March 2018

White Denial is an American Tradition: It’s Time to Bury It [Medium.com]

No matter the poll, no matter the year, and no matter the conditions of life in America for people of color, white folks have rarely ever believed racism to be much of a problem. Nothing shocking there, I suppose. Whenever a system works to your benefit, taking that system for granted becomes second nature. We don’t see what others who are harmed by that system see, because we don’t have to. Most slaveowners never questioned the legitimacy of their system, and most whites — including those...

Talking ACEs

It’s two plus weeks since Oprah talked developmental trauma on 60 Minutes and introduced the world to the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study and ACE Quiz o n national television. I’m still flying high and committed to 30 days of posts about developmental trauma from ACEs. However, it is time for some digital diversity and the brilliant and varied voices of ACEs experts. These talks are all available online, for free, and can be understood whether one has a Ph.D. or PTSD – or both.

Why do all these #ACEs affect the brain in similar ways?

Many people ask me: How is it that what we might think of as less severe or “milder” trauma (living w/ depressed or alcoholic or verbally abusive parent) can change the brain in the same way as physical or sexual abuse? WHY do all these # ACEs affect the brain in similar ways? We know that kids who are growing up with what we might think of as more common, living room variety traumas, such as a depressed or alcoholic parent, or being chronically put down, or humiliated by a p arent, or...

Koontz: Teacher, student relationships key to overcoming trauma [salisburypost.com]

SALISBURY — Sometimes, all it takes to change a child’s life is a relationship. Over the past year, Koontz Elementary School has been building a trauma-focused and resiliency program to help students who have experienced extreme difficulty in life. One piece of that is a partnership with the Public School Forum of N.C., which is helping the school come up with strategies to combat adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs. The other is a new partnership with the University of North Carolina at...

Gov. Reynolds signs Iowa mental health, suicide prevention bills in emotional ceremony [desmoinesregister.com]

Gov. Kim Reynolds signed bills Thursday that make sweeping changes in Iowa's mental health system and which require suicide prevention training for school employees. More than 200 people attended an emotional bill-signing ceremony in the Iowa Capitol Rotunda where Reynolds was joined by parents and other family members of people who have experienced mental illness, including some who have taken their own lives. Many legislators, advocates,and other officials, including county sheriffs who...

Funeral For Stephon Clark Held As Sacramento Unrest Continues [npr.org]

Friends and family converged at a Sacramento, Calif. church Thursday for Stephon Clark's funeral. The city has experienced nearly two weeks of continuous unrest after the shooting of the 22-year-old Clark, an unarmed black man, by two police officers. Dozens were unable to get in and waited outside during the services. Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg attended the services. Rev. Al Sharpton spoke as did the family. [For more on this story by NICK MILLER, go to...

Trauma-Responsive Education Is Changing School Culture

My involvement with Topper Academy began when the vice-mayor told me that a new principal was coming to the alternative high school and she asked if I would reach out to her regarding trauma-informed education. So, I invited Melanie Riden-Bacon (Mrs. RB ) to attend the four-hour, trauma-informed training. I noticed by the end of the training that she had tears in her eyes.

How Will The "New" War On Drugs Impact Communities of Color? [thefix.com]

Since President Trump announced his plan to address the national opioid crisis on March 19, drug policy experts have tried to unpack the president’s promises, and gauge where this "new" approach will take us. One writer, Vann R. Newkirk II, who covers politics and policy at The Atlantic, analyzed Trump’s opioid plan from the viewpoint of Americans of color , the very people who were devastated by the “War on Drugs” declared by former President Richard Nixon in 1971. It’s important to ask how...

For Abuse Survivors, Custody Remains a Means by Which Their Abusers can Retain Control [psmag.com]

After 15 years of estrangement following the birth of her son, Paulette found her ex, Steve, creeping back into her life. Steve used kind gestures: buying her flowers, cooking for her and her son, Luke, and fixing up her kitchen and patio. Eventually, Steve succeeded in getting Paulette to let her guard down and to fall in love with him. Months later, in August of 2015, Paulette and Steve were married. But Paulette quickly learned that Steve wasn't all romance—in fact, he was controlling,...

The Diet That Might Cure Depression [theatlantic.com]

At the turn of the 20th century, prominent physicians who were trying to understand where mental illness comes from seized on a new theory: autointoxication. Intestinal microbes, these doctors suggested, are actually dangerous to their human hosts. They have a way of inducing “fatigue, melancholia, and the neuroses,” as a historical article in the journal Gut Pathogensrecounts. “The control of man’s diet is readily accomplished, but mastery over his intestinal bacterial flora is not,” wrote...

Childhood Obesity May Be Driving More Cancers in Young Adults [health.usnews.com]

THURSDAY, March 29, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Obesity rates in children have been rising for years, and the consequences of that extra weight may be showing up in cancer cases. A new review found that certain cancers associated with people over 50 now affect people at younger ages more frequently. And obesity may be to blame. Of the 20 most common cancers in the United States, the study found that nine are occurring in young adults. Approximately one in four new thyroid cancers were diagnosed...

More Second Chances for Washington Youth with New Juvenile Justice Diversion Law [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

Advocates in Washington state are cheering the recent passage of a newly signed bill that aims to bolster the state’s efforts to divert youth from the juvenile justice system by broadening the types of cases eligible for diversion and strengthening the network of community-based service providers. A major aim of Senate Bill 6550 is to ensure Washington’s kids can receive supportive services closer to home, which has been shown to decrease recidivism in juvenile offenders. It also provides...

Mortality Rates for Substance Abuse, Self-Harm On the Rise [mdmag.com]

Mortality rates and trends in the United States due to drug use disorders have increased nationally since 1980, and while rates due to alcohol use disorders and self-harm have decreased, they are on an upward trend since 2000. These rates, including those due to interpersonal violence, also vary drastically in terms of geography, down to the county level, according to an analysis of data from 1980 to 2014. The analysis, led by Laura Dwyer-Lindgren, PhD, an assistant professor at the...

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