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March 2018

Tell California's Leaders to Make Critical Mental Health Services Available for Kids in Foster Care

Kids in foster care have experienced significant trauma from abuse and neglect and, as a result, often need mental health services. Yet too often, kids in foster care and their caregivers are left to navigate triggering events and conflicts on their own, even though immediate professional support is critical in times of crisis. Tell our state’s leaders to support a common sense solution – a toll-free hotline, available 24/7, so caregivers and kids in foster care, who are experiencing...

Youth in Action

Some of the best advocates for children's health are engaged and empowered youth. Creating a positive cycle of health, from optimal physical and mental health to positive social behaviors and supportive relationships requires all of us, adults and youth alike, to be engaged citizens. Adolescence is the stage in human development when individuals begin to clarify and articulate their own values and operationalize their roles in the larger world. Their uncertainty motivates them to question...

'Teaching Hope': How California Schools Can Improve Ways To Address Student Trauma [capradio.org]

Dealing with students’ childhood trauma may improve classroom behavior and attendance rates — at least that’s the idea at the Los Angeles Unified School District’s wellness centers. They are located in or near schools, and are designed to serve kids impacted by issues such as deportation threats, domestic abuse, housing instability and other trauma. The district is working with local nonprofits to expand the program. Suzanne Markey is a social worker with the district. She said schools often...

Trauma Informed Practices for Schools Training April 23, 2018

Trauma Informed Practices are the link to academic achievement and social/emotional success for students who’ve experienced toxic stress and trauma. Due to repeated triggering of the fight or flight system, the neurology of these students is different than their grade level counterparts, and taking in new knowledge can often be challenging. Navigating social/emotional situations can also be difficult. Trauma Informed Practices help teachers and students to be better regulated, which...

California’s tax on millionaires yields big benefits for people with mental illness, study finds [dailynews.com]

A statewide tax on the wealthy has significantly boosted mental health programs, helping to reduce homelessness, incarceration and hospitalization, according to a report released Tuesday. Revenue from the tax, the result of a statewide initiative passed in 2004, also expanded access to therapy and case management to almost 130,000 people up to age 25 in Los Angeles County, according to the report by the Rand Corp. Many were poor and from minority communities, the researchers said. “Our...

March 14th Hearing at State Capital (Extended Cal Grant funding for foster youth) Educational opportunity on SB 940 - Bring foster youth.

Senator Jim Beall's office that on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 9am, a bill will be presented at the Capitol. The SB 940, (Extended Cal Grant funding for foster youth) will be addressed. Senator Beall's office would like to see as many foster youth present, as well as, supporters of foster youth to learn more. SB 940 will improve post-secondary achievement among foster youth by increasing access to California’s largest and most important financial aid program, the Cal Grant. This bill has...

In California, Momentum Builds for Radical Action on Housing [citylab.com]

Cities around the world are dealing with severe housing shortages and inflated housing costs. But nowhere is housing such a potent political issue as in California, whose unique geography, state policies, and activist culture have combined with a poorly distributed economic boom to create a “perfect storm”—the chosen words of multiple sources for this story. California is home to more than one-fifth of the nation’s homeless people, and the numbers are continuing to grow. Los Angeles County...

Spirituality in Post-Traumatic Growth

One of the five domains of post-traumatic growth is spirituality. Helping us understand the role of spirituality in recovering from trauma at the Echo Frontiers of Resilience conference is Shaun Tomson . If you think the name and face look familiar then perhaps you know him from his days as a world champion surfer. Shaun needed every single one of the lessons he had learned about facing challenges in the form of towering waves and overcoming wipe-outs when he lost his 15-year-old son to a...

Bipartisan trauma resolution passes the House unanimously

In the late afternoon on Feb. 26, the House of Representatives unanimously passed H. Res. 443 , a resolution recognizing the importance and effectiveness of trauma-informed care and calling for a national trauma awareness month and trauma-informed awareness day. The impetus for the resolution resides with the First Lady of Wisconsin, Tonette Walker, who has taken a strong leadership role in advancing trauma-informed policy and practice statewide through Fostering Futures , and has elevated...

Sharing the Stage Together, Dr. Gabor Mate and Dr. Vincent Felitti at CAMFT's 2018 Advancing the Art & Science of Psychotherapy Conference, April 26-29, 2018

For all of our progress in understanding and treating mental illness, it continues to be a subject of misapprehension, prejudice, and stigmatization. The reason for that may be not its strangeness but its familiarity. Very few individuals or families are not touched by at least some aspects of mental dysfunction, some periods of the discouragement, disconnect or anxiety that, on a deeper and more chronic level characterizes the mind state of the mentally ill. And beyond individual experience...

Community advocates and Bay Area county health agencies work together on trauma-informed systems change

The talk around the table is not what one might expect when community advocates begin a meeting with county health officials. “I went into this [work] through my own lived experience of trauma and family addiction,” said Toni DeMarco, the deputy director of children’s services for San Mateo County Health System. Rocsana Enriquez, who teaches yoga to teens in juvenile hall in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties and in high schools for the Palo Alto-based Art of Yoga Project , chimed in. “I’m...

No More Missed Goodbyes: Promoting Greater Placement Stability for California Foster Youth [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

On February 12 , 200 California Youth Connection (CYC) members, allies and community members gathered to celebrate 30 years of the organization’s youth-led advocacy in California, and to continue the fight with a new bill to prevent unnecessary placement changes for foster youth in the state. That day, the steps of California State Capitol in Sacramento resonated with the voices of current and former foster youth, who chanted “C’mon, c’mon, join the fight! Stability is our right!” and “CYC...

Dr. Vincent Felitti will be speaking at the Advancing the Art and Science of Psychotherapy conference on Sunday, April 29, 2018 (Garden Grove, CA)

If you haven't heard Dr. Felitti speak, make it a point to attend CAMFT's Advancing the Art and Science of Psychotherapy Conference Sunday, April 29, 2018. Dr. Felitti will be speaking about the profound relationships between adverse life experiences in childhood and adolescence and the major implications for the health and economy of the nation. To register or to learn more about the conference go to www.camft.org/ac18.

Early childhood educators learn new ways to spot trauma triggers, build resilience in preschoolers

A hug may be comforting to many children, but for a child who has experienced trauma it may not feel safe. That’s an example used by Julie Kurtz, co-director of trauma informed practices in early childhood education at the WestEd Center for Child & Family Studies (CCFS), as she begins a trauma training session. Her audience, preschool teachers and staff of the San Francisco-based Wu Yee Children’s Services at San Francisco’s Women’s Building, listen attentively.

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