WMU: Bill to Help Homeless Youth; The Way We Talk About Depression Matters

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WMU: Bill to Help Homeless Youth; The Way We Talk About Depression Matters

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!

News:

Bold State Bill Requests $60 Million Annually for Homeless Youth

SF Weekly – 1.24.18

Finding appropriate mental health care may mean the difference between homeless youth succeeding or continuing to languish on the streets. Gem Gabbett, a California resident who became homeless at 17, credits such supports with helping him overcome homelessness and pursue a college education.

“If it weren’t were those resources, I probably would be telling a very different story,” stated Gabbett.

San Francisco has the highest rate of youth experiencing homelessness in the United States. Of the 1,274 San Francisco youth experiencing homelessness without their parents, nearly all are transition age youth (TAY), ages 18 to 24. The Homeless Youth Act of 2018, or State Bill 918, would allocate $60 million annually for youth-specific programs to expand mental health services and housing. The bill was co-authored by State Senator Scott Wiener (D, San Francisco) and Assemblyperson Blanca Rubio (D, San Gabriel Valley).

Standard Depression Survey May Not Work As Well For Black Teens

Gizmodo – 1.9.18

Though depression can affect all young people regardless of race or culture, communities of color may talk about depression — and its impact — differently. In a recent study of more than 800 teens whose families lived on housing assistance, researchers noted that African American teens impacted by poverty experienced severe depression at three times the rate of the general population. And, more than other racial and ethnic groups, African American youth with depressive symptoms tended to express their feelings by simultaneously complaining about physical pains, aches, and conflicts with others. Given these findings, mental health professionals must be aware that black kids’ experiences with depression may not fit into “conventional” patterns of symptoms.

“For example, if a black adolescent keeps complaining about physical discomforts that cannot be medically explained or diagnosed for one week or two, it may be a warning sign of depression,” said Wenhua Lu, lead author of the study and an assistant professor of childhood studies at Rutgers University. The study also flags the importance of treating both a young person’s depressive symptoms as well as any interrelated issues, including peer pressure, bullying, and interpersonal conflicts.

Upcoming Events:

Webinar on New Legislation to Expand Cal Grant Access For Foster Youth

John Burton Advocates for Youth – 2.13.18 (10 to 11AM PST)

All over the country and in California, many foster youth miss out on educational opportunities due to a lack of financial aid support. For one, only nine percent of foster youth enrolled in the State’s community colleges are successfully able to access the Cal Grant—the largest source of state-funded financial aid. The burdens of academic cost faced by these youth can be exacerbated by other disruptions and stressors: Foster youth also experience high rates of disability, trauma, and the negative effects of multiple placements.

This month, Senator Jim Beall introduced Senate Bill 940, which seeks to remove Cal Grant eligibility barriers, including strict deadlines that can prevent foster youth from getting the financial aid they need. John Burton Advocates for Youth will host a web seminar on February 13, 2018  to examine SB 940, its key provisions, and what steps could help turn the bill into law.

More Stories:

Montage Health Receives Unprecedented $105.8 Million Gift to Transform Mental Healthcare for Children, Teens

Business Wire – 1.30.18

Sacramento Librarians Train to Help Patrons with Mental Illness

KCRA 3 – 1.30.18

Living Near Greenery Linked with Lower Teen Depression

Harvard Gazette – 1.26.18

Mental Health Issues Overlooked in College Transition

WebMD / The Jed Foundation – 1.25.18

Public Mental Health Care for Older Californians Is Lacking as Need Grows

UCLA Newsroom – 1.25.18

Juvenile Justice System May Miss Mental Health Issues

Futurity – 1.24.18

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