July 2018

CRACKED UP at the Traverse City Film Festival in Michigan this weekend

Hi everyone! I am so excited and honored to be showing our almost done, “work-in-progress” film, CRACKED UP at the Traverse City Film Festival in Michigan this weekend! I am also a proud member of ACEs Connection and thank Jane Stevens for what she and her team have created and the impact they make every day! Because of people like Jane, the ACE Study is not on the fringes anymore. WE REALLY ARE A MOVEMENT NOW! I hope everyone in the area can come to our two screenings! I will be there...

Why did they post THAT on ACEs Connection???

From time to time, one of you will send me this message: Why did you post a link to THAT article on ACEs Connection? What does it have to do with ACEs science, trauma-informed or resilience-building practices? So, I thought I’d riff on this a bit, especially since the ACEs movement seems to be growing to reach another level of development. We’ll soon be 25,000 strong on this social network! Although we still need to educate people about ACEs science, there’s a lot of foundational work being...

Poor mental health days may cost the economy billions of dollars [sciencedaily.com]

Poor mental health ranks as one of the costliest forms of sickness for U.S. workers and may sap billions of dollars from the country's income growth, according to a team of researchers. In an analysis of economic and demographic data from 2008 to 2014, the researchers found that a single extra poor mental health day in a month was associated with a 1.84 percent drop in the per capita real income growth rate, resulting in $53 billion less total income each year, said Stephan Goetz, professor...

Child Welfare Ideas from the Experts #6: Improving Foster Care for Refugee Minors [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

The Chronicle of Social Change is highlighting each of the policy recommendations made this summer by the participants of the Foster Youth Internship Program (FYI), a group of 10 former foster youths who have completed congressional internships. The program is overseen each summer by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. Each of the FYI participants crafted a policy recommendation during their time in Washington, D.C. Today we highlight the recommendation of Noor Kathem, 23, an...

The Healing Potential of Turning Vacant Lots Green [citylab.com]

More than 43,000 lots in Philadelphia sit vacant, many invaded with overgrown weeds and strewn with trash. As CityLab has previously reported, this is as much a public-health problem as it is an economic one. Walking past such a site, researchers have previously found , can make your heat beat just a little faster, indicating increased levels of stress. And it’s no wonder: Studies have also shown that urban blight tends to attract crime and gun violence. It’s all taking a toll on the mental...

What Solitary Did To Moochie — But Not Manafort [themarshallproject.org]

I ONCE BELIEVED the South Carolina Department of Corrections had done my oldest brother, Moochie, a great favor when it decided to place him in solitary confinement. Naively, I thought it would keep him safe, away from being raped or attacked by other prisoners. I now know that even when a man leaves solitary, it may never leave him. That’s why I initially empathized with Paul Manafort when reports surfaced that he had been placed in solitary while facing charges from the much-discussed...

Photos: The Agonizing Realities of Family Reunification [theatlantic.com]

Last week, a court-ordered deadline passed, one set for the federal government to reunify more than 2,500 children separated from their families when they attempted to cross the United States border. Government officials say they have now reunited more than 1,800 families, but some are still waiting. According to a lawsuit, as reported by Reuters , more than 450 immigrant parents have been deported without their children, and their futures are even more uncertain. For the families who have...

A path to wellbeing: the growing world of gardening therapy [theguardian.com]

Horticultural therapist Thomas Erskine enjoys a “sense of connection” when he works outdoors. Being wholly absorbed in an activity – taking in the immediacy of the environment – enables him “to lose the frenetic noise of a speeding world”. Erskine runs gardening projects for people with learning disabilities and physical and mental health problems. He began his social care career in residential settings but found the environment frustrating and lacking meaningful activity. “I have always...

Dishes from Refugees’ Home Countries at Emma’s Torch [newyorker.com]

"This way for life changing food,” a sandwich board parked outside Emma’s Torch announces, but it’s not your average sidewalk bait. The establishment—named for the poet Emma Lazarus, of Statue of Liberty fame (“Give me your tired, your poor / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”)—is not only a dine-in restaurant, with rosé on tap, but also a 501(c)(3) and a school of sorts, where refugees from all over the world receive culinary training (for which they are paid a salary) and help...

Please Stop Merchandising Mental Illness [nytimes.com]

I was seeing a guy from London, and he told me Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald were his favorite couple. He was charming, exciting and “got” me. His choice sounded so romantic, so like him. Obviously I knew who they were , but I wasn’t familiar with the details of their relationship. I lay in bed and Googled eagerly. Was this the kind of great love he envisioned for us? Zelda Fitzgerald was intensely glamorous and hauntingly beautiful. Scott called her the original flapper . Oh, and they had a...

Vacancy: America’s Other Housing Crisis [citylab.com]

The image of America’s housing crisis is of pricey, increasingly unaffordable housing in superstar cities. And there is too little housing—a scarcity—in those places. But there is another, even more disturbing side to America’s housing crisis: vacancy, and in some cases hyper-vacancy, in the nation’s hard-pressed Rust Belt cities. This other side of the housing crisis is the subject of a new report published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy . The report, written by Alan Mallach of the...

To Reduce Long-Term Health Gaps, a Push for Early Intervention in Juvenile Detention  [jjie.org]

In the weeks before they leave the juvenile detention center, incarcerated children in Connecticut meet with counselors from the Wheeler Clinic, a nonprofit that works with high-risk youth as they transition back into their community. They talk about social connections, they talk about family support. They also talk about vaccinations. “If their immunizations aren’t up to date, they can’t go back to school,” says Kim Nelson, senior vice president for services at the Wheeler Clinic. That’s a...

The Relentless School Nurse: "Unless Someone Like you Cares a Whole Awful Lot, Nothing is Going to get Better. It's Not." - Dr. Seuss

The opening quote in Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha's gripping book, What The Eyes Don't See, struck me right in the heart: "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." so says Dr. Suess. Caring is something that may be in short supply during our current political climate. Grappling with caring, too much or too little is worth a moment of self-reflection. We have to know what we care about, and lead with our "why," in order to make an impact. Dr. Mona...

Why I Take a Mind-Body Approach to Trauma Recovery

Trauma recovery takes hard work, which survivors often wish could go faster. A new client recently asked me, “Should I be exercising? Doing yoga? Meditating? What can I be doing physically to help me heal or recover more quickly? What else can I do to get through all of this?” It was a great question, so today, I’m going to address it in case you’ve been wondering too. Trauma impacts how we think, and how our body responds, and healing can’t be hurried. But understanding trauma’s nature can...

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