January 2017

Why You May Love TRE

I had a tremendous amount of response from many of you to my blog post last week about TRE (tension, stress & trauma release exercise) . So I’ve decided to continue with that theme this week! There are lots of benefits to TRE, but the main reason I love it is because it helped me realize the complex relationship between my muscles, brain, and nervous system. These three kept me safe as a child, and they have continued to protect me during the dark, messy parts of my healing journey. TRE...

We’re Giving the Most Vulnerable People the Most Potent Opioid Painkiller Prescriptions [PSMag.com]

Every medicine has the possibility of harmful side effects, but for painkillers like OxyContin and Percocet, that potential is perhaps more dramatic than most. So you might think that, when prescribing such drugs, doctors select their patients carefully. But, according to new research, that’s not the case. A growing body of studies finds that those with mental-health diagnoses such as anxiety, depression, alcohol and other drug addictions, and even opioid addictions are far more likely than...

Families of Rikers Island Inmates: A Photographer’s Focus [JJIE.org]

Every day an estimated 1,500 family members and friends of those incarcerated on New York’s Rikers Island visit their loved ones. The only way on and off the island for visitors is to take the Q100 bus across the bridge. For several months, Queen-based photographer Salvador Espinoza rode the bus back and forth, documenting the stories of the people, mostly women and children, who visit the more than 10,000 people who are detained each day at the jail. He recently exhibited his photography,...

The “Hope Beyond Hurt” Poster Now Available in Spanish/El póster "Hope Beyond Hurt" (Hay esperanza después del sufrimiento) ahora disponible en español

[Scroll down to see English translation]. National Council colaboró con el Fondo Nacional de Beneficio Comunitario de Kaiser Permanente para producir "Hay esperanza después del sufrimiento", un póster promocional que alienta a los sobrevivientes de traumas a buscar servicios de terapia y apoyo a fin de llevar una vida más plena y más saludable. Hoy, estamos felices de anunciar que el póster está disponible en español . Los proveedores de atención de las comunidades Latinos pueden enfrentar...

SAMHSA’s Rose-Colored Lens [MadInAmerica.com]

The US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) should be commended for its attempt to provide a basic understanding of recovery-oriented care, and its attempt to bring recovery-oriented practice into the mainstream of professional practice. To that end, it has produced a series of online training modules for peers, social workers, nurses, psychologists and psychiatrists. It has done this in collaboration with related national professional and peer organizations. I...

The Human Toll of Protecting the Internet from the Worst of Humanity [NewYorker.com]

Henry Soto worked for Microsoft’s online-safety team, in Seattle, for eight years. He reviewed objectionable material on Microsoft’s products—Bing, the cloud-storage service OneDrive, and Xbox Live among them—and decided whether to delete it or report it to the police. Each day, Soto looked at thousands of disturbing images and videos, which included depictions of killings and child abuse. Particularly traumatic was a video of a girl being sexually abused and then murdered. The work took a...

6 Ways to Banish Anxiety and Speak Up In Meetings at Work [PsychCentral.com]

Another meeting is coming up at work, and you’re dreading it. Like so many professionals — probably many more than you realize  —  it’s not a comfortable environment for you. Maybe you’re shy, introverted, or you genuinely enjoy listening to others’ ideas. Perhaps it’s important to you to show respect by deferring to the leaders at the table. Situational factors can play a part, too. Certain co-workers may dominate the discussion, not allowing you to get a word in edgewise. Whatever the...

Radio for Good [SSIR.org]

His radio debut may have been only a few months ago, but in that time Philip, a young man with a broad grin and a genial delivery that holds your attention, has come a long way. “When I listen [to my early shows], I can hear that I was a bit overexuberant. Now, I take my time and make sure that my recording levels are right, that things fade in and out correctly,” he says. Philip’s progress from novice to accomplished broadcaster is exactly what you would expect of a keen intern on a...

There are 63,000 homeless children in school in LA County [SCPR.com]

A tally across L.A. County's public and charter schools counted nearly 63,000 homeless students last school year, 2015-2016. That’s about a 17 percent jump from the prior school year's count of 54,000 kids. "Even though we're supposed to be in a better place, financially as a country, that hasn't really rolled down to our families," said Melissa Schoonmaker, homeless liaison with the L.A. County Office of Education, which collects the numbers. A fraction of the rise, she said, could be...

Adversity Inspires Politically Polarized Attitudes [PSMag.com]

Many reasons have been offered for the increasing polarization of political attitudes . Now, a new study uncovers a different, more personal catalyst for moving to the far left or right. It finds people who have experienced significant adversity in their lives are more likely to gravitate toward an extreme spot on the ideological spectrum. This appears to be an example of “ compensatory affirmation ” — the widely reported tendency of people to respond to uncertainty or fear by clinging more...

How to Avoid Being Psychologically Destroyed by Your Newsfeed

Excerpt from this blog post, which I wrote earlier today: "This past week has been brutal, in terms of what has been coming across my newsfeed. And 2016 wasn't exactly a picnic either. So lately I've been thinking a lot about the mental health impact of a steady avalanche of Really Bad News. Many of us (myself included) deal with mental health challenges on a daily basis and being fed a steady diet of devastating world events only serves to make that harder. So I've decided to share a few...

Illinois Governor Signs Law to Include Social-Emotional Screening in School Health Exams

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and Diana Rauner, President of Ounce of Prevention Fund _____________________________________________ Consistent with being the first state to adopt standards for social emotional learning (SEL) in the country, Illinois recently passed legislation (SB 565, Public Act 99-0927 ) to require social and emotional screenings for children as part of the their school entry examinations. Governor Rauner (R) signed the bill on January 20. It goes into effect June 1 of...

How Parents Can Identify Mental Health Problems in Their College Kids [Health.USNews.com]

As a parent, you’ve watched your child grow from infancy to adolescence and now your son or daughter is entering a whole new world. While most kids will get through college just fine, others find themselves on a different, more precarious path. According to the latest results from the National College Health Assessment , many college students experience mental health difficulties. More than 1 in 5 felt overwhelming anxiety in the 12 months prior to the survey. In addition, 18 percent felt...

Chronic Bullying Can Show Up in Report Cards [Consumer.Healthday.com]

Chronic bullying can take a toll on kids' grades. That's the suggestion of researchers said they found that young children who are bullied for years, or teens who face increased bullying in high school, lack confidence in their academic abilities, get lower grades and dislike school more than their peers. "It's extremely disturbing how many children felt bullied at school," said lead researcher Gary Ladd, a psychology professor at Arizona State University. "For teachers and parents, it's...

Was Jesus' ministry trauma-informed [part 5]: Reflections on the Lord's Prayer

In prior posts in this series, I focused on understanding Jesus' ministry through the lens of trauma-informed ministry practices. Starting with this post, I hope to engage specific teachings of Jesus and show how in my ministry to emotionally disturbed children, many of whom have experienced early childhood trauma, where the proverbial "rubber meets the road." That is, having laid out biblical points of connection between SAMHSA's guidelines for trauma-informed care, I hope to give practical...

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