A new report, How Minecraft Supports Social and Emotional Learning in K–12 Education, published by Getting Smart, investigates the connection between classroom use of Minecraft (described as a virtual land where users can create their own worlds and experiences, using building blocks, resources discovered on the site and their own creativity) and the SEL outcomes of K– 12 students. Read more ›
Each year, more than 45,000 people die by suicide and in the past 15 years, the suicide mortality rate has risen by an alarming 24%. A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine examines how illness plays a role in suicide risk. Researchers found that 17 physical health conditions, ailments such as back pain, diabetes, and heart disease, were associated with an increased risk of suicide. Two of the conditions — sleep disorders and HIV/AIDS — represented a greater than twofold increase, while traumatic brain injury made individuals nine times more likely to die by suicide. Read more ›
Since July 1, 2016, Contra Costa County lost five psychiatrists who serve the county’s at-risk youth — minors in foster care and juvenile hall and victims of child sexual exploitation and domestic violence — and they have yet to replace them.
At a Family and Human Services Committee hearing on Monday, county officials responded to a civil grand jury report claiming that there is on average a 1-to-310 ratio of psychiatrists to cases of children with moderate to severe mental health issues. Sometimes it’s even worse. Read more ›
Imaging Pinpoints Brain Circuits Changed by PTSD Therapy – Findings Can Help Target Treatment, Predict Outcomes
A pair of studies led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine demonstrates that scientists can predict, with a high degree of accuracy, which patients with post-traumatic stress disorder will respond to a method of psychotherapy often used to treat the condition.
Using brain imaging to track the effects of treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), researchers have identified a brain circuit on which a frequently used and effective psychotherapy (prolonged exposure) acts to quell symptoms. The findings help explain why the neural circuit identified is a promising target for additional treatment development, including brain stimulation therapies. Read more ›
CHC in the Press: Teens Plan first-ever Teen Wellness Conference to ‘Harness Positive Peer Influence’
Under the direction of Bay Area teens, mental health and wellbeing advocates from Palo Alto, Stanford University and elsewhere are working together to plan the first-ever Teen Wellness Conference.
The free conference for teens ages 13 to 19 in September is unique in that it is being organized mainly under the direction of teenagers. Read more ›
The suicide rate among teenage girls continues to rise and hit a 40-year high in 2015, according to a new analysis released Thursday.
Suicide rates doubled among girls and rose by more than 30 percent among teen boys and young men between 2007 and 2015, the updated breakdown from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds. Read more ›
The use of medication to treat attention deficient hyperactivity disorder is linked to significantly lower risk for substance use problems in adolescents and adults with ADHD, according to a study led by researchers at Indiana University.
The risk of substance use problems during periods of medication use was 35 percent lower in men and 31 percent lower in women in the study. The results, based upon nearly 3 million people with ADHD in the United States, are reported in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
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“Kind Communities – A Bridge to Youth Mental Wellness” was released today by the Born This Way Foundation, which was founded by Lady Gaga in 2012 to assist young people in achieving mental and emotional well-being.
The survey cataloged a number of different issues as reported by 3,015 young people between the ages of 15 and 24, as well as 1,004 parents in an online survey, including how students view their own mental health —including how they strive to alleviate mental health issues — Read more ›
An American Psychological Association survey in 2016 found less than half of working Americans say the climate in their workplace support employee well-being.
Madalyn Parker, 26, sent an email to her team at work saying she’d be out of office for a few days to focus on her mental health. The response she received from her company’s CEO has sparked a larger discussion about what is a rarely-talked topic in the workplace. Read more ›
Parents Education Network and CHC Join Forces—Expands Best-in-Industry ADHD and Learning Differences Education and Support Services
Palo Alto, CA July 18, 2017—Renowned nonprofit agencies Parents Education Network (PEN) of San Francisco and CHC of Palo Alto have announced they will officially join forces on August 1, 2017. All of PEN’s signature programs will become part of CHC adding to its comprehensive range of education and mental health services to families across the Bay Area. PEN services include parent education, parent support groups, Student Advisors for Education (SAFE) and the EdRev Conference at AT&T Park in San Francisco in April. Read more ›
When researchers in the UK exposed depressed adolescents to happy or sad words and imaged their brains, they found that depression has different effects on the brain activity of male and female patients in certain brain regions. The findings suggest that adolescent girls and boys might experience depression differently and that sex-specific treatments could be beneficial for adolescents.
