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Children's Health Council

News

California Pushes Back School Start Times for Middle and High School Students

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation on Sunday that pushes school start times later. Under the new law, middle schools will start classes at 8 a.m. or after, while high schools will start classes at 8:30 a.m. or after. Optional early classes will still be allowed.
 
The law applies to public and charter schools, though rural school districts are exempt. The new start times go into effect by July 1, 2022, or when a school’s collective bargaining agreement with its employees expires, whichever is later. Read more ›

October is ADHD Awareness Month

The mission of ADHD Awareness Month is to educate the public about ADHD by disseminating reliable information based on the evidence of science and peer-reviewed research. Read more ›

U.S. Department of Education Announces New Grant Awards to Address School Safety and Improve Access to Mental Health Services

The U.S. Department of Education announced $71.6 million in new funding to enhance safety in schools and improve student access to mental health resources. The Depart of Education made the awards under four grant programs, which support recommendations identified in the final report issued by the Federal Commission on School Safety. Read more ›

Mental Illness Awareness Week

Mental Illness Awareness Week takes place from October 6 – 12, 2019. Every year during Mental Illness Awareness Week, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) works to educate the public, eliminate stigma and advocate for better access to mental health care. Read more ›

Autism CARES Act of 2019 Designates $1.8 Billion to Fund Research

An extension of the nation’s primary autism law was approved on September 30, 2019, authorizing $1.8 billion in spending on the developmental disorder in the coming years. Read more ›

October Is International Dyslexia Awareness Month

 International Dyslexia Awareness Month was established by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) to raise awareness and educate others about dyslexia. Read more ›

South Bay Spiritual Leaders Say Hate, Not Mental Illness, Is What Perpetuates Gun Violence

More than 80 clergy of diverse faiths unify to issue a proclamation to stand against hatred and to stand beside those with mental illness. Read more ›

Hate and Guns Are a Public Health Crisis Says American Psychological Association President

After the most recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, American Psychological Association President Rosie Phillips Davis, PhD, issued a statement in which she asserted that guns, racism, bigotry and hatred are fueling a “public health crisis” in the United States.
Read more ›

CHC Announces New Chief Advancement Officer — Sterrin Bird

Palo Alto, CA September 2, 2019 — Children’s Health Council (CHC) today announced the addition of Sterrin Bird, CFRE, as Chief Advancement Officer, beginning August 1. A nationally-recognized leader in the nonprofit community, Ms. Bird has more than 25 years of experience in service to philanthropy, with particular emphasis in capital campaigning and major gifts. Read more ›

CHC in the News: Finding Paths to Mental Health Support in the Bay Area

CHC’s Patrice Crisostomo and Meghna Singh, representing CHC’s Teen Wellness Committee, appeared on the September 7 edition of KCBS Radio‘s In Depth radio show on the topic of raising awareness around mental health. Read more ›

National Suicide Prevention Week

Every year, mental health organizations raise awareness about suicide and suicide prevention throughout the month of September. September 8 – 14, 2019, is National Suicide Prevention Week, a time to promote suicide prevention awareness, to share stories and resources, and to advocate for mental health care. Read more ›

California Law Puts a Suicide Hotline Number on School ID Cards

California high school and middle school students will have some lifesaving information at their fingertips as they go back to school this year. Read more ›

Coping with Trauma from Gun Violence

Dear Friends,

We’re all struggling to process the tragic events and aftermath of the past days. Our clinical staff reminds us that in our roles as parents, friends, colleagues and family members, self-care is more important than ever before. This means taking care physically by resting, eating well and exercising, and taking care emotionally by spending time with safe and emotionally-supportive friends. Read more ›

CHC in the Press: ‘Mental Health Doesn’t Go Away Over the Summer:’ Local Organizations See Spike in Demand for Services

Sarah Pistorino saw a therapist through the end of her freshman year at Sacred Heart Preparatory School. Then summer came — and with it, the end of her academic stress and fatigue — so she pressed the pause button on her therapy. But when school started up again in the fall, she felt a decline in her mental health. She now continues therapy through the summer months. Read more ›

Glen R. Elliott, PhD, MD, Presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award

CHC’s Chief Psychiatrist and Medical Director, Dr. Glen R. Elliott, PhD, MD, has been awarded the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who’s Who, a publisher of biographical profiles. Read more ›

ADDitude Offers Free Webinar on Behavioral Parent Training

ADDitude magazine is offering a free expert webinar to learn behavioral parent training can solve discipline challenges in your home, on Thursday, September 5, at 1 pm ET.

The presenter is Carla Counts Allan, Ph.D., a psychologist who specializes in using evidence-based psychosocial treatments for children and adolescents with ADHD. Read more ›

Report: More Students Are Being Bullied Online

Online bullying is on the rise among middle and high school students, even as overall rates of bullying in schools have remained steady, according to a federal report released on July 16. Read more ›

California Pediatricians to Begin Screening Children for Traumatic Experiences in 2020

Has your child ever lived with a parent or caregiver who had mental health issues, such as depression? Witnessed a parent or caregiver being screamed at, insulted or humiliated by another adult? Been separated from their parent or caregiver due to foster care or immigration?

