Blog

This Is Your Brain on Nature [NGM.NationalGeographic.com]

WHEN YOU HEAD OUT to the desert, David Strayer is the kind of man you want behind the wheel. He never texts or talks on the phone while driving. He doesn’t even approve of eating in the car. A cognitive psychologist at the University of Utah who specializes in attention, Strayer knows our brains are prone to mistakes, especially when we’re multitasking and dodging distractions. Among other things, his research has shown that using a cell phone impairs most drivers as much as...

A 2014/2015 Visionary of the Year nominee continues to reshape the conversation about childhood [SFGate.com]

Since her nomination for the Visionary of the Year award in 2015, pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris has remained steadfast in her goal to broaden the conversation about the link between childhood trauma and health. In a world where many still believe mental and behavioral health is disconnected from physical health, Burke-Harris’ continues to make a compelling case for how the two are synchronous.  “The definition of trauma is changing. Trauma used to be mental and behavioral...

10 reasons people are lonely? It’s more complicated than that [TheGuardian.com]

H ow do you make a film about loneliness that isn’t bleak and despairing? It’s hugely important subject, and it’s reaching such epidemic proportions in Britain that I knew I had to make a film . And somehow make a film people would watch – and not run away from. [For more of this story, written by Sue Bourne, go to http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/04/10-reasons-people-lonely-the-age-of-loneliness]

Climate Change Is Taking A Toll On Farmers’ Mental Health [ThinkProgress.org]

The success or failure of a farming operation depends hugely on the vagaries of weather and climate. For a farmer, a single intense rain event or prolonged dry period can mean a year of lost crops and income. Climate change is expected to make the line between success and failure even more tenuous for farmers in the future. And this uncertainty about growing conditions is having a noticeable impact on farmers’ mental health, according to a recent study out of Australia’s Murdoch...

‘Drop the New Year’s resolutions – we need a mental health revolution in our schools’ [Tes.com]

From screen-breaks to mindfulness sessions, there’s a lot more teachers could be doing to support their own and their pupils’ wellbeing, writes the mental health champion for schools The art of tackling mental health issues can broadly be divided into three strands: Prevention Creating environments and encouraging individuals to practice habits which have been shown to be conducive to good mental health. First Aid Recognising the early stages of mental distress and minimising...

Schools’ role in mental health grows -- Experts believe problems can be addressed early [MRT.com]

The first-grader was shuffling through his school papers when he stumbled across it: the test he had been taking last month when he got so angry that he had punched another student in the face.     In an ordinary classroom, the memories evoked by the finding could have triggered another outburst, furthering the damage while distracting the teacher and class.     The boy was in no ordinary classroom on this recent afternoon, however. He was in a special Spring Branch...

Our Young Children, Tiny Birds, and Their Hunger

These tiny, hungry birds remind me of our children. So open and anxious to be nourished and cared for. Cared about. Inspired by tiny birds and little children I have developed programs to feed these little minds and hearts.  Please let me help your kids too. In the picture your see four little birds but there are five. One is hidden inside an egg, soon to hatch. We must be careful not to miss even one of our little ones.

Afterschool Art Program Helps D.C. Youth Exorcise Fears Of Gun Violence[WAMU 88.5]

When U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan stepped down last week after seven years on the job, he didn't talk about test scores or teacher quality. Rather, fighting back tears, he used the opportunity to talk about what he called the "greatest frustration" of his tenure — Washington not passing gun control legislation. "If I can leave you one number: 16,000. That in my first six years as Secretary of Education that's the number of young people who are killed across our...

Child abuse evaluation doctor retiring after 40 years with Akron Children’s Hospital [Ohio.com]

Dr. Daryl Steiner’s colleagues at Akron Children’s Hospital have called him a pioneer and a visionary in the field of child abuse evaluation and treatment. Steiner’s more humble than that, though. “As I look back over my career, I can see we’ve done a good job,” Steiner said in a conference room in the hospital’s Locust Building, where he heads the Children at Risk Evaluation (CARE) Center. “The best thing I did was hire good people.”...

How Can We Treat the Seriously Mentally Ill Before Tragedy Occurs, Instead of After? [PSMag.com]

For at least a year before he shot and killed Laura Wilcox, Scott Thorpe had been convinced that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was out to get him. He told his older brother Kent that they had planted a chip in his brain and were using it to track him. He was certain that at some point he and the lead agent in charge of his case would end up in a big shoot-out, and that this shoot-out would determine his fate. In secret, he took pains to prepare for this reckoning: He converted his...

How Zoning Restrictions Make Segregation Worse [CityLab.com]

We’ve long known two things about land use regulations. One is that elements of them—in the form of large lot requirements and other aspects of “exclusionary zoning”—have led to the racial and economic segregation. The other is that restrictive land use and building codes in cities limit housing construction (and therefore housing supply), leading to increased costs, worse affordability problems, and deepened inequality in urban centers. What we haven’t...

Making art helps children at risk [TriValleyCentral.com]

Leaning over their kitchen table, Xavier Johnson, 12, and his brother, DaShawn, 9, grinned shyly as they fanned out dozens of drawings in crayon, pencil, and marker. DaShawn proudly smoothed a picture of a dragon composed of panels in red, green, blue, and black, each color representing an emotion. Xavier held up renderings of athletes, of his family, of an alien robot. “Drawing makes me feel better,” Xavier said. “When I’m mad, I draw my anger, and I just get...

Men Find Healing from Childhood Sexual Abuse [FairfaxCounty.gov]

Twice a month in Springfield, a group of men gather to talk. These men talk about their childhood sexual abuse. “If you’ve been through any kind of adverse experience, any kind of traumatic experience — and any kind of childhood sexual abuse is a traumatic experience — it shakes your core and changes your whole outlook on life as a safe place,” said Chris Davies, our staff lead for the men’s group (there are also domestic abuse and women’s sexual...

Nationally Recognized W.Va. Program Helps Children Deal With Trauma [WVPublic.org]

In 2013, the West Virginia Center for Children’s Justice launched a program called Handle With Care . The collaborative  program is meant to help children who’ve experienced abuse, neglect or other types of trauma succeed in school. The program that started on the West Side of Charleston is now expanding across the state and in other communities across the nation. [For more of this story, written by Roxy Todd, go...

UW course on law and justice really comes to life when it’s held behind bars [SeattleTimes.com]

At some point during the first session of Professor Steve Herbert’s seminar course on law, societies and justice this fall, a change worked its way over those sitting in the beige meeting room being used as a classroom. The 11 University of Washington students began to realize that their fellow students — 10 prisoners serving time in the Washington State Reformatory — were every bit as prepared for the class as they were. Maybe more so. [For more of this story, written by...

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