By 15 years of age, girls are twice as likely to suffer from depression as boys. There are various possible reasons for this, including body image issues, hormonal fluctuations and genetic factors, where girls are more at risk of inheriting depression. However, differences between the sexes don’t just involve the risk of experiencing depression, but also how the disorder manifests and its consequences. Read more ›
Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health have found a link between food allergies and an increase in childhood anxiety.
The study, by researchers at Columbia University in collaboration with Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, included 80 pediatric patients age 4 to 12 with and without diagnosed food allergies and their caregivers from urban pediatric outpatient clinics in the Bronx. Read more ›
Social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter’s Periscope have made videos simpler for people to share online, but now these companies are in a race against time to respond quickly to posts depicting self-harm — before they go viral.
Balancing the risks of suicide contagion with free speech, newsworthiness and other factors, these companies’ complex decisions to leave a video up or pull it down can mean the difference between life and death for people attempting suicide. Read more ›
Hand-held screens might delay a child’s ability to form words, based on new research.
Principal researcher Catherine Birken, a pediatrician and scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, gathered her data from well-child visits, the regular checkups that assess a child’s growth, health and development. From 2011 to 2015, she asked the parents of to estimate how much time their children spent each day with hand-held screens, like smartphones, tablets and electronic games. Meanwhile, Birken and her team assessed each child with the Infant Toddler Checklist — a screening tool that looks for signs of delayed communication development. Read more ›
This summer CHC is offering an Executive Functioning Back to School Boot Camp to provide the concrete strategies and executive function skills that enable middle and high school students to thrive at school, at home and in life.
Hallmark symptoms of executive functioning deficiencies include having difficulty with planning projects, time management, starting activities or tasks, telling stories in an organized, sequential way, memorizing and retrieving information, and managing emotions and monitoring thoughts in order to work more effectively. Students with executive functioning challenges may find the demands of school to be stressful, and at times overwhelming. Read more ›
The overarching program, called “Be Internet Awesome,” is part of Google’s effort to instill the youth with digital savvy and to encourage people to be good Internet citizens and includes educational materials aimed at students in the third to fifth grades. Read more ›
We are very pleased to announce that Dr. Ramsey Khasho, Director of The Center at CHC, has been appointed to fill a new role at the agency: Chief Clinical Officer (CCO). As CHC continues to grow to meet the needs of a community faced with growing mental health concerns, it is important for an extraordinary leader to have overall strategic and operational responsibility for all clinical programs agency-wide. Read more ›
Gender differences in depression diagnosis and symptoms start to appear around the age of 12, a new study reports.
The analysis, based on existing studies that looked at more than 3.5 million people in more than 90 countries, confirmed that depression affects far more females than males. Read more ›
Speak Mindfully is a campaign that was created by the Teen Mental Health Committee with the goal of raising awareness, reducing stigma, and educating teens on how to speak mindfully to avoid language that undermines people’s valid experiences with mental illness. Read more ›
The Children’s Health Council (CHC) launched its first Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) on May 8, marking a pivotal point in expanding local teen mental health services. The program will address the needs of high school teens ages 14 to 18 who show signs of significant anxiety, depression or suicidal thoughts. Read more ›
The percentage of younger children and teens hospitalized for suicidal thoughts or actions in the United States doubled over nearly a decade, according to new research.
A steady increase in admissions due to suicidality and serious self-harm occurred at 32 children’s hospitals across the nation from 2008 through 2015, the researchers found. The children studied were between the ages of 5 and 17, and although all age groups showed increases, the largest uptick was seen among teen girls. Read more ›
On May 8, Palo Alto’s Children’s Health Council (CHC) will debut its newest branch, the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), which will focus on aiding teenagers struggling with depression or anxiety.
The IOP will use a variety of therapeutic methods, including mindful movement and family therapy, to provide comprehensive support and treatment for high schoolers, specifically those with high levels of anxiety, self-esteem problems, suicidal thoughts and histories of self-harm. Read more ›
Palo Alto teens and families looking for mental health services that fall between occasional therapy and hospitalization soon will have that option.
With the help of an anonymous donor interested in reducing the number of teen suicides, the nonprofit Children’s Health Council has launched a 12-week Intensive Outpatient Program at its Palo Alto campus at 650 Clark Way.
The outpatient program starts May 8. It will serve teens 14 to 18 years old with moderate to severe symptoms of anxiety or depression, self-harm behaviors or suicidal thoughts. Read more ›
Despite having the strongest academic support from parents, teachers, and friends, second-generation Asian American adolescents benefit much less from these supports than others, finds a study by NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.
