September 2016

Imagining A World Without Prisons For Communities Defined By Them [NPR.org]

When Marc Lamont Hill, a professor and activist who wants to abolish prisons, said that to me recently, I understood where he was coming from. Intellectually, at least. America's criminal justice system, with its machinelike orientation to conviction and incarceration, has grown so many tentacles that it tends to touch the lives of the people in communities of color who are not themselves up to anything shady. The sprawl of that system, and the economy based on it, mean that anyone in those...

Election Buzz: Critics Of Legal Pot Say Addiction Becomes ‘A Disease Of The Family’ [CaliforniaHealthline.org]

If pot laws were colors, a map of the U.S. map would resemble a tie-dye T-shirt. In some states, marijuana is illegal. In others, it’s legal for medical purposes. And still in others, it is even legal for recreational use. Five more states could come into that last category this fall, as voters decide whether to legalize it in California, Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts and Arizona. It was only six years ago that Arizona approved marijuana for medicinal use, and that’s a stark contrast to...

A Practical To-Do List For Family Caregivers [CaliforniaHealthline.org]

Ask Kathy Kenyon about what it’s like to be a family caregiver, and she’ll give you an earful. On several occasions, doctors have treated this accomplished lawyer like she was an interloper — not the person to whom her elderly parents had entrusted health care and legal decision-making. Kenyon wasn’t told how to identify signs that her mother, who had low sodium levels, was slipping into a medical crisis. Nor was she given any advice about how to prevent those crises from occurring. When her...

Inequality in American Public Parks [TheAtlantic.com]

Racial and economic inequalities are well documented in American housing, education, and criminal justice. But little attention has been paid to disparities in access to the country’s public parks. In America, bike trails and baseball fields are luxurious perks of many affluent neighborhoods, boosting property values and creating a sense of community. Meanwhile, in many inner cities, public parks are magnets for crime and casualties of disinvestment . With this in mind, it was probably only...

Suicide rate hits 10-year high and dementia poised to become leading cause of death [TheGuardian.com]

The number of Australians taking their own lives has hit a 10-year high, while dementia is tipped to overtake heart disease as the nation’s leading cause of death within five years. The number of suicide deaths climbed above 3000 in 2015 for the first time, rising more than 5% in 12 months, official figures show. Suicide was the leading cause of death for 15-44 year olds, with males three times more likely than females to take their own lives. Suicide rates were highest in the Northern...

‘Parenting Through the Storm’: How Restorative Narrative made it possible for me to tell my family’s story [IVOH.org]

Ann Douglas is the author of numerous books about pregnancy and parenting, including, most recently, “ Parenting Through the Storm: Find Help, Hope, and Strength When Your Child Has Psychological Problems ” (Guilford Press). She is also the weekend parenting columnist for CBC Radio. Her website is anndouglas.net and she is @anndouglas on Twitter. When I made the decision to write a book that told my family’s story, I knew I had to do so in a way that was rooted in love and respect. Yes, it...

Stress control [Isthmus.com]

Seven and a half hours of boredom, plus 30 minutes of terror. That’s how Dr. Michael Spierer, a Madison-based psychologist, describes the typical police officer’s shift. Eight hours of paperwork and petty crime, with the knowledge that a high-pressure and dangerous turn of events may be just around the corner. Chronic stress is inherent to the job, he says. In an effort to help officers cope, the Wisconsin Center for Healthy Minds and the Madison Police Department have teamed up for a pilot...

Federal Dollars for Urban Farms [CityLab.com]

Urban farming has deep roots in Detroit, as I reported in a three-part series last month. Some 1,400 farms are scattered across the city’s 139 square miles. Many farmers are concerned that their land will be razed and redeveloped as the post-bankruptcy city courts new investors and businesses. But new legislation announced Monday could help urban farmers across the U.S. grow. On Monday, Debbie Stabenow, a Democratic senator from Michigan, announced the Urban Agriculture Act , which would...

The Forgotten Providers [TheAtlantic.com]

The people who will save American health care likely don’t wear lab coats or perform complicated procedures in operating rooms. They probably don’t have doctorates or years and years of graduate experience. These saviors on average make a tenth or less of what physicians earn each year in salary, and they often perform some of the most thankless tasks of the allied health fields. But as the American population gets older and the health-care system caters more and more to the needs of elderly...

Animated videos help teachers build sense of empathy in students [EdSource.org]

A Silicon Valley educational technology company and researchers from Harvard have teamed up to launch a new series of animated videos next month about the importance of empathy , intended for teachers to use in building students’ social and emotional skills. Developed by ClassDojo’s Big Ideas program and researchers at the Making Caring Common project at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, the series of three short videos, called “Empathy,” are the latest manifestation of a push to move...

Depression in pregnancy increases risk of mental health problems in children [ScienceDaily.com]

Depression in pregnancy increases the risk of behavioural and emotional problems in children, says a new review published in The Lancet Psychiatry. The authors of the review, which focused mainly on low and middle income countries, call for urgent interventions for mothers and children. Depression in pregnancy is thought to affect up to one in five women globally in the late stages of pregnancy and shortly after birth. It is characterised by low mood and feelings of hopelessness, and is...

My Suicide Prevention Opinion in the Cordova Times

I spent about 3 years living in a small town in Alaska, the birthplace of my father. Cordova, Alaska is within the traditional territory of the Aleut and Eyak people. The local tribe, Native Village of Eyak, owns the paper. Since 1999, suicide in the U.S. has increased by about 26%. It continues to increase in Alaska. One fact we don't know is whether our current programs are working. I don't believe they are. Just the fact that we report the incidence of suicide on an annual number per...

Pam Wessel-Estes: Member Spotlight & Amazing Video about Parenting with ACEs

I spend a good amount of my time begging people to let me share details about the work they have done and are doing. I don't mind because there's so much that needs to be shared. Like the work of Pam Wessel-Estes, one of our own Parenting with ACEs group members. Please check out this You Tube video she produced with her son, entitled, Personal and Parental Reflections on Adverse Childhood Experiences. It's fantastic. It has all the personal warmth of a personal video but all the sound and...

Children of Suicide Victims Need Support [PsychCentral.com]

A new doctoral dissertation finds that talking about suicide is associated with such strong stigma that young people whose parents have taken their own life often must turn to the internet to express their grief and receive support. The thesis represents the view of Anneli Silvén Hagström from Linköping University in Sweden. Given that Sweden has a socialist health care system, Hagström laments that the healthcare system is not providing support for young people in the difficult life...

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