The School-to-Prison Pipeline is Slowing in Texas



School suspensions are usually thought of as the last resort punishment for severe disruptions in the classroom. But did you know that children as young as three years old are being sent home for behavior problems which could have been addressed with positive school supports? In June of 2017, Texas House Bill 674 was passed which prohibits so called “discretionary suspensions” in Pre-K through 2nd grade children. These types of suspensions create a zero tolerance policy which studies have shown lead to higher rates of school dropout, lower academic performance, and decreased academic performance. This effect is widely known as the “School-to-Prison Pipeline”. Reasons for discretionary suspensions include horseplay, dress code violation, and violation of classroom rules.  This ...

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A Team Approach for Improving Access to Mental Health Care for Latino Children



One in five children ages 3 to 17 have a mental health condition. While most kids do not receive care for mental health conditions,  it is even less likely for a Latino child to see a mental health provider. Latino children made 58% fewer visits to any mental health provider compared to white children. Latino kids were also less likely than white or black children to see a doctor. In 2013-2014, only 11.6% of Latino kids under age 18 went to a doctor’s office or clinic compared to 7.4% of white and 8.6% of black kids. A lack of mental health care can impact a child in many aspects of life. Kids with untreated mental health conditions are at a higher risk of suspension from school, dropping out, and even have a higher risk of being put in jail. One way to bridge the gap is to ...

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California Opens Medi-Cal to All Children



A lack of access to quality healthcare coverage has been one of the most persistent causes of health inequity for many Latino families. Despite significant gains made under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Latinos still remain the largest uninsured population in the country. In May 2016, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) of California (38.39% Latino population) implemented new legislation that allows for all children in the state under the age of 19 to be eligible for full Medi-Cal benefits. Previously, undocumented children would have only received emergency care benefits through Medi-Cal and would not have had access to dental or mental health care. From May through April of 2017, 189,434 undocumented children had been signed up for the “Medi-Cal for All Children” ...

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Few Latinos Utilize Telemental Health Resources



Mental Health is a growing public health concern in the United States. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, during any given year, nearly 25% of the population has a diagnosable disorder, two-thirds of which goes untreated. According to a new study, an estimated 8.3 million adults in the U.S. (close to 3.5%) suffer from serious psychological distress. What’s worse, many are unable to get the help they need to either treat there conditions or even get a diagnosis. Latinos reported the highest stress across four major sources of stress including money, employment, family responsibilities and health concerns, a recent survey reported. In order to reduce health disparities, it is critical to address inequities in programs, practices, and ...

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Not A Childhood Rite of Passage: Bullying Hurts Latino Kids



Bullying is defined by stopbullying.gov as “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance”. In grades 6-12, 28% of students experienced bullying and approximately 30% of kids admit to bullying others.   Most bullying occurs in school, although this can also happen on the internet and through cell phones. This is called cyberbullying. Rates of cyberbullying have nearly doubled over the past ten years from 18% in 2007 to 34% in 2016 as more kids have access to cell phones and social media. Kids who are bullied can experience physical, mental, and educational problems. Physical problems such as headaches, muscle pain, upset stomach, changes in weight, and decreased ability to fight infections are associated with the ...

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Intervention Programs at London School Help Prevent Depression in Girls



A study conducted in London from 2010 to 2011 in a secondary girls-only state school found that the SPARK Resilience Program helped prevent depression and increase self-reported resilience in girls 11-12 years old. The study led by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) looked at over 400 girls reports on their resilience and depression symptoms throughout the study. The SPARK Resilence Program gave students the tools to identify stressful situations and learn how to control negative behavior reactions. SPARK, the acronym behind the program stands for how children can break down their responses to stressful situations and be taught by teachers to their students using the five components: Situation, Perception, Autopilot, Reaction, and Knowledge. School interventions are a ...

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A Race To Support the Whole Person



In order to bring awareness on mental health and support "the whole person" including the emotional, mental and physical side of health, Madison YMCA is sponsoring "The Mind Matters 5K" on May 17th, 2017. The theme for the race is "Mentally Healthy One Stride at a Time", and proceeds from the race will go to benefit the Madison Area's YMCA's programs. YMCA President and CEO Diane Mann told local news Madison Eagle explained that the purpose behind the annual event is to help fund families and children to enjoy and participate in YMCA membership, programming, and wellness services. "As a cause-driven charitable organization, the Madison Area YMCA is dedicated to nurturing the potential of every child and teen, and improving the community’s health and well-being and 'giving ...

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Mental Health Resources To Understand Mental Health in Teens & Kids



Kaiser Permanente wants to empower parents to talk to their kids about mental health. Finding the right ways to talk to your children about mental health is important because as many as 13% of children ages 8 to 15 experience a severe mental disorder at some point while growing up. In fact, many parents are unaware of the warning signs in kids or teens who are dealing with mental health issues. A few signs to look for include substance abuse, social isolation, behavior changes and more. Parents wanting to learn more about mental health like how to assess their child's mental health, and or how to talk to their child in a non-judgmental way about mental health can click here for more information on mental health. These resources are also in Spanish for Latino parents to talk ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 5/9: Latino Kids and Healthy Minds


latina girl student school class

A child needs more than nutritious food and physical activity to be healthy. They need healthy minds, too. But 1 in 5 children today suffer a serious mental illness. Depressive symptoms among Latino youth are especially high, putting them at risk of dropping out of school, using drugs, and suicide. For Mental Health Awareness Month in May, let’s use #SaludTues on May 9, 2017, to share tips and strategies to promote healthy minds and environments for Latino and all kids across the U.S. WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: "Latino Kids and Healthy Minds" TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. ET (Noon-1 p.m. CT), Tuesday, May 9, 2017 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: @SaludToday CO-HOSTS: Cheryl Aguilar (@cheryl_aguilar); Jesus Rodriguez, MD of Kaiser Permanente ...

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Mental Health Toys Help Keep Kids at Peace



How can a little pinwheel fan help kids with emotional balance and mental clarity? Coming together to support mental health awareness month, Sixpence Program and the Lied Scottsbluff Public Library are supporting children's mental health with toys like foam building blocks, mental health books, and pinwheels. These toys can help provide continued learning for kids with mental health issues, helping them in calm-down techniques, like the pinwheels which help kids learn a deep breathing technique. Kids can "smell" the flower when they put the pinwheel close to their face, and then blow out stress or exhale onto the pinwheel and see the pinwheel move into action. “As adults, we can teach children how to respond when they are upset,” Tiffany Fuller, the Sixpence Program ...

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