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 week!
EdSource – 12.15.17
New data released this month reveals that in 2016, more than 1 in 10 California students were chronically absent and missed at least ten percent of school days for any reason. Of these chronically absent students, 1 in 4 were foster youth, and 1 in 5 were homeless, Native American, and/or African-American. Another reason for chronic absence is due to students’ unmet mental health needs, particularly when coupled with other factors such as poverty.
Decision-makers hope that the data can be useful in identifying causes behind absences and offering students increased support, rather than responding with punitive actions. The information will also be part of the California Department of Education’s (CDE) accountability dashboard, a tool for parents, teachers, and allies to track students’ wellbeing and progress. The data on chronic absenteeism for the 2016-17 school year is publicly available on the CDE website and searchable by school. Data searchable by school and grade level is available through EdSource’s database.
NBC – 12.11.17
Child and adolescent mental health disorders are the most common illnesses that children under 18 will experience. Millions of young Americans – 1 in 5 – are experiencing an acute mental health crisis; however, only 20 percent of these children are ever diagnosed and receive treatment. Now, new research indicates that mental health issues may begin much earlier than previously thought: For example, an estimated 1 to 2 percent of children who are 2 to 5 years old may have depression. Experts believe that untreated depression, even at an early age, may lead to depression later in life.
“Young children are more cognitively sophisticated, more emotionally sophisticated, than we previously understood. They have complex emotions. They’re aware of emotions in their environment. They feel emotions like guilt,” Dr. Joan Luby, director of the Early Emotional Development program at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and a pioneer in the study of the condition in preschoolers. “They have all the prerequisites of what depressive symptoms are.”
The Use of Psychotropic Medications Over Time Among Foster Youth Transitioning to Adulthood
Chapin Hall Issue Brief, November 2017
This Chapin Hall issue brief looks at the use of psychotropic medications over time for California foster youth transitioning to adulthood. The brief examines how youth who have different types of behavioral health challenges experience psychotropic drugs. Highlights from the study also include: A snapshot of behavioral health problems, medication use, and receipt of counseling over time; a closer look at prevalence rates of psychotropic medication use among those with behavioral health problems; and young people’s perceptions of psychotropic medication use.
Safer Schools Sexual Assault Task Force Report and Recommendations
Final Report, December 2017
San Francisco’s Safer Schools Sexual Assault Task Force is charged with (1) analyzing State and federal laws regarding campus sexual assault; (2) issuing best practices for colleges and universities in San Francisco to reduce sexual assault; and (3) recommending any steps the City can take, including changes in law or policy, to assist colleges and universities in reducing sexual assault. The Task Force’s 47 recommendations are contained in its December 2017 Final Report, which uses a trauma-informed and survivor-centered approach. The report also takes stock of existing mental health resources and organizations’ capacity to support survivors.
“As the national conversation on sexual harassment has exposed, we need to be sure that our systems that respond to all forms of sexual assault, including sexual assault on campus, treat victims with concern and respect and hold offenders accountable,” said Debbie Mesloh, the President of the Commission on the Status of Women.
California’s Campaign for Universal Health Care Has a Long History
SF Chronicle – 12.8.17
If Your Insurer Covers Few Therapists, Is That Really Mental Health Parity?
California Healthline – 12.6.17
Study: Mindful Yoga Can Reduce Risky Behaviors in Troubled Youth
ScienceDaily – 12.7.17
Relative Growth: Three States Increasingly Rely on Kin for Kids in Foster Care
Chronicle of Social Change – 12.4.17
How Washington Winks at Violent Discipline of Special Needs Kids
Politico – 11.29.17
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