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Teaching Resilience

Resilience is defined as “the ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change”. In other words, it is the ability to not let a bad situation define us. Being resilient is a very important characteristic that we as a society must teach our children, especially with all the violence that is going on. Lately however, studies have been focusing on prevention rather than intervention. Preventing bad things from happening instead of intervening and fixing them later...

A Memoir for ACE Sufferers, Educators, Healers

I was elated to hear about Donna's Childhood Disrupted last summer, since I had been writing a memoir on healing from loss and unexplained illness (MCS) via the mind-body connection and working with the inner child. I was really sick with the chronic symptoms of nausea, lightheaded-ness, and brainfog. I had a young child and a part-time job I barely held on. I found integrative medicine, which helped me cope, but even that wasn't enough. One day after a holistic method...

Babies, two-year-olds & antipsychotic medicine

A New York Times article has identifie d that over 100,000 prescriptions for antipsychotic medicines were written in 2014 – to children 2 and younger (many still in cribs).  A shortage of child psychiatrists is partially blamed. These powerful mind altering chemicals are just one generation removed from Thorazine.  To use them like candy for babies and 3 year old children is dangerous.  This Mercury News video series on foster care children provides a stunning insight...

Breaking the Silence For Mothers With Postpartum Depression [HuffingtonPost.com]

This morning was one of those really hard PPD mornings. You know the ones where you cry, all the time. Where smiling at your babies doesn't feel second nature like it normally does. You go through the motions. Getting breakfast for them, sinking down with a coffee and then moving silently through the home dodging everyone, trying not to interact as you feel too weary and the anger nudges it's head up with every whiny request. This morning I wanted my old life back. One not ridden with...

Mental health of Wheatbelt farmers suffering due to climate change [Phys.org]

Neville Ellis from the Centre for Responsible Citizenship and Sustainability interviewed 22 farmers from the Wheatbelt town of Newdegate, 400kms south east of Perth, over the course of the 2013-14 agricultural season. The interviews revealed that the negative impacts of climate change, as manifested in issues like wind erosion and unpredictable weather, was undermining their wellbeing. "The South West of Western Australia has experienced abrupt and severe climate change in the last forty...

SAMHSA is accepting applications for up to $112 million in National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative grants [SAMHSA.org]

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is accepting applications for up to $112 million in total funding over five years for National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative - Category III, Community Treatment and Services (CTS) Centers grants. This grant program aims at providing treatment and services in communities for children, adolescents, and their families who experience or witness traumatic events. The grants also promote greater access to effective...

What Does an ACE Score Really Mean? Basic ACES Training for Providers, Part Two

My ancestry is 100% Japanese, but I probably could pass as Native American. I’m straight, but having worked some 20 years in HIV services, there were many times people assumed I was gay. My ACE score is zero, but I could pretend it was five or six. How would you know what is true? How will all our newly recruited “trauma informed’ workers (all those coaches, teachers and dentists we want to be on the lookout for ACES) know what is true? One of the great American legends is...

Two Truths and a Lie: Basic ACES Training for Providers, Part One

There is a game in which you tell people two truths and a lie and folks must guess which one is the lie. Want to play? One: I lived and worked on a seaplane for several months. Two: for a time, I built musical instruments for a living. Three: I helped several women escape domestic violence. To help you figure out which one is the lie, let me tell you a story. Shortly after graduating from college, I started working as a Personnel Specialist for the Department of the Navy in Washington D.C. I...

Stereotypes of America’s poor explain why some states refuse to expand Medicaid [CenterForHealthJournalism.org]

Last week the Senate succeeded in passing legislation that essentially guts the Affordable Care Act and wipes out Medicaid expansion. While the president is expected to veto the bill, the Senate’s action shows that the program could be in danger come the next administration. The anticipated expansion has not occurred in 20 states, which have deprived some of the poorest Americans of health care. Recall that the Affordable Care Act envisioned that Americans with incomes below the...

Utah Reduced Chronic Homelessness By 91 Percent. Here's How. [NPR.org]

A decade ago, Utah set itself an ambitious goal: end chronic homelessness. As of 2015, the state can just about declare victory: The population of chronically homeless people has dropped by 91 percent. The state's success story has generated headlines around the country , and even The Daily Show With Jon Stewart has looked to Utah to understand how the state achieved its goal. In fact, Utah still has a substantial homeless problem. The overall homeless population is around 14,000 . I get...

I am a black man and interviewed a former white supremacist. It was a powerful experience. [UpWorthy.com]

I'm a black man who just spoke with a former white supremacist. He wasn't quite what I expected. I have to admit that when my phone rang, I felt an overwhelming sense of anxiety and nervousness that I haven't experienced in years. Am I really going to conduct this interview? Can a white supremacist truly be reformed? Do I really want to hear his story? Maybe this would be a complete waste of time, but I took a deep breath and listened to everything because I knew it was possible I could...

More Focused, Better Behaved Kids, Through ‘Mindfulness'

Would the world be a better place if more of us were trained to take a mindful moment to connect emotions we are feeling to our brains before we act? After recently learning mindful behavioral training in their classrooms, a number of elementary school students think so. When asked if the learning is making any difference in their lives, almost every one of them indicates it has. Equally impressive, the sentiments of queried local educators and counselors working with Mindful Schools...

16 Days of Activism - what have we achieved? [Health24.com]

24 years we’ve been doing this 16 Days of Activism for no Violence against Women and Children thing, and honestly, what have we achieved? We keep doing the same things over and over again: the posters, the parties, the ministerial junkets. It’s pretty evident, as the violence stats rise, that those aren’t effective things to do. We have to get at the root causes, the foundations, the reasons why we have such a violence-prone nation. [For more of this story, written by Mandi...

Amid Violence, Chicago Parents Try To Inoculate Their Sons Against Fear [NPR.org]

The protests in Chicago have been mostly peaceful. But it's not just about police. This is all happening against a backdrop of gang violence, including the recent killing of a 9-year-old boy who police say was apparently targeted because of his father's alleged gang ties. These incidents are forcing difficult conversations between parents and kids. And for African-American families, the conversation hits close to home. How do you talk about what's happening? How do you reassure your kids?

Five Studies: How Behavioral Science Can Help in International Development [PSMag.com]

In 2012, there were 896 million people around the world—12.7 percent of the global population— living on less than two dollars a day . The World Food Program estimates that 795 million people worldwide don’t have enough food to “lead a healthy life”; 25 percent of people living in Sub-Saharan Africa are undernourished. Over three million children die every year thanks to poor nutrition, and hunger is the leading cause of death worldwide. In 2012, just three...

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