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!
States Consider Restorative Justice As Alternative to Mass Incarceration
PBS Newshour — 7.20.16
Thirty-five states across the country have adopted legislation that encourages the use of restorative justice as an alternative to prosecution and imprisonment for youth and adults, both before and after prison. Rather than fighting a criminal charge in court, offenders selected for restorative justice “agree to accept responsibility for their actions, meet face-to-face with victims and come up with a plan to repair the harm they’ve caused.” However, as this process becomes more integrated into the criminal justice system, some experts are concerned that this option may not be available to everyone equally. Liz Porter-Merrill, a public defender in Denver, suggests restorative justice is “only offered to people perceived as being good candidates, and those are often white people and wealthy people…In some decisions it’s unintentional, but I think the big problem is subconscious discrimination.” For those that are chosen to participate in the program, low recidivism rates demonstrate how effective this process can be in relation to the traditional justice system. Colorado state Representative, Pete Lee, helped create the state’s juvenile pilot program and notes that “the dirty little secret to why restorative justice is successful is because it’s voluntary. You’re doing it because you’re accepting responsibility.”
Dads’ Impact On Child Development Is Actually Very Important, Says Study, So Let’s Put The “Uninvolved Dad” Stereotype To Rest
Bustle — 7.15.16
Researchers at Michigan State University published a pair of studies, one in the Early Childhood Research Quarterly and the other in Infant and Child Development, investigating the impact parental mental health and stress levels had on child development. The researchers chose to not only focus on women, but on men as well, making the studies unique from past research around this issue. Their findings show that stress or mental health challenges, such as depression, in fathers can have a big impact on their child’s language and cognitive development, social skills, and behavior. Claire Vallotton, the primary investigator on the research project, notes that “there’s this whole idea that grew out of past research that dads really don’t have direct effects on their kids, that they just kind of create the tone for the household and that moms are the ones who affect their children’s development.” She continues to suggest that the studies “show that fathers really do have a direct effect on kids, both in the short term and long term.”
Psychological Scars Increase Risk of Suicide Among Female Vets
East Bay Times — 7.13.16
A 2015 study by The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) found that rates of suicide among female veterans increased by 40% from 2000 to 2010. Researchers also found that by 2010, women veterans were completing suicide at nearly the same rate as men, while female civilians complete suicide around four times less than men. To address this concern, last month President Obama signed the Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act, which requires the VA to specifically consider women veterans when identifying effective mental health and suicide prevention treatment plans. Nazneen Bahrassa, a staff psychologist at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, calls for more research. The VA is “still in the learning phase in terms of understanding suicide among women and understanding what works and what doesn’t work…We can hypothesize about what’s going wrong, but we need the data,” she said. Army Specialist Victoria Lampton highlights that causes for suicidal ideation and death by suicide are not always apparent. “There’s so many issues, not just PTSD, but also really high rates of sexual assault, especially when you’re deployed,” she said.
Parents’ Substance Abuse May Up Kids’ Risk of Medical & Behavioral Disorders
Psych Central — 7.21.16
A View from Solitary During the DNC
Public News Service — 7.21.16
We’ve Missed Chances To Boost Mental Health
The Sacramento Bee — 7.20.16
Covered California Health Plan Rates To Jump 13.2 Percent In 2017
California Healthline — 7.19.16
Foster Youth Deserve Good Health Care, Wherever They Are
The Sacramento Bee — 7.19.16
‘I Thought I Was Stupid’: The Hidden Struggle for Women with ADHD
Broadly — 7.18.16
We Need to Understand How to Provide Trauma-Informed Care
Youth Today — 7.18.16
Sonoma County Mental Health Advocates Watching Federal Bill
The Press Democrat — 7.17.16
Foster Care Survivors Fight to Improve The System
Santa Fe New Mexican — 7.16.16
Palo Alto Community, School Leaders React to CDC Recommendations
Palo Alto Online — 7.15.16
Depression and Suicide Resources for LGBT Teens
Teen Vogue — 7.13.16
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**News stories shared in the Weekly MashUp do not necessarily represent the views of Young Minds Advocacy.