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!
Parent Café Helps Parents of Children with Behavioral, Mental Health Issues
The Union – September 2015
A recent study by United Advocates for Children and Families has revealed that 48% of 350 parents of children with emotional and behavioral needs “had to quit their jobs at some point in order to care for their child; 27 percent of these parents were terminated due to workplace interruptions and 17 percent were unemployed.” To address parental and caregiver needs, new Parent Cafés have opened up across California. These Cafés aim to promote advocacy, educate, train, and support parents and caregivers of children with behavioral and mental health needs. Sabrina Speroni, the owner and director of Wise Journeys, highlights the importance of these groups as “a place that offers support and takes away the stigma…
For Some Troubled Kids and Teens, Social Media Can Be a “Vicious Circle”
Yahoo News – 9.17.15
Social media outlets can be a useful tool for young people to connect with peers and the world around them. However, experts believe that going online to make connections my exacerbate the challenges children struggling with mental health needs face. Dr. Meena Vimalananda, medical director of child and adolescent services at Sheppard Pratt Health System, suggests that online connections can “take away from immediate connectedness of families,” isolating youth from their most familiar support system. A study published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking found that more time spent on social networking sites was associated with unmet need for mental health support, poor self-rated mental health and reports of psychological distress, and suicidal thoughts among children and adolescents. While the study did not determine cause and effect, Vimalananda notes that “it’s a vicious circle that goes both ways.” Many young people struggling with psychological conditions seek comfort online yet, time spent online can increase isolation from “flesh-and-blood” support.
County Stashing Mental Health Cash While Needs Go Unmet
Voice of OC – 9.10.15
While many of Orange County’s mental health services suffer from chronic underfunding, the county has accrued approximately $220 million in unspent taxpayer money that California voters specifically earmarked for improving the mental health system. These funds are a result of the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), a 1 percent tax on the income of California’s millionaires, which was approved by voters in 2004 and adds more than a billion dollars into mental health programs each year. However, advocates and professionals in Orange County say many people with mental health needs lack access to care, while a large amount of MHSA dollars sit in the bank. In fact, a recent grand jury report found that the county should have around 1,500 psychiatric beds, yet there are no local beds available for young children until 2017. Another issue is the shortage of psychiatrists, which not only affects Orange County, but is also problematic nationwide.
Kaiser Permanente Adds Nearly 500 Mental Health Therapists in California, Despite Industry-Wide Shortage
PR Newswire – September 2015
With Mental Health, “Out of County” Should Not Mean “Out of Luck”
The Chronicle of Social Change – 9.16.15
How School Mental Health Programs Can Help You Prevent Crises
ETR.etc Blog – 9.15.15
Anxiety Taking Toll on Fire Evacuees and Exacerbating Other Health Problems
KQED News – 9.15.15
Nearly 4,000 Foster Children in California Living in Group Homes
Kidsdata.org – 9.14.15
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**News stories shared in the Weekly MashUp do not necessarily represent the views of Young Minds Advocacy Project.