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News

Standing Up for Good

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
 
Like so many, we at CHC were stunned by the shocking displays of bigotry, hate and violence committed recently in Charlottesville and we know you were, too. We stand in solidarity with Charlottesville in opposing hatred and bigotry of any kind as we continue to work every day with our colleagues, friends and neighbors to realize a vision of hope for all. Read more ›

Bullying Tops Parents’ List of Health Concerns About Their Children and Teens

Bullying and cyberbullying top parents’ list of worries when it comes to their children’s health, according to a new report from the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at the University of Michigan. Close behind are internet safety and stress, motor vehicle accidents, and school violence. Read more ›

Standing Together. Delivering Hope.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
 
We are deeply saddened by the tragic news that a 17-year-old Gunn High School student died by suicide this week and we know you are also. We all mourn the loss of another young person and empathize with the heartbreak facing his family and friends.  Read more ›

The Fascinating Link Between Minecraft and SEL

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 ›

Burden of Physical Health Conditions Linked to Increased Risk of Suicide

 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 ›

Contra Costa’s At-Risk Youth Suffer From Shortage of Psychiatrists

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 ›

Suicides in Teen Girls Hit a 40-Year High

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 ›

ADHD Medication Tied to Lower Risk for Alcohol, Drug Abuse in Teens and Adults

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.
Read more ›

CHC in the Press: Online Searches About Suicide Climbed After ’13 Reasons Why’ Premiere

Internet searches related to suicide increased 19% in the three weeks after the premiere of the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why, found new research. That increase translated to approximately 900,000 to 1.5 million more searches than would be expected without the show. Read more ›

Study Finds Digital Dating Abuse Worse for Girls

A new study by the University of Michigan and the University of California Santa Barbara found that girls are more negatively affected by digital dating abuse.

Researchers at the University of Michigan and University of California-Santa Barbara examined the impact of gender on high schoolers’ experience of digital dating abuse behaviors, which include use of cell phones or internet to harass, control, pressure or threaten a dating partner. Read more ›

Students Say They Don’t Know Where to Turn for Mental Health Services

“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 ›

Taking a Mental Health Day: Changing Attitudes in the Workplace

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 ›

New Cycle of the Intensive Outpatient Program Begins August 7

CHC is now accepting referrals for our next cycle of the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), which begins on August 7, 2017.  
 
The 12-week Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is for high school teens (ages 14-18) struggling with moderate to severe anxiety and depression. The goals of the program are to help teens achieve improvement across all areas of life—academics, friendships, family dynamics, managing emotions and coping with stress, to reduce unsafe thoughts and behaviors and the symptoms of anxiety and depression, and to realize a life worth living.

Read more ›

Bullying and Bias Can Cost Schools Millions in Lost Funding

When children avoid school to avoid bullying, many states can lose tens of millions of dollars in funding, and California alone loses an estimated $276 million each year because children feel unsafe.

New research from The University of Texas at Austin published in School Psychology Quarterly highlights the hidden cost to communities in states that use daily attendance numbers to calculate public school funding. When children are afraid to go to school because classmates target them because of bias against their race, gender, religion, disability or sexual orientation, schools lose tens of millions of dollars each year linked to this absenteeism.

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 ›

Social-Emotional Learning Boosts Students’ Scores, Graduation Rates, Even Earnings, New Study Finds

According to new research from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), the University of Illinois at Chicago, Loyola University, and the University of British Columbia, social-emotional learning programs have positive long-term effects, helping students well into their futures in areas like college completion and sexual and mental health.

The study reviewed 82 social-emotional learning programs used by 97,406 K-12 students. Researchers checked in with the students anywhere from six months to 18 years after they completed SEL training.

After studying outcomes such as attitudes toward the self, social behavior, and academic performance, researchers found that the skills students had learned stayed with them, even protecting against future problems like emotional distress and drug use.  Read more ›

Depression Affects the Brains of Males and Females Differently

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 ›

Link Found Between Food Allergies and Childhood Anxiety

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 ›

Facebook’s High-Stakes Dilemma Over Suicide Videos

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 ›

Toddlers’ Screen Time Linked to Slower Speech Development, Study Finds

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 ›

CHC Offers Executive Functioning Back to School Boot Camp for Middle and High School Students

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 ›

Google Creates Online Safety Computer Game for Kids

In celebration of Internet Safety Month, Google has released a classroom curriculum and computer game to teach children about online safety and security.

