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News

Intervention Offered in Kindergarten Readiness Program Boosts Children’s Self-Regulation Skills

Adding a daily 20 to 30 minute self-regulation intervention to a kindergarten readiness program significantly boosted children’s self-regulation and early academic skills, an Oregon State University researcher has found. Read more ›

How a New Model of Autism Treatment Uses Robots

There are a growing number of assistive therapy (AT) tools to help students with Autism Spectrum Disorder to work independently and navigate classroom routines. Not all AT tools are high-tech: They can be simple, adaptive tools like highlighters and organizers, automatic page-turners, or book holders. They can also be high-tech tools like robots. Read more ›

Survey Finds Majority of Students Feel Engaged, But Less Than Half Find School Work to be Relevant

Across all grade levels, the majority of students feel engaged, according to data released today by the San Francisco-based nonprofit YouthTruth Student Survey

The findings come from a recent analysis of student perception survey data from over 230,000 students across 36 states gathered between November 2012 and June 2017. The analysis found slight differences in students’ experiences of engagement across grade levels, with elementary students slightly more likely to be engaged than secondary students. Read more ›

CHC in the Press: Volunteer Tutors Provide Struggling Kids with Social-Emotional Stability and Academic Help

More than 2,000 students are served by All Students Matter, a volunteer-driven nonprofit providing literacy, math and social-emotional support to elementary school students in the Ravenswood City School District. All Students Matter received $5,000 from the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund this year, paying for new volunteer training that the organization’s founder described as “invaluable.”

As All Students Matter has grown — from 15 people informally volunteering in one Ravenswood school 10 years ago to more than 200 volunteers at six schools — so have the needs of the students it serves. This is reflected in the revamped training, which now consists of one hour focused on literacy and, new last year, one hour on social-emotional support. Read more ›

Teenage Brains Can’t Tell What’s Important and What Isn’t

Adults are generally pretty good at being able to tell when a situation is worthy of extra time or concentration. Research has found that, when potential rewards or losses are higher, for example, adults will perform better on tasks. But this doesn’t seem to be the case for adolescents. Read more ›

Bullied Teens Twice As Likely to Bring Weapons to School

One in five teens are victims of bullying, and these adolescents are about twice as likely to bring guns and knives to school than peers who aren’t bullied, a U.S. study suggests.

Researchers examined how high school students answered three survey questions: how often they skipped school because they felt unsafe; how often they got in physical fights at school; and how many times they were threatened with a weapon at school. Read more ›

22-Year-Old Nonverbal Woman with Autism on Finding Her Voice and Advocating for Others

Diagnosed with autism and oral-motor apraxia, which makes her unable to speak, Carly Fleischmann had a breakthrough at 10 years old when she communicated for the first time by typing on a keyboard. Today, the 22-year-old uses technology as her voice for everyday thoughts and feelings. Fleischmann has become the first-ever nonverbal celebrity talk show host, as well as an inspiring advocate for other people with autism. Read more ›

Universal Dyslexia Screening Improves Odds of Success in School

The Dyslexia Research Institute reports that “dyslexics have an inherited neurological difference, resulting in language, perceptual, processing, and attention/concentration differences. Since this issue affects so much of a child’s educational experience beyond just reading, it makes sense to identify and address dyslexia in students as early as possible. Doing so may not only improve the child’s chances of success in school, but may also improve the chance of other students in the classroom who may be affected by the attention an undiagnosed dyslexic student requires. Read more ›

Editorial: When Streamlining Ed Policy, Engage Parents First

Parents and teachers are understandably on edge. The Education Department is in the midst of reviewing every regulation and policy document it has ever issued so it can decide which ones should be modified and which ones should be scrapped. This month nearly 600 guidance documents — including 72 relating to kids with disabilities — were quietly rescinded because the Department said they are “outdated.” And now the special education community is holding its breath as current guidance and regulations could go on the chopping block. Read more ›

How Making Art Helps Teens Better Understand Their Mental Health

Tori Wardrip, an art teacher at Lewis and Clark Middle School in Billings, Montana, wanted to explore the benefits of art more deeply while addressing some of the mental health issues she saw students experiencing. Read more ›

Appearance Reported by Students as Top Reason for Bullying; Experiences Vary by Gender Identity

There are slight differences in students’ experiences with bullying across gender identities, according to a new YouthTruth survey of over 180,000 students in grades 5-12. While 1 in 4 students overall report being bullied, 44% of those who feel male or female pronouns don’t represent them say they have experienced verbal, social, physical, or online bullying. Read more ›

Being Popular: Why it Consumes Teens and Continues to Affect Adults

Popularity is a loaded word. For many adults, it evokes powerful memories of jockeying for position in high school cafeterias and hallways.

“The urge to be popular among our peers reaches its zenith in adolescence,” said Mitch Prinstein, a professor of psychology and author of Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World.  “So the messages you get at age 14 about who you are and how the world works will affect how you behave when you are 40.” Read more ›

Switching To Middle School Can Be Hard On Kids, But There Are Ways To Make It Better

A large body of research suggests that students who go to middle school or junior high do worse academically, socially and emotionally, compared to the young teenagers who get to be the oldest students at schools with grades K-8. Read more ›

Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety?

