Students wait months for mental health help. ‘We’re bombarded,’ counselor says

Leo Peñaloza was a freshman at San Bernardino High School when campuses closed as the pandemic hit. His father was hospitalized with COVID-19 for months, fighting for his life. Leo’s mother cared for his father by day and began working nights to keep their family afloat.

An only child, Leo spent months fearing for both of them. “That took a toll,” he said, making it difficult to focus on school. He said he never talked about the stress. read more


New Hampshire schools plan to expand mental health services for students

As the first day of school approaches, districts are reporting a rise in mental health needs among Granite State students.

New Hampshire school districts said the pandemic has had a direct impact on the mental health of their students.

School social workers, psychologists, nurses and principals met Wednesday afternoon to share what they experienced over the last school year. Many highlighted learning gaps in education and more students with mental health needs. read more


Column: How worried should we be about the mental health of tween girls?

Are today’s tween girls really more miserable than ever?

It sure seems like it.

By all indications, the incidence of depression and anxiety among all children has surged dramatically. In December, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy warned that the country is facing a youth mental health crisis, exacerbated by the pandemic. This followed the declaration of a national mental health emergency by the country’s leading experts in pediatric health, particularly among the most vulnerable — LGBTQ kids, disabled kids, Black, brown and Indigenous kids, and kids involved in the child welfare or juvenile justice systems. read more


Kentucky parents file lawsuit accusing Instagram of causing daughter’s eating disorder, mental illness

Two lawsuits were filed this week accusing Instagram’s parent company Meta of causing and contributing to the growing mental health crisis among children and teens in the United States.

Candace Wuest and her daughter Cece live in Independence, Kentucky. They are both plaintiffs in one of the lawsuits filed Monday.

Cece first began using Instagram when she was 12 years old. Her mother said the app was used as a way for them to communicate when she spent weekends with her dad. read more

suicide prevention

What to Know About 988, the New Mental Health Crisis Hotline

The new national suicide hotline, which has expanded its focus to help callers experiencing a range of mental health emergencies, launches July 16.

Starting on Saturday, people who are experiencing mental distress will be able to dial just three numbers to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Anyone in the United States can text or call 988 to reach trained counselors who can help them cope with a mental health emergency, and direct them to additional resources for mental health and substance use treatment.

The Lifeline’s existing 1-800 number still works, but the service has gotten a makeover and will now be more able to address general mental health concerns and emotional distress, as well as suicide crises. read more

mental health professional

Mental health professionals join police in responding to 911 calls

Starting Tuesday, the city of Des Moines is partnering up with health care professionals to expand mental health services. The Crisis Advocacy Response Effort or “CARE” program, is where mental health professionals from Broadlawns Medical Center work with Des Moines police to answer and respond to 911 calls.

The team of three will be split up into two groups. One person is at the dispatch center while the other two will respond on the street. Their job is to help dispatch staff screen mental health calls and figure out what level of response is needed. read more


Warnings of mental health crisis among ‘Covid generation’ of students

The pandemic has had a lasting legacy on the mental health of the “Covid generation” of students, exacerbating rates of anxiety, depression and self-harm and resulting in a “significant rise” in young people struggling at university, experts have said.

UK universities have reported that more students are experiencing mental health problems in the aftermath of the pandemic, and that this is expected to continue with the cohort arriving in September, whose school experience was heavily disrupted by the pandemic.

The president of the National Union of Students, Larissa Kennedy, said she was “deeply concerned” by the student mental health crisis, which was “getting worse”, with NUS research suggesting “the majority of students are burdened by anxiety”. read more

doctor visit

Patients seek mental healthcare from their doctor but find health plans standing in the way

When a longtime patient visited Dr. William Sawyer’s office after recovering from COVID, the conversation quickly turned from the coronavirus to anxiety and ADHD.

Sawyer — who has run a family medicine practice in the Cincinnati area for more than three decades — said he spent 30 minutes asking questions about the patient’s exercise and sleep habits, counseling him on breathing exercises, and writing a prescription for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder medication. read more

Vaping: What Psychiatrists Need to Know

Vaping—one word, but not one behavior. Vaping is a method of substance inhalation that delivers anything from blueberry-flavored vitamin D to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) into the body. While health professionals often refer to electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and vaping synonymously, e-cigarettes represent only a small fraction of the growing market for vaping products available to consumers of all ages. So, why all the fuss?

Read more…

NYC Hotel

Social workers and EMS to respond to mental health emergencies NYC-wide

City Hall has decided to expand a pilot program that sends social workers and EMS staff to non-violent mental health emergencies instead of cops citywide to all precincts — even though the test-run hasn’t even started yet, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.

“Expanding it city wide? We’re not even up and running yet,” Anthony Almojera, an EMS lieutenant in Sunset Park who is vice president of Local 3621 of the FDNY Uniformed EMS Officers, told The Post.

“They were still trying to solicit members about a week, week and a half ago but the training hasn’t started yet… A lot of members didn’t jump at the opportunity to go and face heightened danger for the same pay.”

In late February, when the test run was originally set to kick off, City Hall said the program would be starting in the 25th, 28th and 32nd precincts. Now, two months later, de Blasio said they’re “convinced” the “approach is going to work citywide” even though training hasn’t begun yet, a spokesperson said.

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