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May 2019

Sacramento has a mental health crisis. Let’s shift from ‘emergency’ to strategy (sacbee.com)

The mental health crisis in Sacramento is getting worse. We need a plan to turn things around. On a recent Monday, I began my clinical rounds at UC Davis Medical Center’s emergency department providing initial care for 25 adults and four children suffering with psychiatric emergencies. These patients represented one-quarter of all patients in our emergency department that morning. The company executive with depression and alcohol problems who had suicidal thoughts after losing custody of his...

Mental health services vital to heal children traumatized by violence [The Sacramento Bee]

Recent suicides by students who survived the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High reveal how trauma induced by violence, especially gun violence, extends long after the event and well beyond a shooting’s direct victims. Children, in particular, bear the consequences of violence-induced trauma. Without timely and effective intervention, the brains of children exposed to violence, especially if that exposure is sustained, will never develop as biologically destined. This revelation has...

SFPD Trumpets Drop in Use-of-Force, Shooting Incidents [SFist]

The San Francisco Police Department is so committed to using less force that they are now putting little “Safety with Respect” stickers on some of their vehicles. If there were a sign at SFPD headquarters that said “X Days Since the Last Police Shooting,” that sign would today read “325 Days.” That’s the longest the department has gone without shooting a suspect in nearly 20 years, and the San Francisco Chronicle reports the department has seen a 30% decline in use-of-force incidents . Chief...

First on new California state superintendent’s long agenda: getting more men of color in the classroom Tony Thurmond reaches out for ideas on 13 education challenges [Ed Source]

our months into his first term, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond is creating 13 work groups that he expects will recommend strategies for addressing some of the state’s thorniest education challenges. The issues include the need for an extensive student data system, college affordability, special education, teacher development, student health and safety, the teacher shortage and the issue he ran on but has little direct power to effect — more funding for schools.

Counselors Needed: Schools Struggle With New Wave of Trauma 6 Months After Camp Fire [ KQED]

The trauma specialists working in Butte County schools knew they'd start seeing kids act out around six months after the deadly Camp Fire, since anniversaries are known to trigger survivors into reliving moments of the traumatic event. But there aren't enough counselors to help all of the students, teachers and staff dealing with this second wave of trauma. “We have six schools that have requested help, and we can't bring help to them,” said Roy Applegate, who helps coordinate Recovery...

Untreated Postpartum Depression and Anxiety Costs California Billions, Report Concludes [CA Health Report]

Untreated mood and anxiety disorders associated with pregnancy are costing California billions of dollars in health care spending, social services expenses and productivity losses, according to a new report. The study , conducted by the research firm Mathematica with funding from three foundations including the California Health Care Foundation, estimates the cost of untreated perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) in California at $2.4 billion for all births in 2017. This includes...

More than 70 4CA participants converge on Sacramento, talk ACEs to power

Mai Le, an ACEs champion and program associate with First 5 San Mateo, wasted no time getting to the point of why she was asking lawmakers to support legislation that would help prevent adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). “When I was a child, my father had a psychotic break and was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia,” she said in a conversation with Eric Dietz, a staff member for State Senator John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa). L-R: Eric Dietz, Richa Sharma, Mai Le “I’m a high achiever,...

California Surgeon General, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris visits Fresno

On Tuesday, May 7th, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris held her first listening session in Fresno as she visits various parts of California. Her goal is to get a better pulse of what’s happening in the area of health and wellness within our diverse state. There was a deep appreciation from all the Fresno leaders in attendance that Dr. Burke Harris would take the time to visit and listen to those working within our community. Though 90 minutes can go by quickly, it provided just enough time for us to...

ACEs Within Tribal Communities

Mechuksus, As I write this I am trying to overcome the taboo's within California Tribal Communities that come along with asking the ACE questions. Our traditional societies had very strict factors on what we talked about between male and female relationships as well as outside of the community unit. Unless you work within the wellness realm or you have pursued your own healing many Tribal Communities are unaware of what ACEs are. This is something that my family has pledged to change. My 15...

A Pathway to Prevention: Understanding root causes to help break the cycle of domestic violence [Blue Shield of California Foundation]

From Foundation Program Manager Jelissa Parham: Recently, I was in Oakland’s Chinatown neighborhood when I heard a couple fighting across the street from me. As I looked on, the man lunged toward the woman and began to choke her while her young toddler watched the entire scene, clutching a small toy. Instinctively, before I had time to process the possible consequences, I called out: “No! Stop! Don’t touch her!” The man released his hold, and I briefly thought the incident was over. But I...

Mental Health First-Aid Training Could Have Saved My Daughter’s Life (calhealthreport.org)

The morning of Alliy’s suicide was as normal as any other. The kids were getting ready for school and nothing seemed amiss other than Alliy being overly dressed for a warm day. Before leaving she kissed her siblings and told each one that she loved them. Alliy then told me she loved me and said goodbye as she walked out the door. That was the last time I would ever see my daughter. We were not allowed to watch the video footage from the Golden Gate Bridge that morning confirming Alliy had...

Could Expanding Nurse’s Scope of Care Help Fight the Opioid Epidemic in California? (kqed.org)

When it comes to treating opioid addiction, most health care experts say nurses have a critical role to play in prescribing the lifesaving medication buprenorphine. Buprenorphine can be prescribed by both doctors and nurses who have taken specific training and received a license from the Drug Enforcement Administration. A study published in the medical journal JAMA in April found that states without a physician-oversight requirement to prescribe buprenorphine have more nurses getting...

Overdoses in California prisons up 113% in three years — nearly 1,000 incidents in 2018 (sfchronicle.com)

Nearly 1,000 men and women in California prisons overdosed last year and required emergency medical attention in what officials acknowledge is part of an alarming spike in opioid use by those behind bars, according to records obtained by The Chronicle. The number of inmates treated for drug or alcohol overdoses jumped from 469 to 997 from 2015 to 2018 — a 113% increase. While many of the prisoners survived, the most recent data available show drug-related inmate deaths are on the rise, too —...

Breakdown: California’s mental health system, explained (calmatters.org)

"Mental health advocates have long described California’s fragmented mental health system with words like “struggling” and “broken.” Evidence of its consequences can be found in our jails and prisons, our hospitals and clinics, our schools and colleges. The problem touches those living in comfortable middle class suburbs, remote rural towns, and on the streets of the state’s biggest cities." "Not only do a sixth of Californians experience some mental illness, but 1 out of every 24 have a...

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