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Young Adult Court: Ending Mass Incarceration with Trauma Informed Criminal Justice

The last two decades have given rise to a body of research establishing that young adults are fundamentally different from both juveniles and older adults in how they process information and make decisions. The prefrontal cortex of the brain — responsible for our cognitive processing and impulse control — does not fully develop until the early to mid-20s. At the same time that young adults are going through this critical developmental phase, many find themselves facing adulthood without...

American Police and Prisons Are Failing the Mentally Ill [PSMag.com]

Earlier this month, police received a frantic phone call from the parents of Melissa Boarts . Their daughter had just threatened to slit her wrists, they explained to the police, and had then promptly driven off. Police allege that, when they caught up with Boarts, who was diagnosed with bipolar manic depression, she got out of her car, “armed with a weapon and charged the officers.” Officers shot and killed her. In the wake of their daughter’s death, Boarts’ parents have been adamant about...

Okay to Say campaign makes talking about mental health…more than OK [HealthBlog.DallasNews.com]

Until Ken Luce began working with his father, Tom, on the Okay to Say advertising campaign to destigmatize mental illness, he didn’t know his grandmother had suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. “I’m sure it had been mentioned,” says Ken, 55, and owner of LDWWgroup , a Dallas marketing firm, “but not in the context we’re talking about. I knew her as my grandmother.” He was 3 when the elder Luce, after years of hoping his mother would get better on her own, made the excruciating decision to...

What's Good For The Heart Is Good For The Brain [NPR.org]

Hoping to keep your mental edge as you get older? Look after your heart, a recent analysis suggests, and your brain will benefit, too. A research team led by Hannah Gardener , an epidemiologist at the University of Miami, analyzed a subset of data from the Northern Manhattan Study , a large, ongoing study of risk factors for stroke among whites, blacks and Hispanics living in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City. The scientists wanted to see how people in their 60s and 70s...

A Potent Side Effect to the Flint Water Crisis: Mental Health Problems [NYTimes.com]

Health care workers are scrambling to help the people here cope with what many fear will be chronic consequences of the city’s water contamination crisis: profound stress, worry, depression and guilt. Uncertainty about their own health and the health of their children, the open-ended nature of the crisis, and raw anger over government’s role in both causing the lead contamination and trying to remedy it, are all taking their toll on Flint’s residents. “The first thing I noticed when I got to...

MN Trauma Project aims to increase understanding of how past experiences shape our lives today [MinnPost.com]

Many people experience trauma, but few — and that includes medical professionals — understand the larger impact it can have on their lives and the lives of others. Ryan Van Wyk, a psychologist at Park Nicollet Melrose Center , wants to change that. He believes that past trauma lies at the root of many common mental health and addiction issues, and if more people understood that fact and worked to heal trauma, many could live happier, healthier lives. “My graduate school was great,” Van Wyk...

NM youths ‘off the chart’ for early trauma [ABQJournal.com]

The history of many young New Mexicans who ended up in juvenile detention shows a brutal betrayal of their innocence and youth. According to a recent groundbreaking study, the amount of trauma some of these New Mexico juvenile offenders experienced – when compared to their peers across the country – was “off the charts.” Many were victims of neglect, abandonment, beatings or rape, and were exposed to family violence, mental illness, drug abuse and more. They had patterns of early childhood...

How Flint Citizens Are Working Together to Save Their Community [CityLab.com]

Plans are finally being floated to solve Flint’s water crisis , but the process of rebuilding its broken community is off to a slow start. Throughout Flint, children are suffering from the effects of lead poisoning , some of which will be long-term. Access to safe, drinkable water is still unreliable . Many residents continue to break out in rashes, which they have attributed to bathing in toxic tap water. And the city remains mired in a state of emergency . As news circulates about the...

On the Fast Track to Adulthood With Limited Options [TheAtlantic.com]

The urgency to become an “adult” combined with a limited menu of higher-education options can seriously derail young people from poor neighborhoods who are looking for opportunities to succeed. In a report published this month, The Century Foundation takes a look at the cycle of poverty that Baltimore’s young people often find themselves in and offers recommendations for how cities and lawmakers might begin to break some of the challenges they face. While the report, by Stefanie A. DeLuca...

Voices from the Field: 10 Places Where Collective Impact Gets It Wrong [NonProfitQuarterly.org]

In 2011, Kania and Kramer published a five-page article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review entitled “ Collective Impact ” (2011). The article was a well-written summary of their views of large scale social change efforts in communities. They suggested five conditions of collective impact: common agenda shared measurement mutually reinforcing activities continuous communication backbone support In the original article, and those that followed, Kania and Kramer were explicitly and...

What Helps Kids Thrive in Face of Adversity? [PsychCentral.com]

New research shows that certain family, social, and community supports may boost a child’s chances of thriving in the face of adversity. According to researchers, people who experience four or more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), such as economic hardship, exposure to violence, or the death of a loved one, are more likely to have lasting physical and mental health problems. But a new research abstract presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2016 Meeting identifies several...

You Are NOT Your Mental Illness

May is mental health awareness month. In honor of such an important cause, I wanted to write a post directly to those struggling with mental health issues. So often mental illness is stigmatized, leading those that struggle with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, or eating disorders to name a few, to feel isolated and alone. Let's work together towards eliminating the stigma, creating means for open communication, and letting go of judgement towards...

Attention Teachers! Resilience from a Brave Deaf Girl (Trauma & Recovery)

This story is based on my dear friend Opal Fleming born in 1931. I promised her before she died that I would get her story published. She wanted children to know about the schools for the deaf and how American Sign Language became a well-known language today by being passed on by other deaf people. Opal was taken to the Oklahoma School for the Deaf by her father after he had learned about the school from a young deaf man he had met on a train. The young man explained how he learned to read...

Teen Birth Rate at Record Low in U.S. [Consumer.HealthDay.com]

The teen birth rate in the United States has reached an all-time low, driven by dramatic declines among black and Hispanic teens, according to a new government report. Overall, the birth rate for teens aged 15 to 19 declined 41 percent between 2006 and 2014 -- dropping from 41.1 live births per 1,000 females down to 24.2, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The greatest declines occurred for Hispanic teens and black teens, where the rates fell by 51 percent and...

States Could Not Terminate Medicaid for Juveniles in Custody Under Bill [JJIE.org]

States would be prohibited from terminating Medicaid coverage for incarcerated juveniles under legislation introduced today in the House and Senate. States could suspend coverage while juveniles were in custody rather than cutting off their coverage, a change the bill’s sponsors said would ensure a smooth transition for youth as they re-enter the community. States would be required to automatically restore Medicaid enrollment when a juvenile was released. Many juveniles rely on Medicaid...

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