Over the last decade, anxiety has overtaken depression as the most common reason college students seek counseling services. In its annual survey of students, the American College Health Association found a significant increase — to 62 percent in 2016 from 50 percent in 2011 — of undergraduates reporting “overwhelming anxiety” in the previous year. Surveys that look at symptoms related to anxiety are also telling. Read more ›

California Department of Education Offers Free Resources for Digital Citizenship Week

The California Department of Education (CDE), in collaboration with Common Sense Education and the California State legislature, will celebrate Digital Citizenship Week October 16-20, 2017. This will continue ongoing efforts to teach students how to make safe, smart, and ethical decisions in the digital world. Read more ›

Depression: Major Study of College Freshman Kicks Off at UCLA

“Can we screen you for depression?”

Depending on their answer, as many as 10,000 incoming UCLA freshmen and transfer students could become part of the school’s massive study into the causes and treatments of the mental disorder.

Called the Depression Grand Challenge, UCLA’s initiative — which seeks to cut the incidence of depression worldwide in half by 2050 — is launching the screenings as new students move into their dorms and prepare for the first day of classes on Thursday. Read more ›

ADHD Kids Can Be Still – If They’re Not Straining Their Brains

Your ADHD child fidgets and squirms his way through school and homework, but seems laser-focused and motionless sitting in front of the TV watching an action thriller.

New research shows lack of motivation or boredom with school isn’t to blame for the differing behavior. It turns out that symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder such as fidgeting, foot-tapping and chair-swiveling are triggered by cognitively demanding tasks – like school and homework. But movies and video games don’t typically require brain strain, so the excessive movement doesn’t manifest. Read more ›

Autism Study: Early Intervention Pays Off Quickly

Intensive early intervention for kids with autism can be extremely costly, but new research finds that such treatment can pay for itself in short order.

Children who participated in the Early Start Denver Model — an evidence-based treatment for autism — saw the cost of treatment offset in as little as two years, according to findings published recently in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Read more ›

Poll: Parents Not Confident Schools Can Assist Child with Chronic Disease, Mental Health Issues

Just 38 percent of parents are very confident in schools’ ability to assist a student suspected of having a mental health problem, according to a new report from the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at the University of Michigan.

Most parents (77 percent) are sure schools would be able to provide first aid for minor issues, such as bleeding from a cut. But parents are less confident about a school’s ability to respond to more complex health situations, such as an asthma attack or mental health problem. Read more ›

NIH Awards Nearly $100 Million for Autism Centers of Excellence Program

The National Institutes of Health has awarded nine research grants totaling nearly $100 million over the next five years for the Autism Centers of Excellence (ACE), a program that supports large research projects aimed at understanding and developing interventions for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The ACE program was created in 2007 from the consolidation of previous programs. Grants have been awarded every five years, and 2017 marks the third cycle of ACE grants. Read more ›

Young Victims of Cyberbullying Twice as Likely to Attempt Suicide and Self-Harm

Children and young people under-25 who become victims of cyberbullying are more than twice as likely to enact self-harm and attempt suicide than non-victims.

While perpetrators of cyberbullying are also more likely to experience suicidal thoughts and behaviors, researchers say.

The study, which is a collaboration of a number of researchers from across the United Kingdom (UK) including the University of Birmingham, looked at more than 150,000 children and young people across 30 countries, over a 21-year period. Read more ›

Study Associates Altered Mitochondria with Increased Autism Risk

Mitochondria, the tiny structures inside our cells that generate energy, may play a key role in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). A provocative new study by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)’s pioneering mitochondrial medicine team suggests that variations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) originating during ancient human migrations may play an important role in predisposition to ASDs. Read more ›

Netflix’s ’13 Reasons Why’ Linked to Suicidal Thoughts

A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine and led by San Diego State University Graduate School of Public Health associate research professor John W. Ayers delved into Americans’ Internet search history in the days after the series 13 Reasons Why aired. He found that queries about suicide and how to commit suicide spiked in the show’s wake. Read more ›

New Teen Survey Reveals Cyberbullying Moving Beyond Social Media to Email, Messaging Apps, YouTube

Bullying among teens is nothing new, but social media outlets are providing new avenues for it, often out of sight of parents and teachers.

Nearly one in three American high school students has been a victim of cyberbullying, according to a recent study. Students reported witnessing or experiencing cyberbullying on all eight platforms listed on the survey, including Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube, according to results the company provided to The 74. Read more ›

In Tough Neighborhoods, Can High-School Mental Health Counselors Cut the School-to-Prison Pipeline?

When he was 16, DeMarrco Nicholson came home to find his mother unresponsive in the bathroom of their Washington, D.C., apartment, dead from sudden heart failure. In a matter of weeks, he was separated from his siblings, thrown into foster care and bounced from group home to group home in Anacostia, one of the poorest, high-crime neighborhoods in the nation’s capital. Read more ›

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 ›

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