Those are some of the questions on a survey that California pediatricians will use to screen millions of children for traumatic experiences beginning Jan. 1, 2020. Read more ›

CHC in the Press: The Complicated Relationship Between Screen Time and Depression

Some experts think that the rise in mental health problems in youth can be tied to an event in 2007: The introduction of the iPhone. Psychologist and author Jean M. Twenge wants us to believe that the “iGen”, the generation shaped by smartphones and social media use, born between 1995 and 2012 is “on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades.” Read more ›

July 8-13 Is National Summer Learning Week!

Children can lose up to two months of essential math and reading skills during the summer months. Fortunately, there is plenty that families and caregivers can do to support learning during the summer! Read more ›

Adolescent Suicide Rate hits 20-Year High

Recent research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates the suicide rate for teens ages 15 to 19 is at its highest point in 20 years, and that suicide is now the second-leading cause of death for that age group. Read more ›

June is National Internet Safety Month

June is National Internet Safety Month. The goal is to raise awareness about online safety, in particular, for children and teens.

Adults can help reduce the risks by talking to kids about making safe and responsible decisions.  These free resources from the FTC can help you talk to your kids and teens about cyberbullying, sexting and texting, online privacy, social media, virtual environments, and more. Read more ›

NIMH-Funded Study Finds “13 Reasons Why” Associated with Increase in Youth Suicide Rates

The Netflix show “13 Reasons Why” was associated with a 28.9% increase in suicide rates among U.S. youth ages 10-17 in the month (April 2017) following the show’s release, after accounting for ongoing trends in suicide rates, according to a study published in Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The findings highlight the necessity of using best practices when portraying suicide in popular entertainment and in the media. The study was conducted by researchers at several universities, hospitals, and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health. NIMH also funded the study. Read more ›

CHC in the Press: In the Community—Welcoming a New Mental Health Services Space to East Palo Alto

Children’s Health Council (CHC) mental health services coordinator Divier Wallace understands the importance of supporting his community.

“As someone who grew up in East Palo Alto during the 1990s when times were very tough, I am so pleased to be able to come back and work with my community to provide services for families in need, in their language of choice,” said Wallace, speaking at the recent grand opening of the new East Palo Alto office and clinical space of the Ravenswood Initiative, a CHC project. Read more ›

May is Mental Health Month

Did you know that 1 in 5 teens between the ages of 13 and 18 have or will have a serious mental illness? Or that 50% of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14 and 75% by age 24?

May is Mental Health Month was started 70 years ago by Mental Health America, to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of good mental health for everyone. Read more ›

New WHO Guidelines on Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior and Sleep for Children Under 5 Years of Age

Children under five must spend less time sitting watching screens, or restrained in prams and seats, get better quality sleep and have more time for active play if they are to grow up healthy, according to new guidelines issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) on April 24. Read more ›

More U.S. Youth Seeking Help During Psychiatric Emergencies

The number of young people visiting U.S. emergency rooms with psychiatric problems is rising, driven largely by a surge in teens and minority youth seeking urgent help for mental illnesses, a new study suggests. Read more ›

Social Media Linked to Rise in Mental Health Disorders in Teens, Survey Finds

Mental health issues have risen significantly over the last decade and the rise of digital media may be one reason why, according to a national survey released on March 14. Read more ›

LGBT+ Teens in US, Rejected by Families, Struggling in Foster Care

LGBT+ teens in the United States are three times more likely than heterosexual teens to live in foster care, often after being rejected by their families over their sexuality, according to new research. Read more ›

One in Six U.S. Kids Have Mental Health Disorders, but Only Half Receive Treatment

Roughly in six U.S. kids have at least one mental health disorder, and only about half of them receive treatment from a mental health professional, a new study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics suggests. Read more ›

Free Live Webinar on March 6: How to Find the Best School Match for Your Student with ADHD or LD

School is supposed to be a place where children learn, grow, and thrive, but that isn’t always the case. For kids with ADHD and learning disabilities (LD), certain school environments may not be a good fit, and could even disrupt the educational experience. So when is it time to consider a new school? Are there ways to work with your child’s current school to transform it into a better learning environment?

ADDitude magazine is hosting a free expert webinar about how to choose a school for your child with ADHD/LD featuring Susan Yellin, Esq., on Wednesday, March 6, at 10 a.m. PST. Read more ›

CHC in the Press: Children’s Health Council Expands to East Palo Alto

Youth mental health nonprofit Children’s Health Council has opened a new location in East Palo Alto with the ambitious goal of serving five times as many children as the organization currently does in that community.

