Keep up to date with the latest on children’s mental health
stories, studies, research, and headlines. UACF is working to
keep you informed and on top of what is happening not just in
California, but across the nation.
A frightening new study published in the peer-reviewed journal
BMJ Open has revealed a troubling link between mental illness and
air pollution that seems to particularly effect children. Even at
low levels, the presence of these toxic chemicals in the body
seem to be associated with significant increases in psychiatric
The leading edge of a vast campaign to raise awareness about
children’s mental health challenges swept through Tuolumne County
on Monday. Actors from Sacramento’s B Street Theatre, on a
statewide tour that will pass through a total 108 schools,
performed in the morning at Sonora Elementary and in the
afternoon at Columbia Elementary school.
Published Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014 in the Sacramento
The first time Emily tried to kill herself, at age 15, she
swallowed the entire contents of a bottle of Prozac, along with
some Sudafed and Claritin she found in the medicine cabinet.
“Mom,” she said as they sped to the emergency room that morning
in May 2012, “I just want to die.” Doctors at Sierra Vista
psychiatric hospital in south Sacramento stabilized the girl
after two weeks, then referred her to an adolescent facility in
San Francisco, which eventually sent her home.
In January 2013 a woman named “Nina” had a terrible falling out
with her father. Soon after, she found out he had incurable
cancer and was going to die. In the ensuing weeks, she tried to
patch things up, but with the pressures inherent in the last
months of a dying man, was unable to attain any form of closure.
Some six months after their fight, he was gone.
“People are suffering, and I fear some of my patients will commit
suicide for lack of ongoing treatment.”
For millions of Americans battling mental illness, the search for
proper care can be long and frustrating. But for those in some
ethnic communities, deep-rooted cultural stigmas and language
barriers combine to make the obstacles to treatment even more
formidable. In this week’s FOCUS report, we look at the stigma
surrounding mental illness in the Latino community and what’s
being done to improve access to care.
Mental illness is often stigmatized or even ignored among
African-Americans, existing quietly in the black community for
generations. And a shortage of black mental health professionals
may be making the problem worse.
I’ve always been a space cadet. Prone to lateness and losing
things, brought crashing back from daydreams by people clapping
their hands in front of my face. “Earth to Rae,” they’d say,
exasperated. As a kid I read for hours but the simplest homework
assignments reduced me to a tearful mess.
“You can do this,” my bewildered parents insisted. “You know this
“No, I can’t,” I’d bawl. “I’m not normal enough to be a normal
person. Something is wrong with me.”
Elliot Rodger, the man who killed six people and wounded 13 more
before killing himself, had never shown any violent tendencies
before the attack, according to his father. Peter Rodger, a
photographer and Hollywood movie director, told ABC News’ Barbara
Walters that he never thought his son “could hurt a flea.”
By Jonathan Kaplan, Special to The Bee
Published: Tuesday, Jun. 3, 2014 – 12:00 am
California’s new system of K-12 school funding is based
on a central promise – targeting additional resources to the
students who need them most.
But to keep that promise, Gov. Jerry Brown and state legislators
must act now to help ensure that the dollars provided for
disadvantaged students actually go to support them. Otherwise
policymakers will have missed a major opportunity to move our
state closer to providing all students with pathways to success.
Sponsored by the MHSOAC, this Prop 63 Insert in Sacramento News
& Review — “Hope on the Horizon” from November 2013 includes
six people who share their experiences with mental illness and
their road to recovery.
The RAND Corporation reviewed data on the prevalence of youth
mental health disorders and schools’ use of student mental health
(SMH) programs. They also describe the role of schools in
addressing SMH concerns and outline a conceptual model for
guiding evaluation of SMH programs.
Issues addressed included evaluation of cross-system
collaborations that can influence students’ access to resources
and services and then review some of the challenges associated
with evaluating SMH programs.
There are many studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of peer
support. For example, research has demonstrated that peer
support helps improve the mental health of veterans, makes people
reduces hospital visits for those with co-occurring disorders,
and increases coping skills of families with a family member who
has a mental illness. Because of studies like these,
SAMHSA, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and over 40 states
consider peer and family support an evidence-based practice.
Under the Federal Parity Act, California law requires health
plans to eliminate mental health-specific benefit limits and
cost-sharing requirements, such as higher co-payments and
deductibles and limits on numbers of covered benefits which have
traditionally made mental health benefits less comprehensive than
other health benefits. Additionally, the law requires that
every insurer that provides hospital, medical or surgical
coverage shall provide coverage for the diagnosis and medically
necessary treatment of those with covered conditions, including:
This issue of insights examines the current progress and
promise of the Katie A. settlement implementation as a
vehicle to improve the delivery of mental health
services for children and youth within the child
As California moves to fully implement the Affordable Care Act,
it is making major health program, policy, and fiscal changes
that are transforming the way the state and its 58 counties share
responsibility for the health care of nearly 40 million
residents. CHCF has published a report for policymakers and
stakeholders that highlights important program and policy changes
and lays out a framework for evaluating their effects.
In a call yesterday with Young Minds Advocacy Project’s Patrick
Gardner and provider representatives Carroll Schroeder and Rusty
Selix, California health care officials confirmed that
counties that “overspend” on children’s mental health will be
reimbursed from Realignment growth funds beginning with
repayments of FY 2011-12 expenditures. California Health
and Human Services Agency and Department of Health Care Services
leaders confirmed that $8 million is expected to be paid to eight
counties that overspent their allocation for EPSDT and drug
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If you or a loved one is in immediate crisis, please call 911
or visit the nearest emergency room.
The UACF Hope Line is a message system for parents and caregivers
that provides resources and connections to individuals in your
community that may be able to assist you in finding appropriate
support services for your child’s mental health needs. Feel free
to leave a message on the UACF Hope Line and your call will be
returned as promptly as possible.