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Children's Health Council

News

Sex and Drugs Decline Among Teens, but Depression and Suicidal Thoughts Grow

One in seven high school students reported misusing prescription opioids, one of several disturbing results in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a nationwide survey of teenagers that revealed a growing sense of fear and despair among youth in the United States.

The numbers of teenagers reporting “feelings of sadness or hopelessness,” suicidal thoughts, and days absent from school out of fear of violence or bullying have all risen since 2007. The increases were particularly pointed among lesbian, gay and bisexual high school students. Read more ›

CHC in the Press: ‘Breaking the Silence’ on Youth Mental Health

“There is so much I wish someone had told you.”

This quote, from an anonymous teenager directed to her future self, is from a new book a group of local teenagers wrote to address their sense that there is a lack of guidance to help young people cope with mental health issues. An unfiltered view of the experiences of local teens, the book aims to help any reader, young or old, better understand mental illness. Read more ›

A Note from CHC About This Week’s News…

Dear Friends,
 
It is with great sadness that we acknowledge two tragic stories in the news this week. The loss of two admired public figures to suicide underscores the reality that the silent issues of anxiety and depression remain very present in our lives. These events can be confusing and upsetting and we urge you to reach out by speaking to family, friends and to CHC, and when appropriate, to start developmentally-healthy conversations with your children and teens about mental health and suicide. Read more ›

CDC: U.S. Suicide Rates Have Climbed Dramatically

Suicide rates have increased in nearly every state over the past two decades, and half of the states have seen suicide rates go up more than 30 percent. Suicide is a major public health issue, accounting for nearly 45,000 deaths in 2016 alone. That is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta decided to take a comprehensive look at suicides from 1999 to 2016. Read more ›

Can Greater Academic Demands Lead to Less Risky Behavior in Teenagers?

Strengthening high school graduation requirements in math and science could curb youth drinking, with no increase in cigarette or marijuana use, a new study suggests. Read more ›

Research: Exploring the Link Between Childhood Curiosity and School Achievement

The more curious the child, the more likely he or she may be to perform better in school — regardless of economic background — suggests a new study published in Pediatric Research. Read more ›

Teen Mental Health eNews

This Mental Health Awareness Month, we’d like to celebrate our schools, filled with heroes who—academic expectations notwithstanding—are increasingly responding to the mental health needs of our youth. To faculty, staff, coaches and administrators: you are there listening and advising, supporting kids who are struggling, identifying warning signs, coordinating with parents and providers, and partnering with organizations like CHC to provide the best possible support networks for our kids. You are saving lives every day. Read more ›

13 Reasons Why Season 2 | Important Update

Dear Friends of CHC:
 
While the official release date has yet to be announced, a select audience in LA will be screening season two of the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why this weekend, and buzz about the series abounds. Read more ›

Rate of Depression is Double for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Youth

Kidsdata.org, a program of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, has released data about the emotional health of LGBTQ+ youth as part of their Youth in Schools series. Read more ›

Kaiser Permanente and NBA All-Star Stephen Curry Team Up to Promote Importance of Mental Resilience

Kaiser Permanente and two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors have teamed up for a televised message about how mental resilience helps the NBA All-Star grow as a person and as a top-level athlete — and how it can help anyone overcome day-to-day hardships and excel. Read more ›

What Would I Tell My Younger Self?

Every day in May, throughout National Mental Health Awareness Month, the Child Mind Institute will share stories from prominent individuals speaking to their younger selves about growing up with a mental health or learning disorder. Read more ›

Autism Prevalence Increases: 1 in 59 U.S. Children

One in 59 US children has autism, according to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new estimate represents a 15% increase from two years prior and a 150% increase since 2000.

The new estimate is a prevalence rate of 1.7%, up from one in every 68 children (1.5%) in the 2016 report, which was based on data from 2012. The new figure was derived from 2014 estimates for 8-year-olds diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder in 11 communities across the nation.

Read more ›

April Is National Autism Awareness Month

 National Autism Awareness Month is an opportunity to promote autism awareness, autism acceptance and to draw attention to the tens of thousands facing an autism diagnosis each year.  Read more ›

For Teenagers, Praising ‘Effort’ May Not Promote a Growth Mindset

Teachers have long been told to praise students’ effort, rather than simply saying they are “smart,” as a way to encourage students to think of their intelligence as something that can grow over time. A new review of research in the journal Child Development suggests just praising the effort of middle and high school students to boost their “growth mindset” can have the opposite effect, with those adolescents praised becoming less likely to believe their work can improve their intelligence or skills. Read more ›

Student Bullying Is Down Significantly

The percentage of students reporting that they’ve been bullied has dropped by more than a third since 2007, according to federal data released in mid-March. 
The new figures say that 20.8 percent of students reported being bullied in 2015, continuing a downward trend that dates back to 2007, when 31.7 percent of students reported being bullied. Read more ›

Rally to Prevent Suicide in Washington D.C.

