November 2016

LA Unified cites rising suicidal behavior and devises tools to address it [EdSource.org]

More than 5,000 incidents of suicidal behavior were reported in Los Angeles Unified in the last school year, an exponential jump from the 255 reported in 2010-2011 when the district, California’s largest, began tracking such incidents. The cases were cited in the district’s latest Incident System Tracking Accountability Report , or iStar, an annual review of troubling incidents that occurred in district schools during the academic year. The list includes such things as injuries, accidents,...

Four things Trump can do to improve mental health care for veterans [PBS.org]

Donald Trump will take office in January with strong support among veterans, and he’s made reforms to the Department of Veterans Affairs a key part of his platform. When it comes to one of the biggest health issues facing vets — that of mental health and post-traumatic stress disorder — there’s a lot more to be done. Trump hasn’t spoken about the subject much. Last month he told a gathering of veterans that his team would be “addressing … very strongly” the issue of suicides among veterans,...

The Perils of a Life in Isolation [PsychologyToday.com]

Humans are hardwired to interact with others, especially during times of stress . When we go through a trying ordeal alone, a lack of emotional support and friendship can increase our anxiety and hinder our coping ability. This message is driven home in the newly-released thriller Shut In . Naomi Watts plays a widowed child psychologist who lives in isolation in rural New England with her son, who is comatose and bedridden as the result of an automobile accident. Snowed in and withdrawn from...

What Mindfulness Does for Urban Kids [CityLab.com]

In a bright room at Robert W. Coleman Elementary School in Baltimore, a group of kids sit around the edge of a colorful checkerboard rug. They close their eyes, and an instructor walks them through a belly breathing exercise. Technically, they’re there because they acted out: they got in a scuffle on the playground, or spoke out of turn in class. But this is not detention: the Mindful Moment Room is Robert W. Coleman Elementary’s attempt to break the entrenched cycle of disruption and...

When a Sibling Goes to Prison [TheAtlantic.com]

Over 5 million kids in the United States currently have or have had a parent in prison. That works out to about one in 14 American children—a majority of whom are under age 10. Broken down by state, children with incarcerated parents can represent 3 to 13 percent of the population, according to “ A Shared Sentence ,” a report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The unusually intense stress that these children face has been well documented and studied. That’s mostly due to researchers’ emphasis...

Spanking Young Children Declines Overall But Persists In Poorer Households [NPR.org]

The share of U.S. mothers who spank their young children or endorse physical discipline has declined significantly over the past two and a half decades, according to an analysis of four national surveys. The findings , out Monday in the journal Pediatrics, came from an analysis of data from 1988 to 2011. Researcher found that 21 percent of median-income mothers of kindergarten-aged children endorsed physical discipline at the end of that period — down from 46 percent at the start. "There's...

Mentor, Live-in Center Crucial for Reentry Young People [JJIE.org]

There are no simple answers for adolescent reentry adolescents. Many of them shouldn't have been forced to go through it to begin with, as they were sent to juvenile lockup facilities for status offenses. I've done a great deal of work with reentry teens, and have found that it usually takes a good month or longer to deinstitutionalize them. They're essentially experiencing shell shock as they come back from a very rigid environment where they are literally told when they can eat, have...

Plan to reduce Indigenous suicides finally acknowledges lack of evidence and need for hope [TheConversation.com]

Last week the government released the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project report, which gave recommendations to reduce the high rate of suicide among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Minister for Indigenous affairs Nigel Scullion said the government welcomed the report with a very heavy heart . And it is with a heavy heart I write this response. There are many factors contributing to Indigenous suicide, occurring in a wide variety of...

North Texas organizations, veterans fighting to reduce military suicides [WFAA.com]

As the tragic pace of military suicides continues across the United States, as profiled in the TEGNA series ‘ Charlie Foxtrot ’,multiple organizations formed to combat the problem, often staffed by veterans themselves, continue to grow in North Texas. They are battle lines that Charles McKinney wishes had been drawn more aggressively back in 2007. McKinney doesn’t think his son Master Sgt. Jeffrey McKinney would have had a chance even if he’d made it home alive from his final tour in Iraq.

Values Match: ACE Response and Professional and Personal Beliefs

As I read through all of the blogs on this site, I have struggled with trying to figure out what I could possibly contribute to the discussion. When stories discuss the work of Dr. Nadine Burke Harris and studies by the NIH, I have been finding it hard to feel like anything I could say might matter, and yet I have been drawn to trying to ad to the conversation. I am not a neuro-biologist, nor do I have extensive experience working with traumatized youth or adults. I am the Program Assessment...

Community talks stress, traumatic experiences [FDLReporter.com]

What is considered to be the most unaddressed public health crisis in the nation today was discovered about 30 years ago in San Diego. Dr. Vincent Felitti was running an obesity clinic in the city. He realized many of his patients gained weight abruptly at points throughout their childhood, instead of gaining a little weight at a time. In speaking with his patients about their past, he realized over half of them experienced traumatic events as a child. In fact, 55 percent of his patients had...

Why school climate matters with a President Trump [PsychologyToday.com]

This election has been a wake up call: sadly it has woken up and given permission for more overt and public forms of harassment modeled and condoned by president-elect Trump. In the three days since the results were announced, I have read news stories about a student handing deportation orders to students of ‘various ethnicities’ at his school, a teacher telling a student Trump should deport their parents , a non-Muslim student writing a note to a Muslim teacher telling her to go hang...

Data can help tackle childhood trauma at the community level [KansasCity.com]

Kansas City’s Resilient KC initiative, a partnership of Healthy KC and Trauma Matters KC, supports the emerging “upstreamist” movement in health care. The concept is to address health problems before they emerge as individual or community-centered health issues. Resilient KC targets community-based trauma. Long-term and often invisible damage can be caused by childhood abuse and neglect, a troubled home or toxic stress. These factors can influence an individual’s physical and behavioral...

Sonoma Co. gets funds to battle adverse childhood experiences [NorthBayBusinessJournal.com]

Sonoma County Department of Health Services is starting an adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and resiliency fellowship that will train 25 community members as educators. Officials said the fellowship is unique to Sonoma County and is being launched at a time when community members and service providers are increasingly seeking out information about how to prevent and heal from adverse childhood experiences. Recent research on ACEs confirms that adversity during early childhood development...

Alien Algorithms [PSMag.com]

Imagine a group of aliens from Mars has descended to Earth. They are peaceful, non-threatening, very smart, and have come to help us. They hear we want to improve our system of education and tell us they have exactly the answer. They had the same problem over on Mars, they explain, and they solved it with math. We decide to hear what they have to say. After all, there have been decades of concern over test scores, and especially over the achievement gap, which is the difference between test...

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