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Welcome to In the Arena with NOW

By Ronda Alexander, Vital Village Network Change can begin with anyone, but it is especially powerful when it is designed and led by the people who will be most affected by it. The In the Arena with NOW podcast seeks to celebrate and share the stories of these leaders. The Networks of Opportunity for Child Wellbeing (NOW), an initiative of the Vital Village Network at Boston Medical Center, is designed to create space and conditions for local coalitions to build their capacity to drive...

The Tragedy of Baltimore [nytimes.com]

On April 27, 2015, Shantay Guy was driving her 13-year-old son home across Baltimore from a doctor’s appointment when something — a rock, a brick, she wasn’t sure what — hit her car. Her phone was turned off, so she had not realized that protests and violence had broken out in the city that afternoon, following the funeral of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old man who drew national attention eight days earlier when he died after suffering injuries in police custody. As she saw what was happening...

In California, two proposed laws with one aim: saving lives [csmonitor.com]

The two police officers who shot and killed Stephon Clark behind his grandmother’s home in Sacramento last March recounted their actions in interviews with police investigators later that night. Officers Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet described the frenzied seconds when they pursued Mr. Clark after responding to a report of a suspect breaking car windows on the city’s south side. As a police helicopter swirled overhead, the officers spotted him at the side of the house and ordered him...

What It Means to Be an Elder Orphan [medium.com]

I’ m an “elder orphan,” a solo ager, someone who is aging alone. That may sound depressing until you learn that the American Geriatrics Society calls me and my ilk “unbefriended.” Yikes. An elder orphan is someone “of an age” who has no immediate family in their life. No parents, spouse, siblings, children, or grandchildren. They may have immediate family, but the relatives live too far away to be of assistance in times of crisis. There’s another scenario, as in my case, where my immediate...

Webinar “Strategic Advocacy: Winning Policy Change without Crossing the Lobbying Line” held March 14

(l to r) Kelly Hardy, Allen Mattison, Jeff Hild _____________________________________________________ The March 14 “Strategic Advocacy: Winning Policy Change without Crossing the Lobbying Line ” webinar covered the fine points of where to draw the line between lobbying and non-lobbying activities but also provided useful tips and ideas for effective advocacy—both under the arc of “being braver because our kids need us,” as framed by presenter Kelly Hardy of Children Now . Because the stakes...

Latest ACEs science research from PubMed, March 19, 2019

The evidence base for routine enquiry into adverse childhood experiences: A scoping review. Ford K, Hughes K, Hardcastle K, Di Lemma LCG, Davies AR, Edwards S, Bellis MA. Child Abuse Negl . 2019 Mar 15;91:131-146. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2019.03.007. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 30884399 Similar articles Trajectories of childhood adversity and the risk of depression in young adulthood: Results from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Tracy M, Salo M, Slopen N, Udo T, Appleton...

2019 School Mental Health Webinar Series

Join the Pacific Southwest MHTTC for upcoming distance learning opportunities on key school mental health topics. Together we will advance our understanding of how to build wellness, resilience, and success for the whole school community. Upcoming Webinar: Mental Health and Student Learning Outcomes: An Introduction Mental Health & Student Learning Outcomes Series - Webinar 1 Thursday, March 21 6-7 p.m. ET / 3-4 p.m. PT / 1-2 p.m. HT / 9-10 a.m. ChT Register Are you a school...

The evidence base for routine enquiry into adverse childhood experiences: A scoping review (www.sciencedirect.com)

Cissy's note: Screening is a topic frequently discussed and debated. This is another interesting read on an important topic and there are a lot of excellent links from varied viewpoints in the notes. I'm grateful to the conversations here and on Twitter which help shape, challenge, and guide my thinking. Here is a link to the entire open source article by Author links open overlay pa Kat Ford , Karen Hughes, Katie Hardcastle, Lisa C.G. Di Lemma, Alisha R. Davies, Sara Edwards, Mark A . Bellis

Broken Places Twitter discussion March 21st 5 p.m. PST / 8pm. EST to follow virtual screening for ACEs Connection members

Join our featured guests who will be gathering for a Twitter chat event following the virtual screening of Broken Places for our members on Thursday, March 21st. Note: Find more details about the film and the registration process at the end of this post. Roger Weisberg @BrokenPlacesDoc Weisberg is the writer, producer, and director of the documentary, Broken Places. Weisberg joined public television station WNET as a staff Producer in 1976. Since 1982 when he founded an independent...

A Demonstration of Vigilance to Protect Toddlers

GrandMa Boom, a.k.a., Janai Mestrovich, shows vigilance to protect toddler. (Originally posted to FaceBook, March 15, 2019) My plan was to call 911 for the police. The woman told the 2 yr. old if she didn't stop running around the table she would take her out to the car and lock her in it to stay there alone. I was horrified. That is when I thought I would call the police if she actually did that. I hoped she would not follow through. Meanwhile, the little girl kept watching me and came near...

Treating toxic stress in kids a top priority for California’s first surgeon general [latimes.com]

The little girl was not gaining weight. The diagnosis: failure to thrive, a term used to describe a child who isn’t growing as expected. The remedy: nutritional shakes packed with protein. That typically would be the end of the appointment, said the girl’s doctor, @Nadine Burke Harris, a 43-year-old Jamaican American raised in Palo Alto who was named California’s first surgeon general last month. But, in her new role, Burke Harris said she will push to change a profession that too...

Real, Not Sham, Mental Health Coverage [madinamerica.com]

A little-publicized legal decision was just issued by Judge Joseph C. Spero of the U.S. District Court of Northern California that anyone who plans to use their mental health insurance coverage to secure needed care will want to school themselves on. Ruling on a class action lawsuit brought against United Behavioral Health (UBH), a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s largest health insurer, Judge Spero drew the conclusion that UBH had reneged on its fiduciary responsibility to...

Colleges Are Looking For Ways to House and Feed Homeless Students [psmag.com]

Four years ago, Dorothy Gorder was living under the I-5 bridge in downtown Seattle. Addicted to meth and heroin, she lived in makeshift shelters fashioned out of cardboard boxes and pallets, draping clothing to block out the wind. Her car had been stolen. Gorder left behind a son in Montana, who was living with his grandmother. A daughter to whom she'd given birth while homeless was taken away and adopted by a foster family. Then she got pregnant again, with another son, and resolved to turn...

Black Women as Doulas in the Midst of Maternal Stress [nonprofitquarterly.org]

The persistence of high maternal and infant mortality rates among Black women is now being addressed in a very different way in New Jersey, says Ronsha Dickerson, the doula leader for the Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative’s Healthy Women, Healthy Families program. The program trains Black women to act as resources for other pregnant Black women before, during, and after birth. They are not medical professionals, but they help women get what they need in terms of information,...

Teen Dating Violence is Widespread, but Underreported [calhealthreport.org]

After her visit at an adolescent medical clinic in Los Angeles in January, 19-year-old Serena was afraid to go home. Six days before, her boyfriend had beaten her so badly that she had to go to the emergency room. Serena’s name has been changed to protect her safety. “She was so sad and so scared,” said Monica Sifuentes, my colleague and an adolescent medicine pediatrician at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, who treated Serena. With visible sadness, she told me Serena’s story. Serena, who is...

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