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Children's Health Council

News

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 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 ›

Few Low-Income Children Get Mental Health Care in California, Despite Need

CHC’s Teen Wellness Committee Featured on TeenzTalk.org

This month  TeenzTalk.org, a mental health platform icreated by youth for youth, interviews Maya, a member of CHC’s Teen Wellness Committee. Read more ›

More Screen Time for Teens Linked to ADHD Symptoms

Most teens today own a smartphone and go online every day, and about a quarter of them use the internet “almost constantly,” according to a 2015 report by the Pew Research Center.

A study published on July 17, 2018 in JAMA suggests that such frequent use of digital media by adolescents might increase their odds of developing symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Read more ›

How Genetic Testing Could Improve Depression and Anxiety Treatment

Genetic tests for depression and anxiety treatments are part of a rapidly growing field called “personalized” or “precision” medicine. Instead of your doctor prescribing drugs based primarily on factors like weight and age, the tests show how a drug will affect you as an individual. Using your DNA, they compare how your particular genetic makeup affects how your body processes key components in antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs. For instance, if you metabolize a certain chemical slowly, you may need a lower dose of a medication. These tests can also increase patient safety by identifying drugs that may cause undesirable interactions or side effects. Read more ›

‘Gaming Disorder’ Has Been Classified As a Mental Health Condition by the World Health Organization

The World Health Organization has added “gaming disorder” to the list of mental health conditions.

The addition will appear in the new version the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), the WHO’s standardized list of diseases and other medical conditions used by countries around the world. Read more ›

YouthTruth Survey Results: Learning from Student Voice

What do California students have to say about their experiences in schools?

To answer this question, YouthTruth analyzed survey responses from over 63,000 students in grades five through twelve. The data was gathered between November 2010 and February 2018 through YouthTruth’s anonymous online climate and culture survey, administered in partnership with school districts and charter management organizations throughout the state. Read more ›

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 ›

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