Blog

Letter-to-the-editor of New Yorker Magazine in response to the "Baby Doe" article

I sent this last night. Let me know what you think! Jill Lepore’s article “Baby Doe” in the Feb. 1, 2016 issue , was a very well-written look at the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. I’m sorry to see that this system is still swinging between the same two tracks of family preservation or child removal, when the trend in helping children who are traumatized takes a very different approach. Lepore touched on that new trend with her descriptions of...

Boston: It Takes a Village

   Pediatrician Renée Boynton-Jarrett was working with young women in Trenton who had become pregnant as teenagers when she understood how poverty, food insecurity, violence, substandard housing and inadequate schools exacted a constant, toxic toll on people’s lives.    “It became profoundly evident to me that there’s a portion of humanity that experiences a chronic, insidious, daily violence and associated high levels of stress,” she said.

Trauma Movement Grows in Delaware

The third annual Delaware Trauma Matters conference, held on January 28 at Wilmington University, drew a diverse crowd of 200 from around the state and across many sectors, including healthcare, mental health, education, corrections, and child serving agencies among others. While some said this degree of diversity was unusual in the state, the leader of Delaware’s trauma initiative, Leslie Brower (pictured on the right with Aileen Fink, who serves as community manager along with Brower...

Helping High Schoolers Find Purpose

Seven Ways to Help High Schoolers Find Purpose By Patrick Cook-Deegan | January 11, 2016 | 1 Comment Many students go through high school bored and unengaged. Patrick Cook-Deegan explains what a purpose-driven curriculum would look like. Over the past decade, I have had the chance to ask thousands of teenagers what they think about school. I’ve found that the vast majority of them generally feel one of two ways: disengaged or incredibly pressured. One thing nearly all teens agree on...

Glenn Close Opens Up About Her Depression [PsychCentral.com]

When Jessie and Glenn Close founded their mental illness nonprofit, Bring Change 2 Mind in 2010, all of the focus was on Jessie’s battle with bipolar disorder. Glenn was there to lend her name and support to the effort, but I’m not sure anyone imagined she too suffered. Silently. But, according to a new article in Mashable earlier this week, Glenn was first diagnosed with depression in 2008. Which makes her efforts to help launch Bring Change 2 Mind all the more laudable. Glenn...

Among High-Risk Teens, Younger Boys May Be More Likely than Girls to be Victims of Dating Violence [HealthyChildren.org]

A study in the February 2016 issue of Pediatrics found that among teens previously exposed to violence in their homes or communities , boys may be just as likely as girls to be seriously injured by a romantic partner. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, " Dating Violence and Injury among Youth Exposed to Violence " (published online Jan. 29), surveyed 1,149 boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 17 in Texas. Its authors said dating violence changes significantly over...

Baby Doe [NewYorker.com]

Last June, a woman walking her dog on Deer Island, in Boston Harbor, came across a black plastic garbage bag on the beach. Inside was a very little girl, dead. The woman called for help and collapsed in tears. Police searched the island; divers searched the water; a medical examiner collected the body. The little girl had dark eyes and pale skin and long brown hair. She weighed thirty pounds. She was wearing white-and-black polka-dot pants. She was wrapped in a zebra-striped fleece blanket.

Chico school district using new approach to deal with behavioral issues [Chicoer.com]

Chico Unified School District is taking a different approach to behavioral problems in the classroom by training its staff to recognize students who have experienced trauma using the “trauma-informed” approach. In a traditional setting, if a student is acting out or not paying attention, a teacher might reprimand the student, or in some cases address them sharply, Chico Unified director of secondary education David McKay said. Using the trauma-informed approach, a teacher will...

To Rebuild 'The Collapse Of Parenting,' It's Going To Be A Challenge [NPR.org]

As many know, parenting isn't an easy job. It can be hugely frustrating and even lonely trying to figure out what's best for your kid. Should you be a taskmaster or a best friend? Is there a middle ground? The pressures of full-time work and round-the-clock activities can make that question even more challenging to tackle. Dr. Leonard Sax has experience in guiding these relationships as a family physician and psychologist in Pennsylvania. His new book, The Collapse Of Parenting: How We Hurt...

Tragedy Moves A Community To Combat Drug Addiction [NPR.org]

When it comes to fighting addiction, they say you have to hit bottom. For Rutland, Vt., a town of 17,000 devastated by heroin, the bottom came in September 2012. A popular high school senior was struck and killed by a driver who was high. Local resident Joe Kraus says the tragedy galvanized the community. "People who perhaps never would have gotten involved in a meaningful way decided it was time to get involved," he says. And they did. City officials, police and neighborhood activists came...

What It Feels Like Having Undiagnosed ADHD [PsychCentral.com]

Having ADHD doesn’t feel like anything. It just feels normal. You feel the way you’ve always felt, and you don’t have anything to compare it to. When you’re growing up with undiagnosed ADHD, it’s not that youfeel a certain way. It’s that you start noticing things. Maybe the first thing you notice is that you’re getting in trouble in school more than the other kids. You hate being bored, and getting into mischief makes things interesting. [For more of...

AVA Regional Academies: Building Trauma-Informed, Resilient, and Healthy Communities

Last week, I was fortunate to be a part of a small group of professionals in San Diego to attend the Academy on Violence and Abuse preconference session for the 30 th Annual San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment. The conference draws over 1,800 professionals in the maltreatment field from around the world each year. The session, titled: Building Trauma Informed, Resilience, and Healthy Communities: Regional, National, and Global Perspectives , had an ambitious...

Raising of America offering free screening of all five episodes

From Feb. 1 - 15, you'll be able to screen, for free, all five episodes of Raising of America , the five-part documentary about early childhood and the future of the U.S., from the Raising of America web site .  If you'd rather attend a screening, check out the list of upcoming events here  to see if there's one near you. You can also find out if your local PBS station will be showing it here ; some PBS stations are hosting live in-studio discussion after the broadcast. ...

Free screening of "Resilience" at the Santa Barbara Int'l Film Festival Feb. 4

Yes, that's at 2 p.m. this Thursday at the Lobero Theater , California's oldest, continuously operating theatre! James Redford, who directed  Resilience , will be doing a Q-and-A following the screening on Thursday. (He will not attend the Friday screening.) Resilience premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, Jan. 22 , followed by several more screenings last week.   Here's the description from the Resilience page on the Santa Barbara International Film Festival web...

Mental Health Shortages, Sheriffs & Children

I attended Syl Jone's play BECAUSE at the Mixed Blood Theatre last week.   It's a moving piece that explores living with mental health issues from multiple perspectives leaving the audience with a personal sense of what it's like to be this person, live with this person and understand this person .   Syl is now the Resident Fellow for Narrative Health at HCMC (I think every hospital should have such a position - how else can these stories be told?) I asked Syl at the play if he...

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