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 Friday!
The Weekly MashUp is taking a vacation! Posts will resume on Friday, January 9th, 2015. Happy holidays!
Restoring Justice: A Blueprint for Ensuring Fairness, Safety, and Supportive Treatment of LGBT Youth in the Juvenile Justice System
Center for American Progress – 12.17.14
According to a new brief by the Center for American Progress, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth are significantly overrepresented in America’s juvenile justice system. In fact, while LGBT youth represent just 5 to 7 percent of the nation’s overall youth population, they represent 13 to 15 percent of the juvenile justice population. An estimated 300,000 LGBT youth are incarcerated and/or detained each year. According to the brief, “these high rates of contact with the juvenile justice system are partly due to the compounding of challenges faced by LGBT youth, including family rejection, homelessness, bullying and harassment, biased school discipline policies, and failed safety net programs.” Once incarcerated, LGBT youth face high rates of discrimination and abuse, including “unsafe detention settings, inadequate medical and mental health resources, and blatant disrespect and disregard for their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.” In this comprehensive brief, the Center highlights successful nondiscrimination policies from around the country for LGBT youth in the juvenile justice system, and encourage the federal government to enact such policies nationwide.
‘Successful Diet’ May Mask Eating Disorders
SF Gate – 12.17.2014
Although we often expect teenagers suffering from anorexia to be extremely thin, doctors from the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital warn that this might not always be the case. Instead, increasingly often anorexia hides behind cases of “successful dieting” by previously overweight teenagers who now have a normal weight. Doctors encourage parents to be aware of signs that could point to an eating disorder, like compulsive dieting or rapid weight loss. Early diagnosis is crucial, as eating disorders are very serious diseases that could be fatal if left untreated.
India Tackles Worryingly High Level of Suicides Among Young People
CNN World – 12.12.14
According to a recent World Health Organization report, India has the highest suicide rate in the world for the 15-to-29 age group, reaching an alarming 35.5 per 100,000 people in 2012, the last year for which numbers are available. According to CNN World, experts say one of the reasons for this extremely high suicide rate is because many Indian families “brush mental health issues under the carpet rather than facing them head on.” Young people in India also face an incredible amount of pressure to get good grades and high-paying jobs. Dr. Arun John of the Vandrevala Foundation says, “Parents and schools do not make a child mentally and psychologically strong enough to handle pressure.” This leads to a “feeling of worthlessness,” he adds.
Recently the Indian government took a step towards raising awareness around this issue–making it no longer a crime to attempt suicide. Government officials were acting on a recommendation by a law commission report, which said “the desire to commit suicide should be seen as a condition needing treatment, not punishment.”
Mental health ‘warm line’ offers reassurance before point of crisis
SF Gate – 12.9.2014
For people struggling with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues, sometimes having someone to talk to is all it takes to feel better. Now, the Mental Health Association of San Francisco has established a new “warm line” to help people with mental illness before they reach a crisis point. The warm line aims to assist an underserved populations with mental health challenges, like homeless people, youth or non-English speakers. The service is peer-run, meaning the counselors on the other side of the line have all dealt with their own mental health issues, allowing them to better understand what callers are going through.
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**News stories shared in the Weekly MashUp do not necessarily represent the views of Young Minds Advocacy Project.