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!
States Look for Help With Bilingual Mental Health
Sun Herald – 11.5.15
With the national shortage of mental health professionals comes the shortage of bilingual, multicultural therapists. For some minority communities, language and cultural barriers can make it difficult to seek much needed resources and treatment. Sita Diehl, the director of state policy at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), suggests that these barriers are equally as distressing for professionals since “it’s difficult to trust that translation will capture nuances in the soul-baring process of mental health treatment.” According to an April 2014 assessment by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the greatest shortages in mental health professionals were in South Dakota, Wisconsin, Alaska, Arizona and Oklahoma. The HRSA report shows that these states only have “a quarter or less of the psychiatrists, counselors and therapists they need.” This Sun Herald article highlights New Mexico, Alaska, and California as examples of states that are working to address this issue by implementing cross-cultural approaches to mental health care.
What Happens If You Try To Prevent Every Single Suicide?
NPR – 11.2.15
Over the past decade or so, the number of suicides across the nation has increased. In 2003, the suicide rate was 10.8 per 100,000 people, but rose to 12.6 per 100,000 people in 2013. In an effort to curb these numbers, mental health professionals in Detroit developed a plan to address the most common cause of suicide–depression. In 2001, the Henry Ford Health System developed a program that aims to address this issue using a multi-pronged approach that includes primary care doctors screening patients for suicidal ideation, and encouraging the patients’ families and the patients themselves to develop “safety plans.” The Henry Ford approach has led to dramatic cuts in suicide rates among their patients and is now being implemented by other institutions and organizations across the country. The goal of the Henry Ford program, and programs like it, is zero suicides, not just a reduction in suicide rates. Doree Ann Espiritu, head of the zero suicide program at Henry Ford, highlights the importance of pushing for zero: “if you say we’re OK with five a year, one of those might be your brother or your friend…We aim for zero because it reminds all of us of what we would want for ourselves.”
California Backs off Group Homes, Looks to Lean on Foster Families
ProPublica – 11.2.15
In September, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation (AB 403) “aimed at fixing the state’s broken juvenile group home system.” Under this new law, drafted based on a 56-page report from California’s Department of Social Services (DSS), “group homes will undergo an accreditation process, retrain staff, and serve children strictly and intensively on a short-term basis.” The legislation also aims to remedy the process by which youth are assessed in order to ensure youth are placed in in group homes that meet their specific needs. DSS will also establish a new, more rigid method of oversight. Carroll Schroeder, executive director of the California Alliance for Youth and Family Services, points to foster families as an integral part of the reform, saying “we have got to find those foster families, get them approved and trained and make sure they are getting the services and support they need to be successful.” This is especially important since some child welfare professionals anticipate that many group homes across the state will shut down rather than adhere to the law’s new requirements. This, according to experts and reiterated in the article, would be troublesome if recruiting efforts for foster families fail, since the law “will only increase pressure on an already stressed system.”
Drugs, Greed and a Dead Boy
New York Times – 11.5.15
Mental Health Once Again Most Common Cause of Hospital Admission Among CA Children
Kidsdata.org – 11.4.15
Messages to People With Mental Illness From All Over the World: ‘You’re Not Alone
Huffington Post – 11.2.15
Delaying Kindergarten May Bring Mental Health Benefits for Kids
KPCC – 11.2.15
6 Scientifically Proven Ways To Have A Better Day
Upworthy – 10.26.15
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**News stories shared in the Weekly MashUp do not necessarily represent the views of Young Minds Advocacy Project.