New Mexico Schools Give Sleepy Students a High-Tech Nap



Nap clubs. Quiet rooms. Wellness centers with cozy couches and tea. Schools are trying new ways to give rest to sleepy students, including Latinos who are more sleep-deprived than their peers. That includes high-tech "nap pods" for students in two high schools in Las Cruces (59.6% Latino) and two in Sunland Park (95.2% Latino), N.M. Students sit in the pods, available in the nurse's office, under a sensory-reduction dome that plays relaxing music and soothing lights for 20 minutes before gently vibrating to wake the students. "[It is] great for kids who weren’t getting enough sleep at night—which teenagers don’t, for a variety of reasons," Sandy Peugh, health services director for the Las Cruces school district, told Las Cruces Sun-News. "They were coming to school ...

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New Videos Help Latinas Address Mental Health Issues



Mental health is a rising concern in the United States. For Latina women, the concerns become even more dire. Research has shown that Latinas receive less mental health care than whites, even if they have insurance. They also report more symptoms of depression and anxiety than whites. However, what if there was a better way to reach them? Latina women have a higher than average use of smartphones and the Internet. Technology could be the answer. A recent study from UCLA found that culturally tailored media programming can encourage Latina women to seek help for mental health, as well as decrease their symptoms of anxiety and depression. The researchers developed a digital storytelling series featuring a fictional young Latina woman named "Catalina" that is dealing with ...

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Study: 1 in 4 Latino Kids Have an Undocumented Immigrant Parent



Nearly 94% of the 18 million Latino kids living in the United States today were born here. Their moms and dads are a different story. About half of Latino kids have at least one parent who was born outside of the U.S., and about four million of these also have at least one parent who is not authorized to be in the country, according to new data from the National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families. The new data have big implications for the wellness of these children. Immigration, Kids, and Mental Health Living with the threat of deportation and the separation from a parent can harm a child. It may cause “fear or anxiety that can affect children's physical and mental health, as well as their development,” the new data shows. One in four Latino kids are ...

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Tick Tock: The Impact of DACA on Latinos


latino-kid mental health

President Donald Trump's administration recently rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an American immigration policy signed by President Barack Obama five years ago. DACA allows unauthorized immigrants who arrived in the United States as children to work, go to school, and get a driver’s license without fear of deportation. The clock is now ticking for a Congressional fix for people who qualify for DACA. If not, recipients could lose their status starting March 5, 2018. Who are DACA recipients? Since the program started in June 2012, most DACA recipients are in Latino-centric states: California (222,795) followed by Texas (124,000) and Illinois (42,376). Unauthorized immigrants from Mexico make up more than three-quarters of all DACA ...

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Suicide Prevention Week: Take Action, Speak Up for Latinos


latino boy stress sad teen

Latinos are a big focus of National Suicide Prevention Week on Sept. 10-16, 2017. Young Latinos are more likely than their peers to attempt suicide. High levels of stress, from discrimination, poverty and bullying, play a big role in this high percentage rate, according to our new Mental Health & Latino Kids Research. What can you do to help raise awareness and prevent suicide in your community? Start by knowing the signs. Here is a few examples of warning signs, according to the Mental Health America of Texas. Feeling hopeless. According to our research, 32.6% of Latino students reported feelings of hopelessness and sadness that continued for more than two weeks and resulted in decreased participation in activities they had previously enjoyed, a study found. ...

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Mental Health & Latino Kids: A Research Review



Abstract Latino youth are far more likely than their peers to have mental health issues. These often go unaddressed and untreated. Why? Immigration, poverty, bullying, and other family and social factors can stress Latino youth. But there’s good news, too. Programs are emerging to reduce family, school, and community stress. These can positively impact mental health among this population. Promising policies, while few, also are emerging. Read the News Release (PDF) Read the Issue Brief (PDF) Explore success stories and find tools to take action! Contents Introduction & Methods. This Salud America! research review assesses available research about mental health and access to care among Latino youth. This review also examines programs and policies to tackle ...

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Mental Health Research: Issues Facing Latino Kids


Suicide rates among Latina students

This is part of our Mental Health & Latino Kids: A Research Review » Latina youth have a very high rate of thinking about suicide Latino females in grades 9-12 had the highest rate of suicidal ideation, at 25.6 percent, compared to 22.8 percent among their white peers, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health’s assessment of Latino mental health based on results from the CDC Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey (YRBSS), a self-report survey of high school students. The rate for Latino males of the same age group was much lower (12%), but it was still higher than that of white peers (11.5%). Latino females also reported the highest rate of suicide attempt (15.1% versus 9.8%), and Latino males reported a higher rate than their ...

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Large Numbers of Latino Kids at Risk for Toxic Stress


Sad child sitting on a window

Latinos report the highest levels of stress among groups, due to money, employment, and family and health issues, according to the recent American Psychological Association (APA) annual Stress in America survey. When it comes to stress and mental health, Latinos often go untreated or undiagnosed. Persistent stress in young children can become toxic, according to new research from the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress. This toxic stress has been shown to cause “brain changes” that can interfere with learning and lead to more problems in adulthood. The research was unable to pinpoint exactly how many children have been harmed to date by toxic stress, but the data showed that many live in circumstances that experts say “put them at risk.” Other findings ...

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Do Apps Like Instagram Hurt or Help Mental Health among Latinos?


social media

So many people share their lives on social media every day. Instagram has 500 million active monthly users worldwide, including 1 in 3 Latinos. Facebook has nearly 2 billion active monthly users. But questions remain about how social networks impact users' mental health. For example, CNN posted this week: "Instagram worst social media app for young people's mental health." The article cites a survey of 1,500 young people on how social media platforms impact their health, depression, anxiety, self-esteem and body image. The survey indicated Instagram negatively affected body image, sleep patterns, and "FOMO"—the fear of missing out. “Platforms that are supposed to help young people connect with each other may actually be fueling a mental health crisis,” Shirley Cramer ...

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