Trying to think of activities to do with your kids this summer? Check out this link from one of our parent catalysts:
Helping Teens with Disabilities Acquire Job Skills
The ongoing problem of teens and young adults with emotional and behavioral issues having high unemployment rates often doesn’t get a lot of attention. This very effective program helps them overcome the employment gap by teaching them “soft” job skills in a real employment situation.
New Mental Health Website for Youth “You Are Not Alone”
NAMI Minnesota has just launched this new mental health website for youth. It’s definitely worth a look.
Can We Finally Stop Blaming Refrigerator Mothers?
This recent genetic study by the National Institute on Mental Health found that five major mental disorders–autism, ADHD, bipolar disorder, major depression and schizophrenia–share some of the same genetic risk factors.
Check out the film clip attached where one of the study’s authors discusses that a common trait amongst these disorders is how the brain regulates the flow of calcium into neurons. This is known to affect the brain circuitry involved in emotion, thinking, attention and memory.
Access to Children’s Mental Health Care
I was particularly excited when I read this study by Child Trends: Adolescent Highlight: Access to Mental Health Care. They really captured what parents have been saying for a long time about
- missed opportunities for early intervention,
- difficulties finding providers
- services that wait for a crisis before being triggered,
- a system that is poorly coordinated and difficult to navigate AND
- the important role that school based mental health services COULD play in remedying many of these problems.
Parents who need to resort to prescription medication for the treatment of their child’s mental illness sometimes question their decision. This recent study by the National Institute of Mental Health should help them feel a bit better about their choices. It concludes that psychotropic medications are not being oversubscribed for teenagers, as some media stories had reported.
The three groups most likely to be prescribed these medications were teens with ADHD, eating disorders or anxiety disorders. The report also suggested that youth being treated by a mental health professional were more likely to receive appropriate care than those being treated within general medicine or other facilities.
This New York Times Series from 2006 on children with serious mental health issues is very powerful.