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The Dire Impact of Childhood Obesity on Mental Health


obese overweight latino girl sad mental health

You probably know obesity is bad for a child's health. But did you know obesity takes a toll on children's minds, too? An overweight or obese child has three times the risk for depression in adulthood as a normal-weight child. Risk rises four times for children who are overweight or obese in both childhood and adulthood, according to a new study, CBS News reports. Sadly, Latinos suffer high rates of both obesity and mental health conditions. That is why knowing the facts—and having the resources available can alter the effects of obesity on mental health—can lead child to a healthy lifestyle. The Facts on Obesity Childhood obesity is defined as a diagnosis for any child (same sex and age) "with a Body Mass Index at or above the 95th percentile", according to the Center ...

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More Firepower: Bill Gates Joins Fight against Alzheimer’s



Did you know that someone in the United States develops Alzheimer's every 66 seconds? Multi-billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates knows. He has had family impacted by the disease. And that's why he's investing $50 million to fund research to find treatment for Alzheimer's disease, a type of dementia that destroys memory and mental processing. "It’s a terrible disease that devastates both those who have it and their loved ones," Gates wrote on his blog recently. "I know how awful it is to watch people you love struggle as the disease robs them of their mental capacity, and there is nothing you can do about it. It feels a lot like you’re experiencing a gradual death of the person that you knew." Alzheimer's is the No. 6 cause of death in the United States. It kills more ...

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Talking to Puppets Brings Mental Health into Kid Conversations


child puppets for mental health in Vermont

We all remember filing into a school auditorium as first graders and trying to stay awake during a dull, lackluster presentation. Did we learn something? Maybe. Do we remember it today? Probably not. Well, the Vermont Family Network (VFN) discovered a fun way—puppets!—to engage young children in talking about mental health. The Vermont network formed an educational puppet troupe that brings messages of health and inclusion to more than 10,000 children and adults each year in Vermont (2% Latino) and beyond. The troupe, called the Puppets in Education (PiE) program, is celebrating their 36th year of teaching students through puppetry! The PiE program uses 3-and-a-half-foot puppets to empower kids to talk about important, difficult issues. From the stage in schools, ...

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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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David’s Law and What it Means for Latinos


cyberbullying victim being video recorded on a smartphone by classmates in the street with a unfocused background

"David's Law" is now in effect to criminalize and prevent cyberbullying in and out of Texas schools. The law is named after David Molak, a 16-year-old San Antonio high school student who took his own life after months of relentless cyberbullying and physical threats. And David isn't the only one. Almost half the U.S. student population experiences some type of bullying. “David’s law will focus on prevention efforts in schools while offering consequences to those who wish to exploit and harass our children on the Internet," said Texas State Sen. Jose Menéndez, who filed Senate Bill 179 for David's Law. Cyberbullying Impacts Latino Youth Cyberbullying is a form of bullying. It doesn't happen in the halls or the classroom. It happens online, through social media, ...

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Murals With a Message Bring Hope in Mental Health Campaign



"You Matter." "You are Brave." "You are Enough." These three phrases are the highlights of a big, bright, colorful mural completed earlier in October by Denver artists Pat Milbery and Jason Graves to help drive mental health awareness and bust stigma. The mural is part of Kaiser Permanente's “Find Your Words” campaign. The campaign encourages people suffering from depression or who know someone dealing with it to find the courage to talk. The campaign is led by Kaiser alongside the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Crisis Text Line and Mental Health America. The campaign launched in four states with social media and a resource website with an interactive forum on mental health issues. The Reason for the ...

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Poll: More than 3 in 4 Latinos Say Latinos Face Discrimination


Latin family sitting in the street

Three in four U.S. Latinos (78%) believe Latinos face discrimination in America today, compared to 92% of blacks and 55% of whites who say they face discrimination, according to a new poll. Who is doing the discriminating? Nearly half of Latinos (47%) believe personal prejudice is the bigger problem. A smaller amount (37%) say say discrimination based in laws and government policies is the bigger problem. About 14% say they're equally problematic. The data is from a new poll by National Public Radio (NPR), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. "Basically what we have found is that discrimination is a type of stressful life experience that has negative effects on health similar to other kinds of stressful experiences," ...

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Mom’s Homecoming Mums Raise Awareness for Youth Mental Health



Everything is bigger in Texas. Especially “mums”—those big, flashy, expensive corsages of colorful streamers, bells, and trinkets that students wear for homecoming high-school football games. Dawn Lee, a parent in Hickory Creek, Texas, has made and sold mums for years. “God gives us all a unique talent and apparently, mine is knowing how and where to put the bling on an oversized corsage,” Lee said. Lee recently decided to put her mum-making talent toward a good cause. She had a question after seeing students and family members struggle with mental health issues: How could mums really help students talk about mental health? Her answer: “Mindful Mums.” Addressing Youth Mental Health Stigma Lee has become increasingly aware of youth mental health ...

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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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