The National Council for Suicide Prevention (NCSP) is leading a rally to prevent suicide at the U.S. Capitol on April 21 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. ET to advocate for government support for suicide prevention efforts. Read more ›

CHC’s Dr. Rosalie Whitlock a Finalist for 2018 Change Maker Award

We are excited to announce that our Executive Director, Dr. Rosalie Whitlock, has been nominated to receive the 2018 People’s Choice Award from the Child Mind Institute.  The People’s Choice Award is presented to an individual whose commitment to raising awareness, helping children and families directly, or advocating for change in the mental health care system is held in the highest esteem by clients, colleagues, and the community. Read more ›

Pediatricians Call For Universal Depression Screening For Teens

Only about 50 percent of adolescents with depression get diagnosed before reaching adulthood. And as many as 2 in 3 depressed teens don’t get the care that could help them. To address this divide, the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued updated guidelines this week that call for universal screening for depression. Read more ›

Noted Child Psychiatrist Harold Koplewicz, MD, Speaks Out on the Parkland Shooting

Harold S. Koplewicz, MD, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology and President of the Child Mind Institute has spoken out on the Parkland shooting and the urgent need to make mental health a priority for research and action. Read more ›

45% of Teens Say They’re Stressed “All the Time,” Turn to Online Resources and Apps for Help Says Poll

In a recent poll that asked tens of thousands of high school students how often they feel stressed, nearly 45% said “all the time,” citing relationships and teachers as the primary reasons why. “How often are you stressed,” was one of the four questions asked in the stress and mental health awareness poll hosted by the social network After School. Read more ›

New Study from Stanford University Finds That Positivity Makes Kids More Successful

Scientists from Stanford University have discovered the brain pathway that directly links a positive attitude with achievement.
 
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine studied 240 children ages seven to 10 and found that being positive improved their ability to answer math problems, increased their memories and enhanced their problem-solving abilities. They also used MRI brain scans to map the neurological effects of positivity. Read more ›

Research: Learning to Self-Manage

The ability to exercise self-control — even with a specific, self-imposed goal in mind — is tough, even as it develops with age. New research from the Harvard Graduate School of Education illustrates just how precarious willpower can be for young people: Middle school students who want to achieve a goal and who actively agree to suffer a consequence if they don’t achieve it may still be unable to change their counterproductive behaviors. It’s a reminder for teachers that simply encouraging students to “stay focused” may not help those students cultivate positive habits. Read more ›

National Commission Builds Case for Connecting Students’ Social, Emotional, and Academic Development

The  Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social, Emotional and Academic Development released an interim report today highlighting the important role that social and emotional development plays in student learning. Read more ›

Screen-Addicted Teens are Unhappy

Researchers found that teens who spent a lot of time in front of screen devices — playing computer games, using more social media, texting and video chatting — were less happy than those who invested time in non-screen activities like sports, reading newspapers and magazines, and face-to-face social interaction. The happiest teens used digital media for less than an hour per day. But after a daily hour of screen time, unhappiness rises steadily along with increasing screen time. Read more ›

Standard Depression Survey May Not Work As Well For Black Teens

A recent study, published in the Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, suggests that different groups of people also talk about depression differently. In particular, poorer black kids discuss their feelings of depression differently than other demographic groups. Read more ›

Helping Strangers May Help Teens’ Self-Esteem

A study published in December in the Journal of Adolescence, suggests that altruistic behaviors, including large and small acts of kindness, may raise teens’ feelings of self-worth. However, not all helping behaviors are the same. The researchers found that adolescents who assisted strangers reported higher self-esteem one year later. Read more ›

Research Roundup: 5 Things To Know About Screen Time Right Now

After another round of holidays, it’s safe to assume, a lot of children have been diving into media more than usual. They may have received new electronic toys and gadgets or downloaded new apps and games. Managing all that bleeping and buzzing activity causes anxiety in many parents. Here’s a roundup from NPR of some of the latest research. Read more ›

Young, Gay and Living On The Street: LGBT Youth Face Increased Odds of Homelessness

As the cost of housing continues to soar in California and elsewhere, an increasing number of young people have become homeless, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts. Among those homeless, one group has it especially tough: Young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Read more ›

Early Test Scores Do Not Predict Future Academic Growth; School Quality Matters More

Early test scores do not predict future academic growth, according to new research from Stanford.

The research was performed by Sean Reardon, a professor who studies poverty and inequality in education at the university, and based upon analysis of test scores of students in grades 3-8 at 11,000 districts across the country. Read more ›

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 ›

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