January 2016

AVA Regional Academies: Building Trauma-Informed, Resilient, and Healthy Communities

Last week, I was fortunate to be a part of a small group of professionals in San Diego to attend the Academy on Violence and Abuse preconference session for the 30 th Annual San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment. The conference draws over 1,800 professionals in the maltreatment field from around the world each year. The session, titled: Building Trauma Informed, Resilience, and Healthy Communities: Regional, National, and Global Perspectives , had an ambitious...

Raising of America offering free screening of all five episodes

From Feb. 1 - 15, you'll be able to screen, for free, all five episodes of Raising of America , the five-part documentary about early childhood and the future of the U.S., from the Raising of America web site .  If you'd rather attend a screening, check out the list of upcoming events here  to see if there's one near you. You can also find out if your local PBS station will be showing it here ; some PBS stations are hosting live in-studio discussion after the broadcast. ...

Free screening of "Resilience" at the Santa Barbara Int'l Film Festival Feb. 4

Yes, that's at 2 p.m. this Thursday at the Lobero Theater , California's oldest, continuously operating theatre! James Redford, who directed  Resilience , will be doing a Q-and-A following the screening on Thursday. (He will not attend the Friday screening.) Resilience premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, Jan. 22 , followed by several more screenings last week.   Here's the description from the Resilience page on the Santa Barbara International Film Festival web...

Mental Health Shortages, Sheriffs & Children

I attended Syl Jone's play BECAUSE at the Mixed Blood Theatre last week.   It's a moving piece that explores living with mental health issues from multiple perspectives leaving the audience with a personal sense of what it's like to be this person, live with this person and understand this person .   Syl is now the Resident Fellow for Narrative Health at HCMC (I think every hospital should have such a position - how else can these stories be told?) I asked Syl at the play if he...

Reading the Signs of Trauma

I lived in Kotzebue, AK, for four months. One reason I was attracted to the community was an opportunity to introduce the concept of childhood trauma and ACEs. I did that. The Northwest Arctic School District had a wonderful and compassionate superintendent, Dr. Norm Eck. I had a few conversations with Dr. Eck about ACEs and how it affects children as they become adults. Dr. Eck accepted the information and had plans to examine it more deeply, but eventually retired and the spread of...

California Gov. Jerry Brown Backs No More Automatic Adult Charges for Teens in New Initiative [JJIE.org]

Under pressure from the courts to reduce his state’s prison population, California Gov. Jerry Brown has thrown his support behind a plan that’s likely to slash the number of teens who get prosecuted as adults. If approved by voters, the Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016 would block district attorneys from charging a suspect under 18 as an adult. Instead, a judge would decide whether teens accused of a violent crime should stand trial as an adult. Those measures are...

Effort to Arrest Fewer Youth [NPR.org]

Is there ever a “good” youth arrest? Even without the use of excessive force, arrest can prove traumatic and destructive and the effects long lasting. One police leader from a small Pennsylvania town recounted the story of a young person who lost his promising future, with a merit-based scholarship to a four-year college, when police arrested him and charged him with a curfew violation. He spent no time in a detention center, but his criminal record, even for a status offense,...

Indiana to provide treatment to mentally ill prisoners under settlement [IndyStar.com]

A court settlement reached this week transforms the way Indiana treats prisoners with serious mental illnesses, ending practices that often worsened their symptoms and sometimes led to suicide, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana. Under the agreement, prisoners with serious mental illnesses will receive better access to mental health care and, with few exceptions, will no longer be held in solitary confinement in state correctional facilities. The...

De Blasio’s Wife and Council Members Share Personal Stories at Mental Health Hearing [NYTimes.com]

Amid the stats and figures, dot-driven maps of New York City and questions about the minutiae of neighborhood issues, a hearing at the City Council on Thursday included more than the usual amount of personal revelation from Council members. One spoke of his struggles with alcoholism that nearly derailed his life as a young man. Another of a family friend who died of opioid addiction. Another, the suicide of a friend. Listening attentively to the outpouring was Chirlane McCray , the first...

Free Webinars Promoting Resilience

Registration is open for our webinars! The Devereux Center for Resilient Children has posted its FREE webinar schedule through June 2016. Register now to learn the most up-to-date information on promoting resilience in infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school-age youth, adults, and families!   http://www.centerforresilientchildren.org/home/informational-webinars/  

The New Yorker Quote Critical of ACE

Has anyone else read the Jill Lepore piece in the New Yorker which mentions ACE scores? It's entitled, "Annals of Children's Welfare. Baby Doe. A Political History of Tragedy" and while I don't agree with every word it's well-written and worthy of a close read. Notably, it mentions adverse childhood experiences and ACE scores. Lepore wrote: "The murky science of risk assessment relies on attempts to quantify “trauma” and “adversity,” which, on the one hand, are...

The 7 Habits of Socially Connected People [PsychCentral.com]

Some people may be naturally gregarious and easily find themselves socially connected. For most of us, feeling truly integrated into a social scene takes some effort. Luckily, there are predictable patterns to social success. Do certain things, and people will be drawn to you. [For more of this story, written by Kira Asatryan, go to http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2016/01/28/the-7-habits-of-socially-connected-people/]

Oakland pledges to fund college for poor [SFGate.com]

Oakland will launch a citywide effort Thursday to triple the number of college graduates coming out of public schools, an ambitious and expensive “cradle to career” plan that aims to reverse cycles of poverty and hopelessness by raising expectations that all children can thrive in school. The centerpiece of the Oakland Promise initiative is an infusion of grants, ranging from $500 college savings accounts for children born into poverty to college scholarships of up to $16,000 for...

How to Survive Solitary Confinement [Nautil.us]

With a sigh, Johnny Perez rises from his plastic chair, unfolds his lanky frame and extends his wingspan until the tips of his middle fingers graze the walls. “It was from here to here,” he says. “I know because I used to do this all the time.” Until recently, these measurements—10 feet by 6 feet—fit his entire life. Two years ago, Perez was released on parole after serving 13 years at Rikers Island penitentiary and prisons in upstate New York, three of...

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