast to visit family, see friends, and spend some time on the beautiful coast of Maine and at Acadia National Park. This was not only our first vacation since the start of the pandemic, but also the first time I’ve been able to see either of my parents in more than 18 months. I know many of you are experiencing the same kinds of relief and joy, while also continuing to be concerned about the on-going pandemic.

After an extremely difficult school year for many, students across the country are off to camp, new destinations, families’ homes, summer jobs, and more. Teachers and staff are getting a well-deserved respite. For many working in schools and public health, however, this summer is also a time for planning and preparation for the school year to come. This year is a particularly important back-to-school season as it marks a return to in-person learning for many students. In DASH, we are balancing the need for rest and relaxation with the critical work of preparing for students’ return. We are ready to support our funded school districts, partners, and communities as we all continue to help youth recover from the pandemic.

Before we all dive into this important work, I hope that you can take some time to recharge and renew this summer, wherever you are. You deserve it.


Kathleen A. Ethier, Ph.D.
Director, Division of Adolescent and School Health
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

What's New at CDC?
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Updates and Resources

Updates from Partners

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  • Supporting Mental Health in Schools
    The American Academy of Pediatrics, in collaboration with the National Center for School Mental Health and with support from the CDC, released a report on supporting mental health in schoolspdf iconexternal icon. This report highlights core features of a comprehensive school mental health system and how to operationalize these core features in schools.
  • The National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health
    The Trevor Project released findings of its third annual National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Healthexternal icon. Results demonstrate the need for greater investment in mental health care and intersectional policy solutions to confront the public health crisis of suicide.
  • Notes from the Backpack: Healthy Minds Miniseries
    The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) released a Backpack Notes podcast miniseries focused on mental health and social emotional wellbeing. Visit webpageexternal icon for conversations with expert guests providing the information needed to help families thrive!

In the Field

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To expand opportunities for social and emotional learning (SEL) and connections to peers and trusted adults, Orange County Public Schools designed student-led SEL Clubs to be hosted in every secondary school in the district. Clubs have taken off in 29 of 47 middle schools and 12 of 20 high schools. Across the district, students lead each meeting with the purpose of building environments in which the value of each person is recognized. In addition to providing safe and supportive environments for students to express themselves and practice important social and emotional skills, SEL clubs give students opportunities to foster their sense of purpose, self-esteem, and agency.


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  • September is Sexual Health Month
  • September is Suicide Prevention Month