May 2016

GAO Calls for Reducing Barriers to College for Foster and Homeless Youth [JJIE.org]

Burdensome paperwork requirements, limited academic preparation and a lack of adult guidance and support make it difficult for foster and homeless youth to pursue higher education, says a new report by the Government Accountability Office. The GAO, an independent federal agency, called for streamlining federal rules that make it hard for youth to get financial aid or document their housing situation. It also urged studying how child welfare workers and others can better assist them with...

Staff Who Work Directly With Youth Need to Feel Appreciated to Avoid Burnout [JJIE.org]

Working with today’s generation of youth involved in the criminal justice system does not provide instant gratification for direct service workers. Today’s generation do not get up to volunteer a seat for the elderly. Today’s generation will curse out their parents, teachers and strangers just because they feel like doing so. We can blame it on social media, lack of parenting and lack of community involvement in the village model. After all the blaming is done, however, how do we empower a...

Mental Health Matters: Episode 1, In Criminal Justice [HoggFoundation]

How do we keep people with mental illness out of jail, instead providing them services that are more appropriate for their needs, with more effective outcomes, at less expense? Mental Health Matters is a collaborative project with KLRU, The Texas Tribune, the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, and the Mental Health Channel. Watch all Mental Health Matters episodes at mentalhealthchannel.tv/series/mental-health-matters and see all Mental Health Channel shows at mentalhealthchannel.tv/series

U.S. Sen. Heitkamp headlines May 25 briefing—trauma is “key”

When U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp arrived mid-way through the May 25, 2016, congressional briefing on the Science of Trauma, she delivered her remarks (starts at 27:48 through 41:45) with passion, humor, and most of all, a sense of urgency to the room full of Capitol Hill staff and a smattering of advocates. Her message was macro as well as micro—change national policy to incorporate what the science tells us about trauma, and see and respond to the needs of those you encounter in everyday...

Building Brainerd's resilience: Could research on childhood trauma change society? [BrainerdDispatch.com]

What if one area of research could prevent some of society's biggest problems? Researchers say an ever-expanding pool of data on the effects of childhood trauma—and how to counteract those effects—might be the key to alleviating countless societal problems. These include criminality, substance abuse, mental health problems and some of the leading causes of death. Those who work with children, in health care and with incarcerated populations in Crow Wing County are seeking to bring local...

Why the Roots Remake Is So Important [TheAtlantic.com]

In January ‘77, I was old enough to be allowed to watch grown-up TV with my sister, brother, and parents. During our viewings, I would either sit in Mama’s lap, or on the floor, my back resting against her legs because it was comfortable, and because she could easily clasp her hand over my eyes if something was too intense for me to see. On one of those nights, we were all engrossed watching a man named Kunta Kinte try to escape slavery again and again. Suddenly, in one scene, we saw an ax...

Do The Roots Of Mental Health Issues Lie In Early Childhood? [WAMU.org]

Rahil Briggs, a child psychologist, is walking the corridors of the Pediatrics department at the Montefiore Comprehensive Healthcare Center . We’re in the South Bronx, New York. It’s one of the poorest urban areas in the country. Crying babies don’t faze Briggs. She looks serene — like she’s just finished a yoga class. Briggs says babies’ brains are “sticky.” “Their brains are disproportionately receptive. So whatever we throw sticks. That’s why they can learn Spanish in six months when it...

What One District's Data Mining Did For Chronic Absence [NPR.org]

Mel Atkins has spent most of his life with Grand Rapids Public Schools in Michigan. He graduated from Ottawa Hills High, where he played baseball. But his real love was bowling. He says he's bowled 22 perfect games. He's been a teacher and principal in the city's public schools. And now he works for the district, overseeing just about everything related to students. One more thing you need to know about him: Mel Atkins is a number-cruncher. Three years ago, the superintendent came to him...

Iowa's Supreme Court Rules on Life Sentence Without Parole for Juveniles [TheAtlantic.com]

Iowa’s Supreme Court ruled 4-3 Friday that a sentence of life without parole for juvenile offenders convicted of first-degree murder amounted to cruel and unusual punishment under the state’s constitution. Here’s the ruling , in part: In sum, we conclude that sentencing courts should not be required to make speculative up-front decisions on juvenile offenders’ prospects for rehabilitation because they lack adequate predictive information supporting such a decision. The parole board will be...

Federal Help for Poor Families With Children Is Evaporating [CityLab.com]

The plight of families is deepening with the affordability crisis. For the most vulnerable families in the U.S., however, help is getting even harder to find. The past decade has seen federal support for very low-income families with children slide, even as their ranks have skyrocketed. A new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities finds that housing aid for families with children is at its lowest point in a decade. Even as the number of families with children with worst-case...

Summer reading list: Turn your everyday kid into a resilient revolutionary [ADN.com]

In my last column , I wrote about how getting lost in a good book can help students hang on to academic advances they made during the school year. What I didn't talk about then is how reading offers an equally crucial benefit to young people by developing what are known as "soft skills" — the emotional intelligence we need in life to feel confident, make good decisions and endure bad things. This is especially critical in Alaska, a state where too many children are victims of society's dark...

RYSE Center's Listening Campaign: Young people in Richmond, CA, help adults understand trauma, violence, coping, and healing

"My experience with violence is very brutal...I grew up with violence as if it were my sibling." - LC participant (youth) "We know we can't run the city- it's too complex- but our experience and our voices should count, especially because we're the most effected ." - LC participant (youth) "Our city's problems are shared by us all; we are all part of the problem AND the solution. Listening is a key component to healing." - LC Share Out partici pant (adult) Three years ago, RYSE Center in...

Public health nurses awarded for "1-2-3 Care Toolkit, a Trauma-Sensitive Toolkit for Caregivers of Children"

It's always great news when people working to spread the word about ACEs science, and the trauma-informed and resilience-building practices based on ACEs science, are acknowledged for their great work. And so it is that Melissa Charbonneau, Peggy Slider and Rhonda Crooker were given an Excellence in Nursing Practice award from the Inland Empire Nurses Association.

Aphantasia (the inability to visualize) and Trauma

I do not have the ability to visualize, never had. But I didn't know I was different until a few years ago. When I first learned about my aphantasia I was shocked, saddened and confused. How could this be and me not know it for most of my life. Then I wondered was this caused by my cumulative childhood traumas? Could I learn how to visualize in my minds eye? My answer was no. My husband once asked me how I could write the story of "Julie & The lost Fairy Tale and not see the attic stairs...

Veterans Treatment Court celebrates successful first year [YourHoustonNews.com]

The Montgomery County Veterans Treatment Court has been active for a full year as of this month. Providing an alternate path through the legal system for some military veterans under the guidance of state District Judge Kathleen Hamilton, the court currently holds a docket of 15 participants. The court held a celebratory ceremony Wednesday before its regular proceedings, recognizing the assistance provided to veterans by the court over the past year. “If it weren’t for our participants’...

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