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!
Settlement Could Be Near in Idaho Mental Health Care Case
Idaho Statesman – 3.1.15
According to the Idaho Statesman, “there are signs that a landmark lawsuit over juvenile mental healthcare in Idaho may be reaching a conclusion, resulting in a systemwide overhaul.” This is the latest development in the decades old case, Jeff D. v. Otter, aimed at providing children living with serious emotional disturbances access to intensive community-based mental health services in Idaho. Howard Belodoff, co-counsel for the Plaintiffs, said “details of the settlement, which are being kept confidential, have been worked out and in the process of gaining approval of state officials.”
YMAP is co-counsel for the Plaintiffs in this case and will keep you updated as this story unfolds. Visit our website for more information about Jeff D.
More Than One In Four Foster Kids Miss Required Checkups
Kaiser Health News – 3.2.15
A report released by the Department of Health and Human Services on Monday reveals that almost “a third of children in foster care who were enrolled in Medicaid did not receive at least one required health screening.” This means that many children who have “suffered neglect, abuse and other problems” may not be receiving adequate physical and mental healthcare. The Inspector General, Daniel R. Levinson, requests that the Administration for Children and Families (ACF)–responsible for overseeing the States’ foster care programs–identify barriers to care and propose strategic solutions. The report investigated health services in California, New York, Texas and Illinois from July 2011 to June 2012.
Out of Detention: How to Stop the School-to-Prison Pipeline
Harvard Political Review – 3.2.15
According to Olivia Herrington of the Harvard Political Review (HPR), youth with mental health needs are especially at risk of experiencing what advocates call the “school-to-prison” pipeline. While 20 percent of youth in the U.S. live with one or more mental disorders, that proportion jumps to 70 percent for youth involved in the juvenile justice system. Herrington and other advocates argue the increased number is due to a lack of school-based mental health services and supports. Alison Barkoff, the Director of Advocacy at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, told HPR, “Many kids with mental health needs or behavioral disorders are very badly supported in schools, and what we call the school-to-prison pipeline is happening for a lot of these kids. … If you look at the referral rate of kids into juvenile justice from school, it’s a very high proportion of kids with mental health needs.” The Children’s Defense Fund also acknowledges a strong connection and considers improving access to mental healthcare one of the “key immediate action steps” to ending the pipeline. Herrington argues that school-based mental health services are not only more cost efficient, but could also be more effective: “Students are 21 times more likely to use a school health center’s mental health services than similar services offered elsewhere in a community, since they feel more comfortable when they are familiar with the setting in which they receive care.”
When Mentally Ill Students Feel Alone
The Atlantic – 3.2.15
In January, a 20 year-old Yale student bought a one-way ticket to San Francisco and jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge to her death. She left a message on Facebook that read, “Dear Yale: I loved being here. I only wish I could’ve had some time…” Luchang Wang’s suicide sparked a student-lead investigation of the University’s withdrawal and readmission policies that make it “difficult for students with mental-health issues to feel comfortable leaving campus, even when taking time off from school may improve their wellbeing.” Both Yale students and administration alike are developing prevention strategies to support students in crisis. Wang’s acquaintance said, “Yale has the opportunity to lead the way universities treat mental health.”
Will Facebook’s Efforts Actually Help Prevent Suicide?
Think Progress – 3.2.15
Facebook attempts to tackle the issue of suicide by rolling out a new feature this week. The app allows users “to reach out to their troubled loved ones virtually and connect them with online resources after spotting the first sign of trouble.” Amidst the conversation of social media’s role in mental wellness, especially among young people, Facebook’s new technology hopes to “help concerned family and friends spark much needed conversations.” Supporters believe that this online tool, which can identify and report triggering status updates, is necessary for reaching the younger generation on a modern platform. Some skeptics question the app’s privacy, the absence of face-to-face treatment, and potential misuse. All Facebook users will have access to the app in the upcoming months.
How to Avoid Passing Anxiety on to Your Kids
Child Mind Institute – 3.3.15
Michelle Obama Promotes Awareness of Mental Health Care
Idaho Statesman -3.4.15
Drugging Our Kids: Mercury News Hosts Screening of Video on Psychiatric Drugs in Foster Care
The Monterey Herald – 3.5.15
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**News stories shared by Young Minds in the Weekly MashUp do not necessarily represent the views of the organization.