Weekly MashUp: News for the Week of March 21, 2016

//Weekly MashUp: News for the Week of March 21, 2016

Weekly MashUp: News for the Week of March 21, 2016

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!

Probing The Complexities Of Transgender Mental Health
NPR – 3.23.16

A recent study published last Monday in JAMA Pediatrics found that transgender women are 1.7 to 3.6 times more likely to experience a mental health condition or substance dependence disorder. However, it is less clear whether trans individuals’ mental distress is due to external factors, such as discrimination and lack of support, or internal factors, such as gender dysphoria, “the tension resulting from having a gender identity that differs from the one assigned at birth.” Ilana Sherer, assistant medical director of the Child and Adolescent Gender Center at the UC Benioff Children’s Hospital in San Francisco, suggests that “the biggest question we need to answer about transgender mental health is…is there something inherent about being transgender that makes one more at risk for poor mental health, or is it about how society treats transgender people?” The article also highlights the significant contrasts between this study on trans women and another study published this month, which looks at the mental health of 73 transgender children between the ages of 3 and 12.

Why Are Our Kids So Miserable?
Quartz – 3.21.16

The article examines the potential factors that have contributed to the rise in mental health needs for children and young people in the U.S. Jean Twenge, a Psychology professor at San Diego State University, recently wrote a paper that analyzed four mental health studies covering seven million people, ranging from teens to adults. In her findings, she notes that, while the number of kids who reported feeling depressed spiked in the 1980s and 1990s, it started to decline after 2008. However, numbers of kids with mental health needs are once again on the rise. Peter Gray, a psychologist and professor at Boston College, notes that “we would like to think of history as progress, but if progress is measured in the mental health and happiness of young people, then we have been going backward at least since the early 1950s.” Gray hypothesizes that “the generational increases in externality, extrinsic goals, anxiety, and depression are all caused largely by the decline, over that same period, in opportunities for free play and the increased time and weight given to schooling.” According to him, the first step in addressing the mental health needs of kids is to recognize that there is a problem. Gray believes that “parents and educators need to understand that free play is not optional,

[but] it’s essential to their healthy development.”

More Sophisticated Transition Planning Needed for Foster Youth with Complex Needs
The Chronicle of Social Change – 3.19.16

Youth involved in the child welfare system often have complex physical and mental health, developmental and psychosocial concerns from a childhood of adversity and trauma. This is especially true for young people who are removed from their homes or are at risk of aging out of care. Youth who age out of foster care, at 18 or 21 depending on the state, typically face obstacles such as homelessness, unemployment and poverty. In 2014, more than 22,000 young people aged out of the system. Karen Lindell, Skadden Fellow at the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia, suggests that “too often the child welfare system simply fails to prepare these young people for life on their own…many youth with disabilities are wrongly presumed to be unfit for family-based placements, and so they grow up in group homes or institutions.” She also notes that  “these restrictive settings provide less interactions with the community, and fail to teach the independent living skills necessary to succeed in adulthood.” The article highlights the importance of early planning in placing young people with complex needs in an environment where they can receive adult support before the youth ages out.

Other Stories

The ‘Silent Epidemic’ of Child Trauma
The Chronicle of Social Change – 3.24.16

This Student Took Chilling Photos To Show What Anxiety Feels Like
Buzzfeed – 3.23.16

The Untold Stories Of Black Girls
NPR – 3.23.16

When Depression Hits, Teens Find Help
NPR – 3.23.16

How to Talk Constructively About Mental Illness
Pacific Standard – 3.23.16

Exercise May Help Young People With Severe Mental Health Disorders
Huffington Post – 3.22.16

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**News stories shared  in the Weekly MashUp do not necessarily represent the views of Young Minds Advocacy.

By |2019-04-24T14:28:52-08:00March 25th, 2016|The Weekly Mash Up|0 Comments

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