Weekly MashUp: Schools lack MH services, Bill to expand MH First Aid trainings raises concerns, Program screens for MH concerns as young as 6 mo.

//Weekly MashUp: Schools lack MH services, Bill to expand MH First Aid trainings raises concerns, Program screens for MH concerns as young as 6 mo.

Weekly MashUp: Schools lack MH services, Bill to expand MH First Aid trainings raises concerns, Program screens for MH concerns as young as 6 mo.

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!

Parents Often Battle To Get Their Children Mental Health Services At School
Kaiser Health News – 9.13.16

The article follows the story of Selena, a mother who struggles to find school-based supports for her two daughters with mental health needs. Not all schools screen students for mental health concerns, and even if students are identified as needing services, many schools don’t have the community-based mental health treatment options to support them. High Point Academy Principal, John Hurley, is familiar with Selena’s situation and highlights the lack of training schools receive to address the more intensive needs of children. He explains that his “training in mental health was one chapter in a book that we covered in one day.” While many teachers have experience working with students with ADHD, they may not have the tools to handle mood disorders in the classroom. Hurley suggests that “because we’re left in the dark, we have to fumble around to figure out what works best…sometimes you can be wildly successful, and sometimes you can fail miserably and you could have done the exact same thing for two different students.”

Advocates Worry Mental Health First Aid Skirts Serious Mental Illness
U.S. News – 9.12.16

Run by the National Council for Behavioral Health and the Missouri Department of Mental Health, Mental Health First Aid trainings have received $15 million in federal funding in recent years, with over 600,000 U.S. citizens participating in the course. These eight-hour trainings provide participants with “information about how to listen to a loved one or to a stranger and to assess their risks for suicide or whether they are struggle with an addiction.” Members of Congress and the National Council for Behavioral Health hope that the program can reach more people and are supporting the Mental Health First Aid Act, which would allow for its expansion.  However, increasing resources for the trainings has raised concerns among critics. Advocates for those with serious mental illness fear this type of legislation will draw resources away from the 3.4 million individuals with untreated mental illness. John Snook, executive director of the Treatment Advocacy Center, notes that “

[Mental Health first aid] is really helpful to start the conversation but it’s not going to stop the shortage of psychiatrists and the decriminalization of people with mental illness.”

Screening Mental Health In Kindergarten Is Way Too Late, Experts Say
NPR – 9.9.16  

The article highlights the efforts of the Healthy Steps program at the Montefiore Comprehensive Health Care Center in the South Bronx, which screens children as young as six months for mental health concerns. Rahil Briggs, a child psychologist at Healthy Steps, notes that “if a baby feels safe, a baby will explore, and if a baby explores, a baby will learn,” but events like divorce, neighborhood violence, and poverty can interrupt that learning. The program unites pediatricians and child psychologists so that instead of a pediatrician giving the family a referral, they can bring the child psychologist into the room to speak with the family that same day. For Briggs, early identification and intervention of  mental health needs is critical since “everything starts somewhere. Diabetes starts somewhere, obesity starts somewhere and mental health illness starts somewhere, [and] if we can predict it…we can prevent it.”

Other Stories:

California Bill Aims to Keep Siblings Connected
The Chronicle of Social Change – 9.15.16

For Kids, Anxiety About School Can Feel Like ‘Being Chased By A Lion’
NPR – 9.13.16

Learning Through Play
The Atlantic – 9.13.16

Taking Military Sexual Trauma Seriously
The Atlantic – 9.13.16  

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By |2019-04-24T14:30:46-08:00September 16th, 2016|The Weekly Mash Up|0 Comments

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