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 mailing list to have the Weekly MashUp delivered to your inbox every Friday!
Drugging Our Kids Part II: D’Anthony’s Story
San Jose Mercury News
This past weekend, the San Jose Mercury News published the second installment in a five-part series investigating the medicating of young people in California’s foster care system. The findings are alarming: 1 in 4 adolescents in foster care in California are receiving psychotropic drugs, which is almost 3 times the national average for all adolescents.
In part two, released this week, reporter Karen De Sa chronicles the experience of a foster youth from Oakland named D’Anthony. Moved twenty-nine times and put on a multitude of powerful medications at a very young age, D’Anthony’s story “illustrates a disturbing pattern…,
Police officers’ treatment of civilians has been under a high level of scrutiny recently, due to a number of high-profile police shootings. In particular, police treatment of people living with mental illness has been a matter of great public concern. In an effort to prevent unnecessary violence, many law enforcement agencies are now training officers on how to identify and interact with people living with mental illness. The training uses the “Crisis Intervention Team” model, originally developed in the 1980s through a collaboration by police departments and local providers for mental health services, including the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
The model is now used by almost 3,000 local and regional departments. Although the model has been found to be successful, officers say media outlets have been uninterested in covering it. Richard Stevenson, an officer in St. Louis who participated in the training, says “There’s not much great news value to an officer who does an effective job at calming a situation down and getting help for the person who is in distress.”
California Calls For New Checks on Psych Meds for Foster Kids
San Jose Mercury News – 9.19.14
A new requirement by the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) means that doctors will soon be required to get extra authorization before prescribing antipsychotics to foster youth in California. The San Jose Mercury News reports that, “Beginning October 1, a state pharmacist must verify the ‘medical necessity’ of each antipsychotic prescription before the medications can be given to children who are 17 and younger and covered by Medi-Cal.” The regulation comes amidst public scrutiny around the State’s overuse of dangerous medications in California’s foster care system.
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**News stories shared by Young Minds in the Weekly MashUp do not necessarily represent the views of the organization.