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Extension > Family > Children, Youth & Family Consortium > Publications > CYFC Update > CYFC Update — May-June 2018

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CYFC Update

CYFC Update — May-June 2018

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Promoting mental health and wellness: Extension CYFC co-hosts Dr. Corey Keyes

By Cari Michaels, Extension educator in Children, Youth & Family Consortium

Dr. Corey Keyes

Early May was an exciting time for those of us with the Extension Children, Youth & Family Consortium (CYFC). We were fortunate to co-host two appearances in Minnesota by Corey Keyes, Ph.D., an international researcher and thought leader on mental health, for two special events.

On May 1, Minnesota leaders from local and state government, public health, mental health, health care, education and businesses gathered to learn from Dr. Keyes about the implications of promoting mental well-being for their organizations. His presentation, titled "Mental Well-Being Matters", addressed the question: How can we improve Minnesota's performance in education, business, chronic disease, substance abuse prevention, mental health violence prevention, and youth development for the benefit of better mental well-being for all?

The event built on recent research about trauma, resilience, positive psychology and well-being for individuals and communities. It was held amid growing concerns about mental health across sectors and as Minnesotans are asking how our organizations can better promote mental well-being and resilience. In a World Cafe discussion, more than 125 Minnesota organizational leaders addressed questions such as: How does a focus on mental well-being differ from business as usual? How do we need to change our way of delivering services?

Event hosts will compile and share the day's conversations with attendees in order to encourage creative change in policies and practices within represented organizations. This event was co-hosted by Extension CYFC, the Minnesota Department of Health, the Network for Public Health Law, and Hennepin County Public Health Promotion.

On May 3, the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Family Development hosted Dr. Keyes as a keynote speaker as part of the 2018 National Health Outreach Conference. The event, titled "Engaging in a Culture of Health: Making Waves in the Land of 10,000 Lakes", brought together stakeholders and partners from across the nation and Extension to explore transformative approaches for improving community health. Dr. Keyes' presentation, titled "We Cannot Treat Our Way Out of the Problem of Mental Illness: Promotion and Protection of Positive Mental Health", helped participants think more deeply about moving from mental wellness research to community action.

Dr. Keyes introduced the concepts of "languishing" and "flourishing" mental health and emphasized the urgent need to recognize, measure and promote mental wellness. His research, theoretical framework, and call to action have provided a conceptual model and grounding evidence for Extension CYFC's mental health work.

Learn more about Extension CYFC's public health approach to mental health. Join Extension CYFC in promoting mental health and wellness! Complete this contact form.

CYFC Program Updates and News

CYFC welcomes two new staff members

Maya Greifer

Maya Greifer has joined Extension Children, Youth & Family Consortium as a graduate research assistant. Her work will focus on supporting the Scholar in Residence Program, which includes coordinating and planning the Lessons from the Field seminar series, co-authoring the Children's Mental Health eReview, and creating other early childhood mental health educational tools for Minnesota communities.

Maya is currently a graduate student in the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health, pursuing a master's degree in public health administration and policy. She has previous experience with advocacy work related to children's health, and she has completed internships at the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Michigan Head Start Association. Before starting graduate school, Maya taught English for two years in Spain and Colombia.

Belle Swanby

Belle Swanby has been with Extension for 31 years, starting in St. Louis County, then Hennepin County. Most recently she has provided administrative and database support on the St. Paul campus. We are fortunate to have Belle's assistance with all our Extension CYFC projects!

CYFC posts new videos on LGBT people in rural environments

As part of its 2016-2017 Scholar in Residence Program, Extension CYFC produced five short videos featuring researchers from land-grant universities across the country. These researchers served as panelists at the October 11, 2017 University of Minnesota Extension Program Conference in a presentation titled "Health, Well-being and Economic Opportunity for LGBT People in Rural Environments". Jenifer McGuire, Ph.D., associate professor with the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development, served as Extension CYFC Scholar in Residence at this time.

We invite you to view all five videos on the Extension CYFC YouTube channel, or via the links below. You may also find related resources in CYFC's Transgender Toolkit.

