VA struggles to talk about guns; physical activity may prevent depression in kids; parents face criticism when choosing residential facilities

//VA struggles to talk about guns; physical activity may prevent depression in kids; parents face criticism when choosing residential facilities

VA struggles to talk about guns; physical activity may prevent depression in kids; parents face criticism when choosing residential facilities

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!

Talking is Easy for Therapists, Except When It’s About Guns. Veterans Want to Teach Them How.
KQED – 2.1.17

Nearly 70% of veterans who complete suicide do so with a gun. This chilling truth prompted President Obama to order the Veterans Affairs (VA) to talk about gun safety and storage options. However, Megan McCarthy, a psychologist at the San Francisco VA, suggests that because most therapists are not gun people, they do not know how to talk with their clients about guns. She notes that “one obvious reason for that is that no one has taught them how.” Veterans like Jay Zimmerman, are hoping to change that.  Zimmerman struggled with PTSD, depression, and suicidal ideation after returning from combat. Now, as a peer counselor at the Mountain Home VA Medical Center, Zimmerman shares his story with therapists and other veterans. According to McCarthy, the role of psychologists is sometimes not to intervene, but to act as a facilitator who connects vets with peer counselors they can trust and who better understand their experiences.

Study Finds Physically Active Kids Less Depressed
PsychCentral – 2.1.17

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics suggests that physical activity in children may prevent the development of depression. Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) examined 800 six-year-olds, and completed follow-up examinations with nearly 700 of these children when they were ages eight and ten. The study’s findings demonstrated that physically active six and eight-year-olds showed fewer symptoms of depression when they were examined two years later. Dr. Silje Steinsbekk, associate psychology professor at NTNU, believes “this is important to know, because it may suggest that physical activity can be used to prevent and treat depression already in childhood.” The study’s takeaway message to parents and health professionals is to facilitate physical activity among kids, and that limiting sedentary activities — such as TV or iPad screen time – is not sufficient to reap mental health benefits.

When Kids With Mental Illness Can’t Live At Home
The Washington Post – 1.31.17

In 2015, 271,000 youth between the ages of 12 and 17 received care for mental illness at a residential facility. However, families that send their child to residential treatment programs often confront judgement and misunderstanding. As Jennifer Zielinski, program coordinator for Idaho Parents Unlimited, explains “there is a theme that we hear often, that parents are to blame: they need parenting classes or need to learn how to handle their kids.” For many families, Child Protective Services (CPS) involvement and concerns for the safety of their other kids are driving factors in deciding to place their child in a residential treatment program. The article highlights that placement can be beneficial for the mental and emotional wellness of the parent/s as well as the child. Zielinski, whose daughter is in a facility, shares that she was able to shed the many roles she assumed — nurse, medication manager, and parole officer — and assume her role as her daughter’s mother. Gary M. Blau, director of Building Bridges, believes that while residential treatment can be necessary, facilities need to prioritize communication between children and parents and make shifts toward community-based services that allow the child to stay at home and maintain regular contact with family.

Other Stories:

Realizing Youth Justice: Guiding Principles for Advocates in the Trump Era
Clasp – February 2017

House Votes to Strike Rule Banning Guns for Some Deemed Mentally Impaired
USA Today – 2.2.17

When Erica’s Twin Sisters Were Adopted, She Thought She’d Still See Them Regularly. She Was Wrong.
Cosmopolitan – 2.1.17

The Justice System Continues To Fail Black Boys
The Huffington Post – 2.1.17

An Addict Wanted Her Story Told. So Her Mother Did — In An Obituary.
The Washington Post – 1.31.17

For Years Doctors Wrongly Diagnosed These Strange Episodes As Panic Attacks
The Washington Post – 1.29.17

‘Rooms Infested With Spiders’: California Youth Urge Changes in Conditions at Juvenile Facilities
The Chronicle of Social Change – 1.27.17

Mental Health Advocates Must Take a Stand Regarding the Devos Nomination for Education Secretary
The Huffington Post – 1.27.17   

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By | 2017-02-03T20:44:28+00:00 February 3rd, 2017|The Weekly Mash Up|0 Comments

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