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!
For Harvey Survivors, Mental Health Impact Could Linger
CBS News – 08.31.17
Natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey can leave lasting impacts on survivors, leading some to suffer mental health conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. Reactions to disasters include intense or unpredictable feelings, changes in thoughts and behavior, and physical symptoms from stress such as headaches, nausea, and chest pain. Children are especially affected, and many may experience trouble sleeping, shifts in mood, and anxiety.
In Houston, mental health experts are on hand to assist people impacted by trauma. “We want to make sure that there’s somebody here for them to hear their stories, to make them feel safe and process what they have been through,” said Dr. Sophia Banu, a psychiatrist at Baylor College of Medicine.
California Looks To Help Out-Of-County Foster Youth
The Chronicle of Social Change – 08.31.17
About 22 percent of California’s foster youth–currently, over 13,000–live in out-of-county placements, meaning that they have been placed in a different county than the one where they first entered the foster care system. Last year, the state passed Assembly Bill (AB) 1299, a law that would make it easier to distribute mental health funding from one county to another for “out-of-county” foster youth. Another bill signed in 2016, AB 1688, requires social workers to notify a child’s attorney about out-of-county placements and allows children over age 10 to object to such placement.
In July 2017, the California Departments of Health Care Services (DHCS) and Social Services (CDSS) issued guidance to clarify implementation of these laws:
First, a DHCS/DSS all-county letter outlines the expected process for transferring responsibility for mental health services to a child’s new county placement. The letter also clarifies how the child family team (CFT) should be notified about a potential out-of-county placement. Consisting of the youth, family members, professionals, and community advocates, the CFTs can promote organized collaboration between those invested in the child’s success.
Second, a DSS all-county letter highlights steps social workers should take when a youth is to be placed out-of -county under AB 1688. These requirements include notifying a child’s parent and attorney, as well as giving a foster youth the opportunity to object to their out-of-county placement.
For Low-Income Drug Users, Medi-Cal Offers A Fresh Start
California Healthline – 08.30.17
Determined to end a 13-year heroin addiction in May 2017, Breann Johnson began three months of residential treatment paid for by Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program. Johnson, a Riverside mother of two, credits the Medi-Cal program for helping her successfully rehabilitate at a time when other inpatient drug rehab programs refused to accept her insurance.
Approved in 2015, Medi-Cal’s drug rehab pilot project now makes it easier for individuals such as Johnson to treat substance use and improve their chances of long-term recovery, according to state health officials. Before the five-year pilot, Medi-Cal only covered limited and episodic care; now, eligible members have expanded access to medications, inpatient beds, individual therapy, and case managers. As a condition for participation in the pilot, counties must meet Medi-Cal requirements such as following American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) guidelines, as well as offering sufficient employee training and recruitment. State officials anticipate that the increased access to care will reduce overall costs related to substance abuse.
New Crisis Text Line Identifies California College Student Homelessness As Big Issue
89.3 KPCC – 09.01.17
Trump Administration Sharply Cuts Spending On Health Law Enrollment
The New York Times – 08.31.17
Children Of Legally Protected Immigrants Less Likely To Suffer Mental Illness
Science Mag – 08.31.17
Is Sacramento County’s New Mental Health Treatment Approach Working?
Capital Public Radio – 08.30.17
Fire Departments Commit To Improving Mental Health Services, But Change Can Be Slow
NBC Bay Area – 08.29.17
In The Fight Against Bullying, A Glimmer Of Hope
The New York Times – 08.28.17
Children’s Mental Health: It’s Time To Put Wellbeing On The Curriculum
The Guardian – 08.25.17
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