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Exercise May Keep Your Brain 10 Years Younger, Study Suggests [Consumer.HealthDay.com]

Older adults who exercise regularly could buy an extra decade of good brain functioning, a new study suggests. The study found that seniors who got moderate to intense exercise retained more of their mental skills over the next five years, versus older adults who got light exercise or none at all. On average, those less-active seniors showed an extra 10 years of "brain aging," the researchers said. The findings do not prove that exercise itself slows brain aging, cautioned senior researcher...

For Chronic Low Back Pain, Mindfulness Can Beat Painkillers [NPR.org]

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told doctors they should really, really think twice before prescribing opioids for chronic pain. And now the doctors are telling us that meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy often work better than pain meds and other medical treatments for chronic back pain. It's the latest in a series of studies saying that low-tech interventions like exercise , posture training , physical therapy and just the passage of time work better than...

Portraits of Resilience: Victor Morales [Tech.MIT.edu]

Editor’s Note: Portraits of Resilience is a photography and narrative series by Prof. Daniel Jackson. Each installment consists of a portrait and a story, told in the subject’s own words, of how they found resilience and meaning in their life. I am an immigrant from Mexico. My mom raised me and my two siblings all by herself. My dad stayed in Mexico. My mom struggled a lot; she never learned English. Halfway through third grade, I was placed in an English-only class, and by fourth grade, I...

How to Talk Constructively About Mental Illness [PSMag.com]

Seung-Hui Cho, Adam Lanza, James Holmes, Elliot Rodger: In the wake of mass shootings, we often blame mental illness rather than lax gun control for making those tragedies possible. A Washington Post survey of 1,001 Americans found that 63 percent cited problems in identifying and treating people with mental-health issues as the primary cause of mass shootings in this country, while just 23 percent cited gun control laws. Years of research shows that the purported link between mental illness...

Why Children Growing Up With Domestic Violence Struggle to Find Help Online [HuffingtonPost.com]

Late last night, I Googled “bulimia.” A very good friend called me extremely upset and told me he heard his daughter throwing up after dinner. He is worried but doesn’t know what to do. She is 12 years old. I don’t know much about this topic, but I knew enough to search for “bulimia.” But then I thought to myself, “If you grow up living with domestic violence, what would you search? What if you’re 12 years old? What would you look up?” What happens when you don’t know what to search? [For...

A Reconsideration of Children and Screen Time [Well.Blogs.NYTimes.com]

The digital world is changing around us at a dizzying pace; parents want guidance, and pediatricians want to answer their questions with helpful and scientifically valid advice. The American Academy of Pediatrics’ policy on children and media is probably best known for two recommendations: to discourage any screen time for children under 2, and to limit screen time to two hours a day for older children. As new technologies have transformed many aspects of daily life, new questions have...

#FightforOurGirls Year Long Reporting Series by CSSP

I know that the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) is active on this website, but I haven't seen a posting about this phenomenal reporting series, #FightforourGirls. The goal of the series is to highlight how traumatized girls of color are not having their needs met, and instead are receiving carceral interventions where mental health treatment is needed. It was this image (above) from the facebook post that caught my eye- the concept of "camouflaged trauma" is so powerful! The 8...

Proposed Georgia Budget Shifts Money to Community Programs [JJIE.org]

Leandra Phommavongsay began his speech to the dozen or so teenagers gathered in the back of a Clayton County courtroom by recounting his recent travels. He had been to California, and before that to Florida and to Texas, all places he hadn’t ever expected to go when he was growing up in small-town Georgia, south of Atlanta. “I just came from San Francisco. I’m not sure you’ve ever seen San Francisco. But San Francisco is beautiful,” he said. He had once been like them, Phommavongsay, now 21,...

The Mental Health of Dads Matters [PsychologyToday.com]

In the last few years, we have taken a big leap in understanding and supporting maternal mental health and family well-being. But when it comes to supporting new fathers, we remain in the Dark Ages. Support for the changes and challenges new fathers face is largely absent from discussions of perinatal and postpartum health. For many men, this means the entry into fatherhood is confusing, painful, and stressful. In fact, some estimates reveal that more than 25 percent of new fathers...

William McKenzie: We know a lot more about our brains, but we still struggle to talk about mental illness [DallasNews.com]

Researchers are starting to answer some important questions about our brains: how the roughly three pound organ develops quickly in our early years but keeps renewing itself as we age; how the frontal lobe impacts higher-order thinking; how poverty can limit the wiring of the brain. This knowledge helps us understand the importance of early-childhood influences. It helps us understand why humans act so creatively. It even helps us understand some of the academic gaps between boys and girls.

Bush Fellowships awarded to 24 who can use the $100K to develop leadership skills[MinnPost]

This article describes the award by the St. Paul, Minnesota-based Bush Foundation of 24 fellowships to individuals in North and South Dakota, Minnesota and 23 Native nations to develop leadership skills. Some of the awardees are doing work trauma-specific work such as Susan Marie Beaulieu who is teaching ACEs in Native American communities. Others are using the arts, drumming and other culturally-grounded approaches to heal communities. One is a state legislator (not seeking re-election),...

What Urban Hunger Looks Like Now [CityLab.com]

On East 11th Street between Avenues B and C in New York City’s East Village, the line for the Father’s Heart food pantry wraps around the block. On cold winter days, people bundle up in puffer coats to hold their place; they might be outside, standing still, for as long as three hours. The surrounding neighborhood is hip, and expensive. Locals walk their dogs through Tompkins Square Park, sipping delicately crafted cappuccinos. Commuters hop on Citi Bikes and spin off to their jobs. Joggers...

Why Teach for America Is Scrapping Its National Diversity Office [TheAtlantic.com]

A shakeup at Teach for America, the controversial nonprofit that places recent college graduates in low-income school districts across the country, will eliminate the organization’s Office of the Chief Diversity Officer this fall. The announcement comes amid layoffs that will shrink the national staff about by 15 percent. While Teach for America says the restructuring (first outlined in a blog post published by Diane Ravitch, a former assistant secretary of education who has been critical of...

Black Activism, Unchurched [TheAtantic.com]

Where is the church in the Black Lives Matter movement? The spirit of the black church has long animated the movements for civil rights and social justice in America. The call and response, the vocabulary of oppression and solidarity: These are the languages of sanctuaries and pews, of Sunday morning worship and Bible-study vigils . But in the black- and youth-led political activism of the last several years, the church hasn’t been nearly as visible as it was in the civil-rights movement of...

Half of Community College Students Confront Mental Health Conditions [ACCT.org]

The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), in collaboration with the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, the Healthy Minds Study, and Single Stop today announced the release of Too Distressed to Learn? , a new research report that assesses mental health among community college students. Authors Daniel Eisenberg , Sara Goldrick-Rab , Sarah Ketchen Lipson , and Katharine Broton conducted a survey of more than 4,000 students at 10 community colleges in California, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, New...

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