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 ›

CHC’s Dr. Ramsey Khasho Takes New Role as Chief Clinical Officer

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 ›

Announcing New Head of Sand Hill School: Jeff Kozlowski

We are very pleased to introduce our new Head of Sand Hill School, Jeff Kozlowski. Jeff has over twenty years as an educator and champion of students, families and teachers, and  extensive background in working with children with learning differences. Read more ›

Gender Differences in Depression Appear at Age 12

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 ›

CHC Teen Mental Health Committee Campaign — Speak Mindfully

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 ›

CHC in the Press: Children’s Health Council Launches Intensive Outpatient Program

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 ›

Bullied in 5th Grade, Prone to Drug Abuse by High School

A child bullied in fifth grade is more likely to show signs of depression in seventh grade, and abuse substances like alcohol, marijuana or tobacco in 10th grade, researchers say.

Their study of more than 4,000 kids in Los Angeles, Houston and Birmingham, Ala., suggests a dangerous trajectory between not-uncommon childhood abuse and worrisome behavior in high school. Read more ›

Public Notices for EBC School

Please read these announcements informing the public of three candidates for employment on the basis of a Provisional Internship Permit (PIP).  Read more ›

‘Alarming’ Rise in Children Hospitalized with Suicidal Thoughts or Actions

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 ›

CHC in the Press: Program Introduces Mental Health Services

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 ›

13 Reasons Why: Important Update

Dear Friends of CHC:
 
Just as Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why was beginning to air in early April, we sent out a note of concern.

 One month later, we are learning that this is the most talked about show on social media and that it is more concerning than was originally thought. Two IOP teen therapists from CHC’s Adolescent Mental Health Services Department, Dr. Anna Parnes and Jennifer Leydecker advise, “If your kids have watched it or plan to watch it, it’s critical that you watch the program too so you are aware of the content.” For those of you who haven’t heard, the show is a fictional account of a teenage girl, Hannah, who dies by suicide and leaves behind audio tapes outlining the 13 people she blames for her death. We strongly suggest parent caution, monitoring and dialogue about the program and its topics of suicide, survivor guilt, sexual assault and bullying and shaming. 

Read more ›

CHC in the Press: Special Mental Health Program Launched for Teens

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 ›

Asian American Students Have Strong Academic Support – But Is It Too Much?

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.

The findings, published in the Asian American Journal of Psychology, suggest that support may be experienced as pressure and that stereotyping Asian Americans as high achievers can be problematic.

Read more ›

Skills of Adults with Autism Drive Career Opportunities

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 ›

Experimental Test Can Spot Autism in Infancy

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 ›

Facebook Beefs up Suicide-Prevention Tools

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 ›

Too Much TV Related to Drops in School Readiness

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 ›

CDC Releases Final Report on Youth Suicide in Santa Clara County

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.

The Centers for Disease Control have released their final report to the Santa Clara County Public Health Department. Read more ›

CHC in the Press: Teen Intensive Outpatient Program to Open

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 ›

CHC to Open First Intensive Outpatient Program in Palo Alto for Teens, Spring 2017

Media Contact:
Micaelia Randolph, 707.933.7332, mrandolph@chconline.org
Yvonne Wolters, 650.867.7929, gbheron@mac.com
 
PALO ALTO, CA, February 14, 2017 —Thanks to the outstanding philanthropic leadership of an anonymous Palo Alto resident, CHC is moving forward with plans to launch Palo Alto’s first Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) this spring, filling a critical gap in teen mental health services. The IOP, located on CHC’s campus, will address the needs of teens between the ages of 14-18 with significant anxiety, depression, and/or suicidal thoughts. Read more ›

New Clues on Why Autism Is More Common in Males

Structural differences in the male brain might explain why autism is more common in men than women, a new study suggests.

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 ›

How Reading Aloud to Therapy Dogs Can Help Struggling Kids

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 ›

Bullying Affects Academic Confidence

Chronic bullying can take a toll on kids’ grades.

That’s the suggestion of researchers said they found that young children who are bullied for years, or teens who face increased bullying in high school, lack confidence in their academic abilities, get lower grades and dislike school more than their peers. Read more ›

Menlo Park Mom Launching App to Help Boys, Parents Connect

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 ›

Study Reports PG-13 Movies Show More Gun Violence Than R-Rated Films

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 ›

Is Exercise an Antidote for Behavorial Issues in Students?

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 ›

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