April 2016

Teen Birth Rate at Record Low in U.S. [Consumer.HealthDay.com]

The teen birth rate in the United States has reached an all-time low, driven by dramatic declines among black and Hispanic teens, according to a new government report. Overall, the birth rate for teens aged 15 to 19 declined 41 percent between 2006 and 2014 -- dropping from 41.1 live births per 1,000 females down to 24.2, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The greatest declines occurred for Hispanic teens and black teens, where the rates fell by 51 percent and...

States Could Not Terminate Medicaid for Juveniles in Custody Under Bill [JJIE.org]

States would be prohibited from terminating Medicaid coverage for incarcerated juveniles under legislation introduced today in the House and Senate. States could suspend coverage while juveniles were in custody rather than cutting off their coverage, a change the bill’s sponsors said would ensure a smooth transition for youth as they re-enter the community. States would be required to automatically restore Medicaid enrollment when a juvenile was released. Many juveniles rely on Medicaid...

Early, Individualized Interventions Key to Reentry Success, Report Says [JJIE.org]

Former offenders need timely, individualized reentry paths that focus on career development, a new report by ICF International says. Too often, the hundreds of thousands of people returning from prison each year are unable to find employment, a situation compounded by trouble securing housing, health care and transportation — all factors that increase the likelihood of recidivism. “All they’ve got is a criminal record. That’s all anyone can see,” said Brent Orrell, a family and economic...

What’s it really like to work in high risk, vulnerable helping professions with clients who experience primary trauma?

Portraits of Professional Caregivers: Their Passion Their Pain is an award winning documentary film that is enjoying screenings at a number of community and professional events, including The ACES Film Festival, and state and national conferences, such as the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). The film illustrates the impact of secondary traumatic stress or “compassion fatigue”. through a series of first person stories of social...

The Link Between Food Insecurity and the Great Recession [PSMag.com]

Last week, the Hamilton Project, a policy initiative spinoff of the Brookings Institution, hosted a conversation with United States’ Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on food insecurity. The event was accompanied by the Hamilton Project’s new report on the topic, which makes for mostly grim reading. The report finds that, though food insecurity, which increased sharply during the Great Recession, has declined, it still hasn’t returned to pre-recession levels. In fact, in states with...

Where Millennials and the Working Class Can No Longer Afford to Live [CityLab.com]

As the knowledge economy becomes increasingly spiky, concentrated, and urban, some of America’s most expensive cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Boston have become even more unaffordable. But the burden of escalating housing costs is not spread evenly, hitting some groups harder than others. As the affluent and the talented crowd into these urban centers, less advantaged families, those who don’t yet own a home, and younger people have trouble staying in...

What Can the U.S. Do About Mass Incarceration? [TheAtlantic.com]

A&Q is a special series that inverts the classic Q&A , taking some of the most frequently posed solutions to pressing matters of policy and exploring their complexity. America is a world leader in incarceration. The U.S. locks up more people than any other country, the University of London’s Institute for Criminal Policy Research reports. An estimated 1.6 million individuals were held in state and federal prisons at the end of 2014, while roughly 1 out of every 36 adults fell under...

The Divorce Gap [TheAtlantic.com]

A 38-year-old woman living in Everett, Washington recently told me that nine years ago, she had a well-paying job, immaculate credit, substantial savings, and a happy marriage. When her first daughter was born, she and her husband decided that she would quit her job in publishing to stay home with the baby. She loved being a mother and homemaker, and when another daughter came, she gave up the idea of going back to work. Seven years later, her husband told her to leave their house, and filed...

Having A Large Social Network Boosts Pain-Killing Endorphins And Increases Tolerance [MedicalDaily.com]

Many of us can remember at least one childhood friend who made growing up slightly easier with jokes and playtime adventures. Even as adults, friendships play an important role in our lives. By bringing laughter and camaraderie, their mere presence can buffer stress as well as the effects of negative experiences. Furthermore, they can help alleviate despair or emotional turmoil. New research published in Scientific reports suggests a better pain threshold may be another benefit of having...

Homes Without Dads -- The Hurt That Will Not Heal [NewAmericaMedia.org]

It’s the week before Christmas and the Brighthaupt family is in its weekly therapy session. Kecia Brighthaupt, 37, grabs a piece of paper from the center of the dining room table in her apartment and reads the word on it. “Hopeful,” Kecia Brighthaupt says. “I feel hopeful that Jamari is going to graduate.” She, her 15-year-old son Jamari, and their counselor, Ayize Ma’at, sit at one end of the glass rectangular table. A tan carpet covers the floor. Photos of relatives, including Kecia’s...

W&M professors lead the crusade to prevent child abuse and neglect in Virginia [WM.edu]

Across the Commonwealth, thousands of tiny blue pinwheels staked in the ground flutter in the springtime breeze. Much more than garden ornaments, the decorations symbolize a dark past and a hopeful future for children in Virginia. William & Mary Psychology Professor Emeritus Joseph Galano and Adjunct Professor of Psychology Lee Huntington know the significance of the pinwheels perhaps better than anyone. As lead advocates for Prevent Child Abuse, which declared the pinwheel its national...

Prisoner of Her Past - Excellent documentary about long-term impact of childhood trauma

On Holocaust Remembrance Day (May 5), WTTW-Channel 11 in Chicago will present its 6th annual broadcast of “Prisoner of Her Past. ” The film will air at 10 p.m. Central. Written by Emmy-award winning Chicago Tribune journalist, Howard Reich, the film documents Howard’s quest to discover why his mother is reliving her Holocaust past. To date, “Prisoner of her Past,” has aired more than 500 times in 140 markets across the United States! http://prisonerofherpast.kartemquin.com/

Scans Show 'Brain Dictionary' Groups Words By Meaning [NPR.org]

Scientists say they have made an atlas of where words' meanings are located in the brain. The map shows that words are represented in different regions throughout the brain's outer layer. Moreover, the brains of different people map language in the same way. "These maps are remarkably consistent from person to person," says Jack Gallant , a neuroscientist at the University of California, Berkeley who led the study. The work appears in the journal Nature. To make the language maps, Gallant's...

Tennessee Enacts Law Letting Therapists Refuse Patients On Religious Grounds [NPR.org]

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has signed legislation that allows mental health counselors and therapists to refuse to treat patients based on religious objections or personal beliefs. Critics of the law say it could result in discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. As Nashville Public Radio reported earlier this month: "A group representing gay and lesbian Tennesseans [asked Haslam] to veto the legislation. ... "The Tennessee Equality Project, an LGBT advocacy...

After Combat Stress, Violence Can Show Up At Home [NPR.org]

Stacy Bannerman didn't recognize her husband after he returned from his second tour in Iraq. "The man I had married was not the man that came back from war," she says. Bannerman's husband, a former National Guardsman, had been in combat and been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. He behaved in ways she had never expected, and one day, he tried to strangle her. "I had been with this man for 11 years at that point, and there had never been anything like this before," Bannerman...

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