Meeting the needs of transgender youth in rural contexts — Jenifer McGuire, Ph.D., MPH, University of Minnesota

How communities are organized to meet the needs of rural LGBT-parent families — Ramona Faith Oswald, Ph.D., University of Illinois

Health and mental health for LGBT persons in rural contextsCourtney Cuthbertson, Ph.D., Michigan State University

Helping rural families when a youth comes out as LGBT — Erika Grafsky, Ph.D., Virginia Tech

Appearance issues of LGBT individualsAndy Reilly, Ph.D., University of Hawaii

Save the date for Lessons from the Field

This year's Lessons from the Field is set for October 29. The event will be part of a two-day conference focused on infant and early childhood mental health. The conference is sponsored by the Minnesota Association for Children's Mental Health - Infant and Early Childhood (MACMH-IEC) and the University of Minnesota's Center for Early Education and Development (CEED).

Join us to increase your understanding of how to better support very young children and their families. You will gain knowledge and skills through a developmental lens. Watch for more information on the MACMH-IEC website!

The first half of the day will be available to host site participants across Minnesota. Interested in being a host site? Contact Maya Greifer at

Community Events

Following are a selection of upcoming events that we think CYFC constituents may be interested in. Brief descriptions are provided, and we encourage you to follow up with the sponsoring organizations to learn more.

MDH learning community focuses on trauma-sensitive practices in schools

MDH learning community focuses on trauma-sensitive practices in schools

You're welcome to join the next Mental Well-Being and Resilience Learning Community statewide webinar and local discussion on "Enhancing Trauma-Sensitive and Compassionate Practices in Schools". Each location has a host who can access and broadcast the webinar, which is set for 10 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, May 24. The two presenters, Sharleen Zeman-Sperle and Stacy Bender-Fayette, are from Peacemaker Resources. Register for the May 24 webinar, view locations near you, and learn more about the learning community, including past and upcoming presenters. You may also contact Anna Lynn at or (651) 201-3627 for more information.

Family Acceptance Project training set for June 2

The Family Acceptance Project is an award-winning research and intervention initiative that established the field of family acceptance and support to prevent risk and promote well-being for diverse LGBTQ children and youth. The organization is hosting its first day-long training in the Twin Cities from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, June 2. The location has yet to be determined. Visit the Family Acceptance Project website to register and learn more.

Beyond the Baby Blues Conference planned for June 7

The Beyond the Baby Blues Conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday, June 7, at the University of Minnesota Continuing Education Center in St. Paul. This day-long event is designed to educate professionals and families about mood disorders and anxiety before, during and after pregnancy. Key sponsors are NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Minnesota, the University of Minnesota School of Social Work, and Postpartum Support International. Jamie Zahlaway Belsito of Effie's Grace will be the keynote speaker. Register and learn more about the conference.

Minnesota Early Intervention Summer Institute to be held June 19-20

The annual Minnesota Early Intervention Summer Institute for early childhood professionals will take place June 19-20 at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota. This year's keynote addresses are titled "Laying the Foundation for a Student's Life After Transition" and "Disrupting Racial Bias in Early Education Settings". Register and learn more about this two-day event.

Fourth International African Mental Health Summit scheduled July 12-14

The Fourth International African Mental Health Summit will take place July 12-14 at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul. The summit will examine issues, challenges and prospects related to the mental health and well-being of Africans in diaspora. Visit the summit home page for pictures from past summits and a continually updated schedule of events. Go to this website to register for this summer's summit.

Prenatal to Three Policy Forum set for July 16

The summer Prenatal to Three Policy Forum will take place from 9 a.m. to noon, Monday, July 16, at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. This forum is a quarterly event co-founded by Minnesota State Representative Dave Pinto and Elders for Infants. Visit this Prenatal to Three Policy Forum web page to register for the summer forum, starting in early June.

Building Sustainable Communities workshop planned for July 19

A workshop titled "Building Sustainable Communities" is planned for 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., Thursday, July 19 at the Washburn Center for Children in Minneapolis. The workshop will focus on key components of thriving communities and address issues of race, ethnicity, class and gender in our communities. The idea is to begin taking intentional strides toward the multicultural Minnesota we can all be proud of. Learn more and register for the event.

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