Many Preteens Screen Positive for Suicide Risk, Says Alarming New Study


preteen suicide

Nearly one-third of children ages 10-12 screened positive for suicide risk during an emergency room visit, some even if they came in for a physical health issue, according to a new study by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Typically, suicidal thoughts and behaviors are seen in older teens. "It was troubling to see that so many preteens screened positive for suicide risk, and we were alarmed to find that many of them had acted on their suicidal thoughts in the past,” Dr. Lisa Horowitz, a clinical scientist with NIMH, part of the National Institutes of Health, said in a press release. “This study shows that children as young as 10 who show up in the emergency department may be thinking about suicide." Study Examined Preteens in ER Visits Researchers studied 79 ...

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Amy Perez: The Fight to Overcome Breast Cancer at Age 22


Amy Perez - breast cancer survivor - with her family

By Amy Perez San Antonio Cancer Survivor Just after my 22nd birthday while putting on tanning lotion, I noticed a hard lump in my chest that I hadn’t noticed before. My mom works at MD Anderson in Houston, so I told her about the lump as soon as I noticed it, and she helped me get an appointment to get the lump checked out. My cancer was far enough along to where there was no waiting for results. They told me before I left the hospital that day that I had cancer. I began chemo right away but my body was resistant to it. At the end of 6 months of chemo my tumor was 10x larger than when I had started. My doctors told me that I was inoperable, which is pretty hard news at just 22. As if having cancer and struggling with treatment wasn’t hard enough, I also had an ...

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4 Powerful Tools Governors Can Use to Build Up Public Health


State government

Governors have the opportunity to use state resources and create partnerships to improve the social and economic inequities that cause poor health outcomes, especially among communities of color. But not all governors have the tools to boost public health. That’s why the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) and the de Beaumont Foundation released four big tools to help governors understand what influences public health and how to embed upstream health- and prevention-related plans into the structure of government. “We’re the state that’s going to tear down the systemic barriers to work and education faced by people of color, people with disabilities, veterans and women,” said Washington Gov. Jay Inslee in his inaugural address, according to an NASHP blog ...

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New Study: Latinas in Texas Have the Worst C-section Outcomes


pregnant hispanic latina at the doctor for prenatal care

Latinas who live on the U.S. Southwest border have more surgical infant delivery rates than their peers in the rest of the country. Not only do those who reside on the border experience cesarean section, or C-section, more often, but Latinas have overall higher rates than white women, according to a New Mexico State University study. This was not the case six years ago. Jill McDonald, who serves as the director of the Southwest Institute for Health Disparities Research in the College of Health and Social Services at NMSU, told the Santa Fe New Mexican before 2013, Latinas had lower numbers than white women. “Now, Hispanic women are more likely to have a cesarean birth than non-Hispanic white women,” McDonald said. Maternal Disparities Latinas already suffer from ...

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Alarming Toxins in Children Connected to Noxious Furniture, Vinyl Floors


Children furniture safety

Homes that have vinyl flooring or certain kinds of furniture are now known to raise the levels of potentially harmful compounds in children, according to recently presented research. Flame retardant chemicals and cushioning in sofas raised children’s concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) six times in comparison to children not exposed to these chemicals. Worse, kids who live in homes with vinyl flooring showed concentration levels up to 15 times greater than their peers. “[These chemcials] are widely used in electronics, furniture, and building materials and can be detected in nearly all indoor environments,” said Heather Stapleton, a Duke professor and environmental chemist, who led the study. “Nonetheless, there has been little research on the ...

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Ohio: Speak Up for More Social and Emotional Learning in Schools


Latina student learning about social and emotional skills.

The Ohio Department of Education wants your comment on its plans to expand Social and Emotional Learning standards in schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. This is a big deal because Ohio would join only eight states with K-12 social and emotional learning standards, which help students gain life skills, such as emotional awareness, respect for each other, strong relationships, and responsible decision-making. But we think Ohio’s standards can get even better. The standards do not clearly define support for children who deal with adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). The standards also need a stronger application of implicit bias—people’s unconscious prejudice—to better support racial/ethnic students and those in poverty. If you agree, email the following model ...

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Sesame Street Offers Hundreds of Bilingual Activities for Parents, Providers


Eating Colorful Fruits and Vegetables video from Sesame Street

Big Bird, Elmo, and friends have connected with children on TV for years—now Sesame Street is helping parents and community providers help kids and families grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. Sesame Street in Communities provides hundreds of bilingual, multi-media tools to help parents and community providers engage kids and families in everyday activities to boost early childhood development.  All content is available for free in English and Spanish. Parents and Caregivers Parents and caregivers can find activities and videos for all age ranges on 28 topics. These go from healthy eating to traumatic experiences. Eating Well: Food insecurity can make things seem hopeless. But programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the National School ...

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Diana Ballesteros-Gonzalez: Moving Cross-Country for Latino Public Health


GonzalezBDiana Exito 2018 participant

Diana Ballesteros-Gonzalez is motivated to work to prevent chronic disease among Latinos by her family’s health history, her work in the community, and her passion for public health. In fact, with the support of her husband, Ballesteros-Gonzalez bravely packed up and moved from the West Coast of her native California to the East Coast of New York to study public health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences with a certificate in Epidemiology of Chronic Disease. Ballesteros-Gonzalez’s ultimate career goal in public health is to not only become a professor, but also serve her hometown community to improve chronic disease outcomes. To further her potential to reach her goal, Ballesteros-Gonzalez applied for the ...

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Making the Case for Paid Family Leave


Pregnant Latina at work.

Paid leave reduces the use of public services, boosts employee productivity, and can help families better succeed—yet three in four Latinos are unable to take such time. Despite data that shows its benefits, there is no federal requirement to provide paid family leave. The 1993 federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), legislation most businesses follow, does not cover all workers and leave offers are unpaid. Lack of paid leave and other economic support contributes to health and economic disparities among Latinas, Latinos, and low-income families. Still, paid leave is gaining popular support, including a proposal for universal paid family leave. “If the [corporate officers and directors] gets paid leave, then the factory floor worker should also get paid leave,” ...

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