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!
‘Katie A.’ Home-Based Mental Health Services: No Longer Just for Foster Youth
Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health – 3.3.16
The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) recently announced that all Medi-Cal recipients under age 21 who meet “medical necessity” criteria are eligible for home and community-based mental health services, also known as “Katie A. services,” that were previously limited to youth in the foster care system. In light of this policy shift, the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health interviewed Young Minds Advocacy’s president, Patrick Gardner, to talk about the importance of the Katie A. law. “It’s about fairness,” Gardner notes. “Children with mental health needs are society’s most vulnerable kids and they are mostly ignored…If we can coordinate care in the home, families don’t break up, kids can function in society, and we save money, because institutions are expensive. For me, fairness and equity demands that, rather than warehousing these extremely vulnerable children and families, we provide appropriate, quality care.” He also highlights some of the biggest misconceptions about the law, how many kids are entitled to Katie A. benefits, and how this would “put California ahead of the curve” in addressing the needs of these youth.
According to a review by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) made public Tuesday, more than a third of the people shot by LAPD officials last year had documented signs of mental illness, nearly triple the number from the year before. The report aimed to identify how and when Los Angeles police use force, and discover ways to reduce these instances. Numbers cited in the report bring up questions regarding how police can safely interact with a growing population of people with mental health needs. Some agencies in L.A. are pushing for reforms in how the criminal justice system treats offenders with mental illness, whose numbers are increasing in jails and courtrooms. Federal authorities are pressuring county supervisors to improve jail conditions for inmates with mental illness. The Los Angeles police department is also implementing the use of less-lethal devices that can be more readily available to officers, including Tasers and bean-bag shotguns. LAPD officials expect this report to prompt more questions and changes for the department. Assistant Chief Michael Moore notes that “at the end of the day, the instances in which we use force…is extremely rare…But at the same time, each incident is one too many if it can be avoided.”
Dually Involved Youth: The State Cannot Determine the Effectiveness of Efforts to Serve Youth Who Are Involved in Both the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Systems
California State Auditor – February 2016
The California State Auditor has released a 2015 report on dually involved youth – young people involved in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Overall, most of the 58 counties examined did not have sufficient protocols in place to track the outcomes or services given to dually involved youth. While there is no state requirement to track this data, national best practices recommend it. So far, California has provided little guidance to county agencies regarding how to track these youths’ outcomes and information. Among its recommendations, the report urges agencies to embrace national best practices. The report encourages California to implement a statewide case management system to achieve uniform data collection. Uniformly identifying dually involved youth and connecting existing data across systems can improve continuity of care for these young people and ultimately, life outcomes for youth.
Nowhere to Go: LGBT Youth on the Move, Without a Home
Jackson Free Press – 3.2.16
This Suicide Prevention App Might Actually Be Able To Save Lives
Buzzfeed – 3.1.16
How America’s Criminal Justice System Became the Country’s Mental Health System
Vox – 3.1.16
Honoring Fiza Quraishi
National Center for Youth Law – February 2016
It’s Time We Start to Talk About Depression Like the Common Illness That It Is
Huffington Post – 2.29.16
After My Suicide Attempt, I Made This Plan to Stay Alive and Well
Huffington Post – 2.26.16
Compassion for Voices: A Tale of Courage And Hope
Youtube – 2.23.16
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**News stories shared in the Weekly MashUp do not necessarily represent the views of Young Minds Advocacy.