WMU: Screen Time. Menace or Scapegoat?; Psych Meds Suit Moves Forward

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WMU: Screen Time. Menace or Scapegoat?; Psych Meds Suit Moves Forward

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 each week!


Screen Time: Mental Health Menace or Scapegoat?

CNN – 1.22.18

Recent research provides new insight into the connection between screen time and teen wellness.

A national study of several hundred thousand U.S. teens suggests that there may be drawbacks to much and too little phone usage: of all teenage survey participants who spent over 40 hours a week on social media, more than 1 in 5 reported that they were “not happy”; that number decreased to 1 in 10 teenagers when social media usage was limited to 1 or 2 hours a week. On the other hand, teens with zero hours of screen time reported higher rates of unhappiness compared to peers who logged in a few hours of screen time each week. And, for many youth surveyed, feelings of unhappiness associated with increases in screen time significantly diminished by the twelfth grade.

Some experts say these findings demonstrate that when it comes to achieving the “perfect” amount of screen time, the answer is complex.

“I spent my career in technology. I wasn’t prepared for its effect on my kids,” philanthropist Melinda Gates wrote August in the Washington Post. “Phones and apps aren’t good or bad by themselves, but for adolescents who don’t yet have the emotional tools to navigate life’s complications and confusions, they can exacerbate the difficulties of growing up.”

Lawsuit Over Psychotropics and Foster Youth Will Move Forward

Chronicle of Social Change – 1.12.18

M.B. v. Corsi, a Missouri class action lawsuit involving the mental health rights and treatment of foster youth, is moving forward this month. U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey ruled against the State of Missouri’s motion to dismiss the case. The lawsuit alleges that the state’s Children’s Division failed to keep adequate medical records for foster youth, and that Missouri lacks review and safeguard protocols to consider risks involved in prescribing psychotropic medications to children.

Two organizations, Children’s Rights and the National Center for Youth Law, filed the suit last June. The named plaintiff, M.B., is a teenager living in residential care and, at one time, was prescribed six different psychotropic medications at once. Two other youth plaintiffs in the case were prescribed psychotropics as toddlers.

“There are clearly plausible allegations that Defendants … actually knew of the serious risk of harm,” Judge Laughrey said in her ruling. “Yet they have not adopted any systematic administrative review because Defendants can’t find the medical records of the children.”

More Stories:

She Asked for Help for Postpartum Depression. The Nurse Called the Cops.

Slate 1.23.18

Recent Report Shows California Had Highest Per Inmate Health Care Costs Among 49 States

Sierra Sun Times – 1.22.18

When Kids Come in Saying They Are Transgender (Or No Gender), These Doctors Try to Help

Washington Post – 1.21.18

Advocates Eager to Find Youth Development Funds in California’s Forecasted Cannabis Boom

Chronicle of Social Change – 1.19.18

What If L.A.’s Homeless Population Were a City?

LA Times – 1.16.18

Report on California Correctional Officers’ Suicide Risks Spurs Widespread Attention

Berkeley News – 1.16.18

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