New research finds that adults on the autism spectrum are using their special interests to engage in specific fields of study and determine career paths.
Investigators believe the findings continue a shift away from perceiving strong interests as a negative and toward a perspective that recognizes the strengths and potential of these personal pursuits.
Researchers from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development published their findings in the journal Occupational Therapy in Mental Health. Read more ›
Partnering for Mental Health —The Conversation Continues: How CHC is Leveraging Community Partnerships to Address Teen Mental Health
Palo Alto, CA March 20, 2017– On March 16, 2017, Children’s Health Council (CHC)’s 4th Annual Breakfast showcased CHC partners who are successfully making strides to combat teen anxiety, depression and suicide.
Over 300 parents, professionals and community members attended the event, held at Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club in Menlo Park. The program was moderated by Ramsey Khasho, PsyD, Director of The Center at CHC, and featured three of CHC’s many partners: Nancy Lublin, Founder & CEO, Crisis Text Line; Jayne Appel, NBA star and Bring Change 2 Mind Ambassador; and Dr. James B. Everitt, Director, Office of Mission Initiatives & Institutional Planning, Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton. Each shared their personal motives for raising awareness about teen anxiety, depression and suicide, and touted the critical role partnerships play in building solutions. Read more ›
Researchers say they can predict whether some infants under the age of 1 will actually develop autism in their second year.
The new experimental technique, using standard brain screening, is designed to focus solely on newborns known to be at high risk for autism because they have an older sibling who has it. Read more ›
Over the past several years, Facebook has implemented several procedures to help people in crisis and, on Wednesday, announced new tools to empower Facebook users to intervene when they believe that someone they know may be contemplating self-harm or suicide.
The announcement focused on new Facebook tools for helping people “in real time on Facebook live,” facilitating live chat support from crisis support organizations via Facebook Messenger and “streamlined reporting for suicide, assisted by artificial intelligence. Read more ›
Watching television for more than a couple of hours a day is linked to lower school readiness skills in kindergartners, particularly among children from low-income families, finds a study by NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and Université Sainte-Anne. Read more ›
In 2016-17, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration conducted an investigation of youth suicide in Santa Clara County. The purpose of the investigation, called an Epi-Aid, was to utilize existing data to develop specific prevention and control recommendations on youth suicide prevention that can be used at the school, city, and county levels.
A donation from an anonymous Palo Alto resident has enabled Children’s Health Council to address a “critical gap in teen mental health services” by opening what the nonprofit says will be the city’s first intensive outpatient program for teenagers with moderate to severe mental-health issues. Read more ›
Micaelia Randolph, 707.933.7332, firstname.lastname@example.org
Yvonne Wolters, 650.867.7929, email@example.com
Autism is two to five times more common in men than women, according to background notes in the study. Previous studies have suggested that the biology of men might put them at higher risk for the disorder than women. Read more ›
While many people are familiar with therapeutic pets and how they can help lift up people’s spirits, bringing them into the classroom might sound far-fetched. How can a therapy pet possibly teach children the life lessons of kindness and empathy? Can a pet really alter the way that students feel about learning? Read more ›
A Menlo Park mother plans to launch a mobile app that uses artificial intelligence and a cartoon squirrel to help adolescent boys better communicate their emotional state with parents.
Patrina Mack, founder of the app called K’Bro — short for “Are you OK, bro?” — said the idea came to her when she was going through a tough divorce and observed how difficult it was for her young son. Read more ›
The most popular PG-13 movies now depict more acts of gun violence than R-rated films, a new look at the U.S. motion picture landscape reveals.
This new analysis updates an earlier 2012 investigation, which found that gun violence in the nation’s top-grossing PG-13 films more than doubled between 1985 and 2012. By then, gun violence had begun to exceed that found in R-rated films.
Since 2012, the prevalence of gun violence in PG-13 movies — albeit less bloody and more cartoon-like than R-rated movies — held steady through 2015. Read more ›
Children with serious behavioral disorders might fare better at school if they get some exercise during the day, a new study suggests.
The researchers focused on children and teenagers with conditions that included autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and depression.
The study was conducted at a therapeutic day school affiliated with Harvard Medical School. The school enrolls ∼110 children each year in kindergarten through 10th grade with diagnosed BHD, many of whom have learning disabilities, but does not serve children with intellectual disabilities. They looked at whether structured exercise during the school day — in the form of stationary “cybercycles”— could help ease students’ behavioral issues in the classroom. Read more ›