March 2016

Cities begin to challenge a bedrock of justice: They’re paying criminals not to kill [Washington Post]

RICHMOND, Calif. — The odds were good that Lonnie Holmes, 21, would be the next person to kill or be killed in this working-class suburb north of San Francisco. Four of his cousins had died in shootings. He was a passenger in a car involved in a drive-by shooting, police said. And he was arrested for carrying a loaded gun. But when Holmes was released from prison last year, officials in this city offered something unusual to try to keep him alive: money. They began paying Holmes as much as...

President’s Task Force Aims To Help End Discrimination In Mental Health Coverage [KHN.org]

Tucked in remarks the president made Tuesday on the opioid epidemic was his announcement of a new task force on mental health parity — aimed at ensuring that people with mental illnesses and substance abuse problems don’t face discrimination in the health care system. Despite a landmark 2008 law intended to do just that, enforcement has been paltry, and advocates say discrimination has continued. “The goal of the task force is to essentially develop a set of tools, guidelines, mechanisms so...

10 Photos That Perfectly Illustrate The Reality Of Mental Illness [HuffingtonPost.com]

Sometimes a photo can express more than words ever can. That’s especially true when it comes to mental health conditions, which are challenging to explain to those who don’t understand what it’s like to experience them. Despite the fact that these disorders bring about crippling physical and emotional symptoms, the illnesses often are “invisible” to the naked eye — and that can perpetuate negative stereotypes that someone’s suffering is “all in their head.” Enter these stunning photos,...

Solitary Confinement: Traumatising But Useless [JJIE.org]

Solitary confinement is a practice that has been used in the U.S. prison system since 1829. It is based on a Quaker belief that prisoners isolated in stone cells with only a Bible use the time to repent, pray and find introspection. In other words, it would give the individual the opportunity to learn a lesson from the experience. By 1890, reports showed that many of the inmates went insane, committed suicide or were no longer able to function in society. When I was incarcerated in the Iowa...

MARC Advisor: Brenda Jones Harden, PhD

Years before anyone had heard of ACEs, Brenda Jones Harden was a social worker in the child welfare system. She worked with children who had spent their lives in foster care, children whose parents died young from drugs or disease or street violence. “I thought: Here are the children who are the most vulnerable. Not only are they poor, not only do they have educational problems, but they have been traumatized. It made me want to devote the rest of my career to these children.” Brenda began...

The Taboo of Being a Human Pacifier [TheAtlantic.com]

One of the first pieces of advice I received as a new mother was to never let my baby use me as a pacifier. I took this advice to heart, resolving to keep my daughter on an ironclad feeding schedule: once every two hours, 20 minutes on each side, so regular that I may as well have asked her to punch in and out at each shift. Even with these strict self-imposed limits, breastfeeding was more of a commitment than I had anticipated. For the next few weeks I barely left the house so that I could...

Humanizing Homelessness at the San Francisco Public Library [CityLab.com]

Leah Esguerra, a social worker in San Francisco, begins her workday roaming in between the bookshelves at the city's Main Library. She's looking for homeless people who need her assistance. Esguerra is the nation's first library social worker. Since 2009, she's been providing social services and outreach programs to many of the city’s homeless patrons. On this particular rainy morning, she’s hoping to find her client, John, who suffers from depression and is in need of mental health care and...

Meeting Students Where They Are [LinkedIn.com]

When I was applying to college, I wanted to go to one of the best schools. At the time, I thought of “the best,” as the colleges that were the most selective. I applied to Harvard, Yale, and Princeton—schools whose reputations are burnished as much by the huge numbers of applicants who are denied admission, as the privileged few who are let in. But over the years I’ve learned that there are many other ways to measure what makes a school great. Institutions like Harvard (where I ended up...

More Than 500,000 Americans Stand to Lose SNAP Benefits [CityLab.com]

On April 1, at least half a million Americans will wake up no longer eligible for the food assistance benefits that have, for decades, been a crucial lifeline for the poor in a harsh economic landscape. A clause in the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act limited Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to three months in any given 36-month period for unemployed adults between the ages of 18 and 49 who are not working or enrolled in a job-training or...

With Liberty and Civic Engagement for Some [PSMag.com]

A dozen old, white, property-owning men sit around a pub and decide how best to govern America. Is this the scene of a town hall during the American Revolution or a local city council meeting today? It could be either. And that's a problem. The reality is that most public meetings still skew older, whiter, and wealthier. When city planning meetings or budget committee hearings attract such a narrow minority of the population, policy decisions that tend to favor the few at the expense of the...

Prison Girlfriends and Wives [PSMag.com]

The vast majority of the roughly 2.3 million incarcerated Americans are male. For the inmates' girlfriends and wives, this creates complications—romantic and otherwise. Women bear nearly 90 percent of the costs of calls and visits with inmates, according to the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights; worse, two in three families of inmates report difficulty affording housing and food as a result of their loved one's incarceration. Many women find support through online groups like Strong Prison...

Why Do Breakups Hurt Some People More Than Others? [HuffingtonPost.com]

Breakups aren’t easy for anyone, but have you ever noticed that some people seem to cope with them better than others? While some who’ve loved and lost are barely able to get out of bed, others appear to bounce back immediately. Of course, every relationship is unique, and when one ends, we can expect our emotions to reflect the specific circumstances. However, certain people have the inherent tendency to suffer from romantic loss more than others, and research suggests that this might have...

Study Shows Therapeutic Horseback Riding Significantly Decreases PTSD Symptoms in Military Veterans [EquineChronicle.com]

University of Missouri-Columbia, College of Veterinary Medicine recently reported on findings from their research related to military veterans with symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The study investigated if participation in a structured, six-week therapeutic horseback riding (THR) program decreased PTSD symptoms, as well as improved self-efficacy, emotion regulation, and social engagement among veterans. The project was funded through a grant from the Horses and Humans...

Lessons already learned...

When I worked in juvenile justice I would often hear the rational for sending a youth to detention was to "teach a lesson" or "give the youth pause". Yes, detention is a service that is sometimes needed to protect a youth and protect the greater community from harm, however; it should not be leveraged to "teach a lesson" or "give pause". Consider how well using detention to teach a lesson works for a youth who has experienced ACEs and/or is in foster care. Detention teaches a lesson through-...

New Alaska ACEs data reinforces importance of investment in early childhood

Pat Sidmore, our expert for all things data and ACEs and a planner for the Alaska Mental Health Board, Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, has collected new data that outlines when Alaska's children (0-17) acquire their ACEs. The slide below paints a pretty grim picture showing that our children are accumulating 50 percent of their ACEs before the age of 3, and more than 26% of them before the age of 1. Please feel free to share this slide as you see fit.

×
×
×
×