7 Must-Know Facts about the Latino Youth Mental Crisis


Latino Youth Mental Health

Youth are facing a mental health crisis that is so widespread that U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy has issued a new advisory calling it an “urgent public health issue.” That is especially true for Latino youth. But why? Let’s explore the mental health challenges impacting Latino youth, and how we can make a difference for these children and teens. 1. Latino Youth Struggle with Suicide and Depression Depression is the most debilitating health issue in the Latino community, NoStigmas reports. Around 17.7% of Latinos suffer from depression during their lifetimes. Only 7.2% of Latinos are diagnosed with depression compared to white Americans. In addition, suicide is the 12th-leading cause of death for both Latino and non-Latino people of all races.  8.6% ...

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A.J. Williams: Helping Police, Educators Team Up for Regional Handle With Care Program


Handle With Care Fort Worth

As a child, A.J. Williams was exposed to domestic violence. Now a police officer in Fort Worth, Texas, Williams is making sure children like him are getting the support they need in school through the Handle With Care program, where police notify schools when they encounter children at a traumatic scene, so schools can provide support the next day. After COVID-19 derailed an idea to team up Fort Worth police and schools for a local Handle With Care program, Williams reinitiated plans with help from a Handle With Care action pack from Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio. He trained police and school leaders about the program and brought regional education leaders to the table who helped create a region-wide notification system. Now police departments and schools in the ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat: How Schools and Police Can Partner to Support Students Exposed to Trauma


handle with care students exposed to trauma tweetchat 2022

Children exposed to violence, crime, or abuse still go to school the next day. They may be forced to skip homework, sleep, and breakfast. They may carry the burden of toxic stress that can interfere with their behavior and grades. However, schools are not aware. Fortunately, the “Handle With Care” program enables police to notify school districts when they encounter a child at a traumatic scene, so school personnel and mental health partners can provide appropriate trauma-sensitive interventions. Let’s use #SaludTues on May 3, 2022, to tweet about steps schools, communities, and healthcare professionals can start a Handle With Care program and take steps to become more trauma-sensitive. WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: “How Schools and Police Can Partner to Support ...

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COVID-19 Pandemic Causing Loss of Children’s Primary or Secondary Caregiver



Many children in the U.S. have lost a parent or caregiver due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, 1 in 500 U.S. children have experienced COVID-19 associated orphanhood, and Latinos and others of color are particularly affected, according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics.  “From April 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, data suggest that more than 140,000 children under age 18 in the United States lost a parent, custodial grandparent, or grandparent caregiver who provided the child’s home and basic needs, including love, security, and daily care,” states the study, led by researchers at CDC, Harvard University, Imperial College of London, and others. The study found that the pandemic accentuated racial, ethnic, and geographical disparities associated with the deaths of ...

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Zo Mpofu & Dakisha Wesley: Forging Alliances to Declare Racism a Public Health and Safety Crisis


Zo Mpofu and DK Wesley Forge Alliances to Declare Racism a Public Health and Safety Crisis

Zo Mpofu believes protecting the health of mothers and babies in childbirth is a moral responsibility. That is why it alarmed Mpofu, a human services program consultant for Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services in North Carolina, that local black women are 3.8 times more likely to lose their baby in the first year of life than white women. Also, Dakisha “DK” Wesley, assistant county manager in Buncombe County, worried that black people accounted for 25% of the jailed population, despite being 6.3% of the local population. Mpofu and Wesley believe these are the results of structural racism. That is why these government employees collaborated with cross-sector partners to urge Buncombe County leaders to pass three resolutions declaring racism a public ...

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How Art Therapy Can Help Children Heal from Trauma


How Art Therapy Can Help Children Heal from Trauma

A new method is emerging to help children heal from trauma – art therapy. More mental health clinics, like the Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas, are beginning to use art to help children with the healing process. Mental health professionals hope that art therapy can help children process adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), which is growing to be a public health crisis. “Art therapy helps one process emotions and feelings that one is struggling with, so that he or she can begin healing,” said art therapist Savita Jakhar Gandash, according to The Interview Portal. Read about what art therapy is and how Latino children can heal from ACEs and trauma. What is Art Therapy? Art therapy is a mental health service that utilizes creativity to help people resolve ...

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Healthy People 2030 Adds 4 Objectives on Childhood Trauma, Up From 0


Healthy People 2030

For the first time, the Healthy People 2030 guidelines have added four objectives on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), a step to recognize the systemic impact of childhood trauma on health. ACEs, such as abuse and poverty, are a public health crisis. None of the past Healthy People editions ─ 1990, 2000, 2010, 2020 ─ had an objective to address ACEs as part of its national guidance to promote health and prevent disease. Now there are four objectives! This is a huge win for the 2,214 Salud America! network members who emailed public comments and other child development and public health professionals who submitted nearly 3,000 additional comments to add ACEs-related objectives. “I was surprised to learn ‘adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)’ and ‘childhood ...

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5 Upstream Ways You Can Take Action to Address Toxic Stress



Toxic stress is endangering the current and future health of our society. Amid the mental, physical, and economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is even greater need to prevent the risk factors for toxic stress, which are severe, intense, or prolonged stress, trauma, or adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) like physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. The new Roadmap for Resilience: The California Surgeon General’s Report on Adverse Childhood Experiences, Toxic Stress, and Health is the nation’s first guide to address toxic stress by cutting ACEs in half in a generation. We at Salud America! are exploring the roadmap in an 11-part series. This is the final post in the series, with five upstream ways you can take action to address toxic stress. “To enable ...

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California’s Epic Response to Toxic Stress and ACEs


California’s Epic Response to Toxic Stress and ACEs

California is leading the nation in addressing toxic stress and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), such as neglect, divorce and exposure to violence, which can harm long-term health. Guided by evidence and a public health approach, California developed a series of legal and conceptual frameworks to support statewide screening for ACEs, coordinate within and outside state government, and assess best practices in trauma-informed care across the state. This progress ramped up when Gov. Gavin Newsom created the Office of the California Surgeon General  in 2019 and appointed Dr. Nadine Burke Harris to the position. In December 2020, Burke Harris released her Roadmap for Resilience: The California Surgeon General’s Report on Adverse Childhood Experiences, Toxic Stress, and ...

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