News & Announcements

Call for Abstracts for the 6th International Meeting on Indigenous Child Health

Posted: October 21, 2014

The International Meeting on Indigenous Child Health (IMICH), held every two years, focuses on innovative clinical care models and community-based public health approaches for children and youth in First Nations, Inuit, Métis, American Indian, Alaska Native and other Indigenous communities around the world.

Co-hosted by the Canadian Paediatric Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics, this meeting brings together health care providers and researchers working with children, youth and families in American Indian, Alaska Native, First Nations, Inuit, Métis and other Indigenous communities. Participants share model programs and research, learn about prevalent health problems, and acquire practical skills for use in community settings. Opportunities to share knowledge and support one another’s efforts, to network and develop partnerships are built into the program.

The conference organizers represent Aboriginal and Native American organizations in Canada and the United States. Submission deadline is November 3, 2014 by 9 pm EDT.

Learn more about the conference. Submit abstract.



New Approaches Needed for People with Serious Mental Illnesses in Criminal Justice System

Posted: October 20, 2014

Responding to the large number of people with serious mental illnesses in the criminal justice system will require more than mental health services, according to a new report.

In many ways, the criminal justice system is the largest provider of mental health services in the country. Estimates vary, but previous research has found that about 14 percent of persons in the criminal justice system have a serious mental illness, and that number is as high as 31 percent for female inmates. Researchers are defining serious mental illnesses to include such things as schizophrenia, bipolar spectrum disorders and major depressive disorders.

"It has been assumed that untreated symptoms of mental illness caused criminal justice involvement, but now we're seeing that there is little evidence to support that claim," said Matthew Epperson, assistant professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. Specialized interventions for people with mental illness in the criminal justice system have been developed over the past 20 years, such as mental health courts and jail diversion programs, Epperson said.

"But we need a new generation of interventions for people with serious mental health issues who are involved in the criminal justice system, whether it be interactions with police, jails, probation programs and courts," he said. "Research shows that people with serious mental illnesses, in general, display many of the same risk factors for criminal involvement as persons without these conditions."

Epperson and his colleagues are the authors of a paper in the September-October 2014 theme issue on "New Directions in Corrections and Mental Health," published by the International Journal of Law and Psychiatry.

Read more on ScienceDaily.com.



Hip-Hop Therapy is New Route to Mental Wellbeing, Say Psychiatrists

Posted: October 17, 2014

From its roots in rap, graffiti, DJing and breakdancing in the Bronx borough of New York in the 1970s, hip-hop has grown to become a global cultural and commercial powerhouse. But now UK researchers believe they have found a new use for it: as a treatment for mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and depression.

The group says that hip-hop provides individuals with a sense of empowerment and self-knowledge that could be exploited to help people tackle their own psychological problems. There is an intrinsic awareness of issues connected with mental health in many forms of hip-hop art, it is argued.

To help promote the idea, neuroscientist Becky Inkster, of Cambridge University department of psychiatry, and consultant psychiatrist Akeem Sule, of the South Essex Partnership Trust, have formed Hip Hop Psych – which they describe as a social venture – to promote the use of hip-hop as an aid to the treatment of mental illness.

Uses of hip-hop envisaged by Inkster and Sule include having patients write and rap their own lyrics as part of their therapy. It is also proposed that hip-hop could be used in teaching medical students about psychiatric illnesses.

“One technique we want to explore is to get individuals who are seeking therapy to write out where they see themselves in a year or two and to use rap lyrics to outline their future histories,” said Inkster.

“Many key rappers and hip-hop artists come from deprived urban areas which are often hotbeds for problems such as drug abuse, domestic violence and poverty, which are in turn linked to increased occurrences of psychiatric illnesses,” she added. “These problems are rooted in their language and in their songs.”

Read more on TheGuardian.com.



Take the Challenge! My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge

Posted: October 16, 2014

In February, President Obama launched the My Brother's Keeper (MBK) initiative to ensure that all youth, including boys and young men of color, have opportunities to improve their life outcomes and overcome barriers to success.

And now, the Administration is taking this effort local, by engaging mayors, tribal leaders, and county executives who are stepping up to lead in their communities.

The My Brother's Keeper Community Challenge will encourage communities (cities, counties, suburbs, rural municipalities, and tribal nations) to implement coherent cradle-to-college-and-career strategies aimed at improving life outcomes for all young people.

The stakes couldn't be higher for our young people, or our country, which is why we're seeing such eagerness from local officials and community leaders. Already, 135 mayors, county officials, tribal leaders, Democrats, and Republicans have signed on. And we're going to keep welcoming them aboard in the coming weeks and months.

But even with leadership from the top in these communities, this must be an all-hands-on-deck effort. No child in this country should feel like they need to "beat the odds" in order to get ahead, and certainly shouldn't feel like they are on their own as they try. Our young people deserve better than that, and as a country, we can't afford to let so many of our children, our future workers, and our future leaders slip through the cracks.

When we work together to help all young people reach their full potential, we will be that much closer to reaching our full potential as a nation. The My Brother's Keeper Community Challenge is a call to action, and we all have a role to play.

Learn more about the Challenge, and visit MBKchallenge.org to accept the President's challenge.



NNED Partner Ser Familia Announces New and Expanded Services for Latino Communities in Georgia

Posted: October 15, 2014

Ser Familia, Inc., a NNED Partner organization, announced new and expanded services beginning October 1st, 2014 in Cobb County, Georgia. Thanks to a grant from the "Promoting Safe and Stable Families" program and the support of United Way, Dow Chemicals and Cobb EMC, Ser Familia has opened a new office located in Marietta, Georgia. From this office the organization will start offering bilingual mental health services, a very needed service in this county. With a population of more than 89,000 Latinos, Cobb County has only 4 bilingual mental health professionals.

The other project that will benefit from this new funding is the Strengthening Families Program (SFP 10-14). SFP 10-14 is an evidence-based family skills training program found to significantly reduce problem behaviors, delinquency, and alcohol and drug abuse in children and to improve social competencies and school performance. Ser Familia, Inc. was a participant in the NNEDLearn 2012 track -- Strengthening Families Program for Youth 10-14 and Their Families and has been successfully implementing this program in Spanish for the past three (3) years in the state of Georgia, and has graduated more than 250 families from it. 

To learn more about Ser Familia, Inc. call 678-363-3079 or visit their website: www.ser-familia.org.

Learn more about becoming a NNED Partner.



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