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!
How Urban Living Affects Children’s Mental Health
Science Daily – 5.11.16
A new study by Duke University and King’s College London has found that lower social cohesion among neighbors and higher crime rates contribute to higher rates of psychotic symptoms — such as paranoid thoughts, visual or auditory hallucinations, and believing others can read one’s mind — in children. The study is the first to look at what characteristics of urban neighborhoods increase children’s risk for experiencing such symptoms. While a small percentage of all kids experience persistent psychotic symptoms and eventual clinical diagnosis, research has found that those numbers are higher in cities. These symptoms were more common in children who lived in areas with low social cohesion, low social control and high neighborhood disorder and whose family had been the victim of a crime. Candice Odgers, an associate professor of psychology and public policy at Duke, suggests that “one of the encouraging findings is that social cohesion is changeable at the community level and not entirely dependent on economic resources…Many of the most cohesive neighborhoods in our study were also the most economically deprived.”
Study Finds Foster Youth Fare Better When They Receive Care Until 21
The Chronicle of Social Change – 5.11.16
Last Tuesday, the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago released the second wave of findings from its ongoing “California Youth Transitions to Adulthood Study” (CalYOUTH). The study found that most California foster youth who remained in foster care after the age of eighteen tend to enroll in school, avoid homelessness, and have more positive life outcomes generally than young people who age out of the system at eighteen. For instance, while 34.4% of foster youth who left care reported experiencing homelessness after the study’s first phase, only 13.6% of foster youth still in care did. The article highlights the experience of two young people who received extended care, and identifies room for improvement in the system. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Nash suggests that “we still need to do a better job of training judges, attorneys, social workers and caregivers, so they know what services and benefits are available for the youth,” in order to better support their transition out of care.
Living in the Shadows: How Homelessness Affects a Youth’s Mental Health
KRCU – 5.6.16
The article follows the story of Jessica Ruffin, a young woman who started couchsurfing to survive when she was eight years old. After being teased and missing out on opportunities at school, Ruffin opened up to a teacher and shared that her mother was abusing drugs at home. She recalls the initial sense of relief, which quickly turned to guilt once Ruffin and her siblings were split up and placed in the foster care system. Reflecting on her youth, Ruffin notes “it just made me grow up fast….I guess I try to keep everything in. To this day I think I’m still trying to learn how to just sit there and let it go, you know let it out.” Responses like this are not uncommon for individuals in Ruffin’s situation. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, young people experiencing homelessness are more susceptible to mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. Shawna LeGrand, the associate director at the Cottonwood Residential Center, highlights the overlooked notion that “children who have predispositions for trauma based upon social and environmental factors continue to experience those traumas or additional traumas in their life…I think that unfortunately those go unrecognized.”
Gov Jerry Brown Releases Budget FY 16/17
The Department of Finance – 5.13.16
Agencies Get Funds to Reduce Mental Health Disparities
The Bay Area Reporter – 5.12.16
Grand Jury: Orange County Is Failing Foster Children With ‘Insufficient And Unsuccessful’ Efforts
The Orange County Register – 5.12.16
Walgreens Is Launching a New Mental Health Platform
Fortune – 5.10.16
Mental Health Bill Passes Assembly: AB 2017 Would Fund Mental Health Services in Colleges, Universities
Sac City Express – 5.9.16
Bill Looks to Enact Suicide Prevention Policies in CA Schools
New America Media – 5.6.16
How Black Girls Suffer When Booted From School to Juvenile Detention Centers
Washington Post – 5.6.16
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**News stories shared in the Weekly MashUp do not necessarily represent the views of Young Minds Advocacy.