Children’s Health Council, which has been providing mental health services at no cost to children and families for five years in East Palo Alto, parts of Menlo Park and Redwood City, can now do so out of a physical home at 1848 Bay Road. Read more ›

Only 5 Percent of Adolescents Meet Sleep, Exercise, Screen Time Guidelines

A study published in February 2019 in JAMA Pediatrics discovered that only 1 in 20 adolescents are meeting the guidelines and that a discrepancy exists between the sexes. Only three percent of girls get enough sleep and exercise and don’t exceed screen time recommendations, compared to seven percent of boys. Read more ›

Children’s Health Council (CHC) Adds New Ravenswood Location

Providing professional, culturally-relevant educational and mental health services at no cost to children, teens, and families in East Palo Alto and parts of Menlo Park and Redwood City.

Palo Alto, CA January 30, 2019—Ravenswood is designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a “Health Professional Shortage Area,” meaning there are not enough medical and mental health professionals to meet the community’s needs.  95% of residents are considered low income, 54% of parents are not high school graduates, and 72% of students are English language learners. Despite a vibrant community, rich with culture, history and potential, stressful conditions create a collective sense of heightened anxiety, fear, grief, and trauma–all barriers to learning & thriving. Read more ›

New Program Offering: 1-on-1 Executive Functioning Coaching

Is your bright child or teen struggling in school? Do they have trouble paying attention? Planning and prioritizing? Starting and staying focused on tasks through to completion? Do they have difficulty regulating their emotions? If so, they may have issues with executive functioning. Read more ›

Executive Function Deficits in Kindergarten May Predict Academic Difficulties in Primary Grades

New Penn State research suggests that children’s executive function deficits may be an important risk factor for academic difficulties.

Preliminary findings from a three-year National Science Foundation-funded project, recently published in Child Development, show that executive functions in kindergarten predict children’s mathematics, reading and science achievement, as well as their classroom behavior, in second grade. Read more ›

Heavy Screen Time May Cause Premature Changes In Brain Structure Among Kids

Children who spend more than seven hours a day of screen time may experience premature thinning of the part of the brain that processes sensory information.

The data comes from a $300 million research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that will follow more than 11,000 kids aged 9 to 10 years old. Read more ›

Should Childhood Trauma Be Treated As A Public Health Crisis?

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows how the effects of childhood trauma persist and are linked to mental illness and addiction in adulthood. And, researchers say, it suggests that it might be more effective to approach trauma as a public health crisis than to limit treatment to individuals. Read more ›

Autism Prevalence Now 1 in 40 US Kids, Study Estimates

A survey of parents across the United States estimates that one in 40 children has autism spectrum disorder, according to a study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. Read more ›

Generation Z Reported the Most Mental Health Problems

Many members of Generation Z — young people between 15 and 21 — have taken more active roles in political activism this year, and a new survey indicates that the state of the nation is to blame for this generation’s stress levels. Read more ›

Jefferson Award in the Bay Area Goes to Nadia Ghaffari of TeenzTalk

Founder of the mental health nonprofit TeenzTalk, Nadia Ghaffari, was recently awarded a Bay Area Jefferson Award for “bringing hope and help to young people with mental health conditions.”  Read more ›

Elementary Students with Depression Are More at Risk for Skill Deficits

Early elementary students with symptoms of depression are much more likely to be at risk for academic deficits, according to new research. Read more ›

10% of US Children Diagnosed With ADHD, Study Finds

The number of children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has reached more than 10 percent, a significant increase during the past 20 years, according to a recent study. Read more ›

Pediatricians Sound Alarm About Food Additives and Children’s Health

When children ingest chemicals added to food and food packaging, their health may suffer, the American Academy of Pediatrics warns in a new policy statement, advising parents to be cautious about plastic containers, avoid processed meats and take other steps to limit kids’ exposure to food additives. Read more ›

Study: A Growth Mindset Helps Students Cope With Academic Setbacks

A new study finds that when students experience an academic setback such as a bad grade, the amount of cortisol—the so-called stress hormone—in their bodies typically spikes. For most students it drops back down to normal levels a day later, but for some it stays high. These students remain fixated on the setback and have difficulty moving forward. Read more ›

CHC and Stanford Children’s Health Launch Expanded Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for High School Teens Facing Severe Mental Health Challenges

Just over a year ago, CHC opened its doors to a new Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for teens in Palo Alto. Now, in collaboration with Stanford Children’s Health, the program is expanding to serve more adolescents struggling with self-harm, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, severe anxiety and depression.

Read more ›

Minorities Much Less Likely to Access Mental Health Care, State Data Suggests

White people enrolled in Medi-Cal access mental health treatment at about twice the rate of other ethnic groups, even though they make up fewer than a quarter of plan enrollees, new state data suggests. Read more ›

With Depression and Suicide Rates on the Rise, National Survey Reveals Complex Relationship Between Social Media Use and Mental Well-Being

A national survey of 14- to 22-year-olds provides new evidence on the growing mental health crisis affecting young people. The survey, sponsored by Hopelab and Well Being Trust (WBT), finds that large numbers of teens and young adults experiencing moderate to severe symptoms of depression are turning to the internet for help, including researching mental health issues online (90 percent), accessing other people’s health stories through blogs, podcasts, and videos (75 percent), using mobile apps related to well-being (38 percent), and connecting with health providers through digital tools such as texting and video chat (32 percent).  Read more ›

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