The Weekly MashUp is a recurring segment on Hear Me Out, the Young Minds’ Blog, highlighting the most pertinent local and national news for children’s mental health advocates. If you haven’t already, sign up to be on our email list to get the Weekly MashUp delivered to your inbox automatically, every Thursday!
Child Trauma Advocates Grapple with Historical Trauma
The Chronicle of Social Change – 3.24.17
In recent years, a push to understand the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and to provide trauma-informed services to youth have increased. However, some advocates believe that personal and intergenerational discrimination are essential elements to consider in addressing childhood trauma. At a recent conference on healing from social and historical trauma, Kanwarpal Dhaliwal, co-founder and community health director for the RYSE Youth Center, suggests that frameworks to measure childhood trauma, such as the ACEs questionnaire, disregard the role of racism and its impact across generations. “How do we actually move the meter so that the definitions of trauma and toxic stress are really grounded in that historical and structural frame and don’t just start with the health outcomes [associated with ACEs]. Those are all also important, but we are trying to make sure that we complicate and broaden how we articulate and understand trauma,” Dhaliwal questioned.
A recent ruling in a Supreme Court case could have big implications for the 6.5 million students with disabilities in the U.S. The case, Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, centered on a child with autism and attention deficit disorder (ADHD) who was removed from public school in fifth grade. He went on to make better progress at a private school. The parents of the child argued that the individualized education plan (IEP) provided by the public school was inadequate in meeting their child’s needs, and as a result, the school district should be compelled to pay for their son’s private school tuition. Last Wednesday, the Supreme Court sided with the family, overturning a lower court ruling in the school district’s favor. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), promises “free appropriate public education” to all students with disabilities. Last week’s ruling held that the word “appropriate” goes further than the lower courts had held. Chief Justice John Roberts signed an opinion that read, “it cannot be right that the IDEA generally contemplates grade-level advancement for children with disabilities who are fully integrated in the regular classroom, but is satisfied with barely more than de minimis progress for children who are not.”
In recent years, suicide has become the leading cause of death among Utah’s youth, ages 10 to 17. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents across the country annually. In the case of Utah, many experts have different ideas of why suicide is an increasing issue among the state’s youth, but some LGBTQ advocates point to the influence of the Mormon Church in communities across the state. Wendy Montgomery co-founded Mama Dragons, a support group of LGBTQ-affirming mothers who are members of the Mormon Church. She says that in the months after discriminatory policies by the church were leaked, 32 youth died by suicide across Utah. Every family she spoke with was Mormon. The article also highlights broader challenges in addressing this tragic trend, including issues collecting data and stigma around suicide.
How Trauma In One’s Teens Can Affect Mental Health In Mid-Life
Forbes – 3.29.17
5 Questions: Steven Adelsheim on Santa Clara County Youth Suicide Report
Stanford Medicine – 3.24.17
Community Survey Gives Snapshot of Palo Alto Perception on Youth Suicide
The Mercury News – 3.23.17
As Need Skyrockets, Sacramento Jail to Expand Aid to Mentally Ill
The Sacramento Bee – 3.23.17
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