October 2016

Addressing trauma in Baltimore [BaltimoreSun.com]

When I first came to Baltimore, I had a series of "listening tours." One of the most poignant experiences was with a group of youth — some no more than 8 years old. I asked them to share the single biggest issue on their minds. Their answers shocked and saddened me; the biggest problem these children saw was mental health. They didn't say those words, but what they spoke about was trauma — trauma of watching people they loved being shot and killed; trauma of not knowing whether they would...

80,000 Kids Just Replied to a Survey About Bullying. Here’s What Surprised Their Educators Most [The74Million.org]

“Everyone here is either bullying someone or being bullied. The teachers say if you have a problem, go see them — but they do nothing about it.” “They say they have a zero tolerance for bullying which is A COMPLETE LIE. People are bullied, they try to get help, and then they get NO HELP and continue to get bullied.” “I think that the school should be more controlling on cyber-bullying. They are not aware that their students are being bullied or harassed on social media.” “I wish that the...

SAMHSA provides up to $38.6 million grants to help individuals and communities recover from trauma [SAMHSA.org]

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is awarding up to a total of $38.6 million in Resiliency in Communities After Stress and Trauma (ReCAST) over the next five years to help people and communities recover from, and build resiliency to trauma. ReCAST grants help communities provide services and supports to youth and families exposed to trauma through natural or man-made disasters or civil disturbances. The grants promote resilience and equity through...

The New Focus on Children's Mental Health [TheAtlantic.com]

Across the United States, up to one in five children suffers from a mental disorder in a given year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This equates to more than 17 million young people who meet criteria for disorders that affect their ability to learn, behave, and express their emotions. Giving children access to mental-health resources early in their education, however, can play a key role in mitigating negative consequences later in life, said David Anderson, the...

Applying the Science of Child Development in Child Welfare Systems [DevelopingChild.Harvard.edu]

How can we use insights from cutting-edge science to improve the well-being and long-term life prospects of the most vulnerable children in our society? This is both a critical challenge and a powerful opportunity to affect the trajectories of millions of children in the United States and around the world. It is a question of particular importance to those who make or affect public policy. This paper shows how the science of child development can be leveraged to strengthen and improve the...

NIMH-Funded Study to Track the Effects of Trauma[National Institute of Mental Health]

October 17, 2016 By carefully tracking 5,000 people after they have experienced a traumatic event, a just-launched NIMH-funded study aims to provide a finely detailed map of the array of factors that play a role in the development of mental disorders that occur in the wake of trauma. Information coming out of the study should provide a much deeper understanding of the mechanisms that give rise to post-traumatic disorders as well as a clearer basis for predicting who will be affected and how...

Ripples of hurt, healing: Community Conversation addresses trauma and how it can inform response [BerkshireEagle.com

What serious topic can bring more than 200 people together for two and a half hours on a weeknight? It's something that has major effects on health an life expectancy, but is not routinely screened or treated by physicians. It's something that anyone can encounter at any point in their lives. And it's something that can affect the quality of living for an individual and a community. In a word, it's trauma. On Oct. 5, several community and state agencies together hosted a forum called, "...

Low college readiness negates grad rate [CommercialAppeal.com]

There was good news on the education front last week when state education officials released data showing that high school graduation rates climbed in most of Shelby County and in Tennessee last year. The state rate inched up to 88.5 percent this spring, compared to 87.8 percent at the end of the 2014-2015 school year. The Shelby County Schools graduation rate increased from 75 percent in 2014-15 to 78.7 percent in 2015-16. Bartlett City Schools increased from 85.5 percent to 88.6 percent.

Even as Legal Weed Gains Acceptance, the 'War on Drugs' Continues [CityLab.com]

A police officer pulled over Darius Mitchell, an African American, one late night in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana for breaking the speed limit. The police officer smelled weed in Mitchell’s car and called for a drug-sniffing canine to search the vehicle against his consent. They were looking for pounds of weed, according to American Civil Liberties Union lawyers, but only found a single bottle of the opioid pain medication hydrocodone , apparently prescribed to his child’s mother. But this...

Ava DuVernay's documentary '13th' simmers with anger and burns with eloquence [LATimes.com]

"It’s President Obama 's voice we hear first. “So let’s look at the statistics,” he says. “The United States is home to 5% of the world's population but 25% of the world’s prisoners. Think about that.” Which is what “13th,” Ava DuVernay ’s smart, powerful and disturbing documentary, proceeds to make us do. As persuasively argued as it is angry, and it is very angry, “13th” follows that statistic with another, equally unsettling one. African Americans make up 6.5% of the American population...

Parenting’s Troubled History

As we learned from the CDC-Kaiser Permanente ACE Study , negative childhood experiences are often kept secret, downplayed, or repressed because of our powerful desire to put such things behind us. Unfortunately, our minds and our brains don’t work that way. Patterns can play out automatically, no matter how hard we try to be original and create our own realities. Just as it is important to know family medical history (e.g., diabetes or tuberculosis) it is equally important to know about our...

Free Northwest Pennsylvania ACEs Conference Sells Out in 4 Hours

Crawford and Erie County in Northwest Pennsylvania joined together again this fall to host the 3 rd Annual Trauma Informed and Resilient Communities Conference at Edinboro University. This entirely free conference was well attended with approximately 318 total participants who sold out the venue in only 4 hours. Our morning plenary promoted the themes of awareness, leadership, and innovation as some of the building blocks of a trauma informed community—a process that can and should have a...

Violence, Drugs, Mental Illness May Account for Half of Maternal Deaths [PsychCentral.com]

Intimate partner violence, substance use and mental illness may be as threatening to health and survival during pregnancy as medical issues, according to a new study. In the study, researchers from the Boston University Medical Center note that mortality rates for pregnant women are increasing in the U.S. Many are due to medical causes thought to be directly related to pregnancy, such as hemorrhage, thromboembolism and hypertensive disease. Although substance use, serious mental illness and...

People are so stressed by this election that the American Psychological Association has coping tips [WashingtonPost.com]

Even first lady Michelle Obama is feeling it. In an emotional speech Thursday, she shared that the Republican presidential nominee’s comments from the now infamous “Access Hollywood” video about groping women had “shaken me to my core in a way I could not have predicted.” Weeks before The Washington Post made that 2005 video of Donald Trump public, before Trump supporters were interrupting Hillary Clinton rallies by screaming that Bill Clinton is a rapist, before Trump told Clinton to her...

Hip-Hop Artists Have Been Writing About Mental Health For Decades [HuffingtonPost.com]

When Kid Cudi announced via social media last week he was checking himself into rehab for depression and suicidal thoughts , many people responded on Facebook and Twitter in support of his heart-wrenching post . His message opened up an important conversation online to discuss mental health, race and masculinity, through the use of the hashtag #YouGoodMan . It’s a deeper push within the black community to continue dialogue about self-care and wellbeing . Many people who weighed in thought...

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