WMU: Rise in Psychotropic Drug Use Linked to Lack of Capacity, Berkeley High School Launches Peer Mental Health Program

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WMU: Rise in Psychotropic Drug Use Linked to Lack of Capacity, Berkeley High School Launches Peer Mental Health Program

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!

Announcements:

 Join Young Minds Advocacy and our community of mental health advocates at the 2018 CMHACY Conference next week! CMHACY, or California Mental Health Advocates for Children and Youth, will be focusing on how youth mental health advocates and visionaries can “forge the future” where they and fellow young people can be well.

If you won’t be at the conference, stay tuned for updates, content, photos, conference coverage, and more! You can follow us at @youngmindsadvocacy on Instagram, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/YoungMindsAdvoc.

The 2018 CMHACY Conference will take place from May 14 – 19 at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, CA. Register here.

News:

Rise in Psychotropic Drug Use Linked to Lack of Capacity
California Healthline – 5.7.18

A new analysis of state data revealed that there has been a sudden increase in the number of inmates taking psychotropic drugs — about 25 percent in 5 years. That’s one-fifth of all inmates in California.

This trend is framed by a lack of capacity to treat, house and care for people living with mental illness, including those already placed in institutions. This scarcity of mental health resources, both treatment and psychiatric beds, has led to an accumulation of people with people with acute mental illness in California’s jails and state prisons.

More people with mental health needs are placed in jails and prisons than psychiatric hospitals. According to the report by California Health Policy Strategies, L.A. County’s jail system is considered the largest mental health institution in the United States. Although medications are more likely to be underprescribed in jails, advocates for incarcerated individuals with mental illness are concerned that drugs are prescribed inappropriately.

Although Los Angeles and San Diego county are working to improve treatment inside the jails, they also recognize the need to work closely with community organizations and providers to make sure formerly incarcerated individuals receive the mental health support they need once they are released.

The report uses data from the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC).

Berkeley High School Launches Peer Mental Health Program
The Daily Californian – 5.11.18

Two graduating seniors at Berkeley High School (Berkeley, CA) have launched a peer-led mental health program that will go into effect next year.

The founders, Ruby Spies and Abigail Steckel, developed the Mental and Emotional Education Team, or MEET, in order to provide information about mental health, connect students to resources, and reduce stigma, or the negative perceptions surrounding individuals with poor mental health.

The idea for MEET came from a survey of 242 students conducted by the Berkeley Youth Commission in in February 2017. The survey found that “60 percent of students who said they needed support had not accessed mental health resources.” Most students also said they would want to talk to a peer as their “first point of contact.”

In April 2017, Spies and Steckel presented a curriculum to the Berkeley Unified School District and City Council. The curriculum includes general information about various mental health disorders, ways to cope, crisis support, and ways to connect young people with resources.

Join BUSD, the BHS PTA has invited Ruby and Abigail, Jasdeep Mahli, and therapists working at BHS in the Health Center to talk about the issues with parents at their meeting on May 16 at 6:30pm in the Berkeley High School Library.

More Stories:

Children’s mental health centers lose federal funding in Minnesota
Kare11 (ABC) — 5.4.18

Congressional Mental Health Caucus Holds Briefing on Childhood Depression
Urban CNY — 5.10.18

Collaborative Childcare Models Important for Adult, Child Mental Health
American Psychiatric Association — 5.9.18

Mental Health is  Final Frontier for Humans Rights
Mic — 5.10.18

Why Kids and Teens May Face Far More Anxiety These Days
Washington Post — 5.10.18

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