WMU: State Audits MHSA Funding; Incarceration Impact Continues After Black Moms Leave Prison

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WMU: State Audits MHSA Funding; Incarceration Impact Continues After Black Moms Leave Prison

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!


Prison Can Have Far-Reaching Effects on How Black Women Parent

UCR Today – 2.21.18

In the U.S., African American women are twice as likely to be incarcerated as white women. Susila Gurusami, a postdoctoral sociology fellow at the University of California, Riverside, works with formerly incarcerated black women in South Los Angeles who face a lack of supports due, in part, to “race, gender, and poverty.” According to Gurusami’s research, many formerly incarcerated black moms must develop strategies to care for their children under fear of a “looming threat of state intervention.”

In one strategy, called “collective motherwork,” formerly incarcerated mothers share childcare responsibilities and pool resources, information, and advice to help protect each other’s children from state intervention. Gurusami found that another strategy, “hypervigilant motherwork,” may cause moms to hide their struggles with substance use, mental illness, and other conditions to prevent state agents from taking away their children.

Gurusami calls for a wide-scale increase in available supports, such as “long-term, free access to therapists and people who can help children process the trauma that parental incarceration produces.” Such supports could help moms impacted by systemic inequities that may continue long after their release from prison.

New Resources:

State Audits MHSA Funding

California State Auditor – February 2018

A newly-released state audit reveals that California counties are sitting on a combined $231 million in funds meant to benefit county mental health programs — and, the State of California is not working quickly enough to reclaim the money. According to the audit, the unspent money is in addition to $535 million that counties claim to have in reserves for their mental health programs.

The audit calls for greater accountability from the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC). Audit recommendations include providing clearer guidance to local governments and developing better procedures for the state to take back unused funds.

Juvenile Justice Practitioners’ Toolkit

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids & Bay Area Legal Aid – February 2018

Produced by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California and Bay Area Legal Aid, this Juvenile Justice toolkit offers recommendations on how to improve conditions for youth in the juvenile justice system, leverage untapped funding, and expand collaboration across systems.

Upcoming Events:

High School & Mental Health Focus Group

YMA & Gunn HS ROCK Club – 3.14.17

3:30 – 5:30PM | Rinconada Library, Palo Alto

Calling all Peninsula-area teens who are interested in speaking out about mental health… and how schools and organizations can better support youth! Come to Palo Alto’s Rinconada Library on Wednesday, March 14th at 3:30pm to participate in a focus group hosted by Young Minds Advocacy (YMA) and Gunn’s Reach Out Care Know (ROCK) club.

Food and drinks provided. Please sign up at the link: www.tinyurl.com/YMAFocusGroup

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/193428277920712/

More Stories:

Hundreds of Bay Area Students Put on Involuntary ‘5150’ Psychiatric Holds Last Year

NBC Bay Area – 2.26.18

The Costs of Camouflaging Autism

Spectrum – 2.21.18

Trump Vows Tougher Background Checks, Mental Health Screens for Gun Buyers in Meeting with Students

USA Today – 2.21.18

The Mental Health System Can’t Stop Mass Shooters
NY Times – 2.20.18

Getting Homeless People Off California Streets Is Tough. One Lawmaker Has an Idea.

Sacramento Bee – 2.12.18

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Young Minds Advocacy
Posted by the Editors of Hear Me Out.