News & Announcements
Univision Launches Partnership With Clinton Foundation to Empower Latino Communities
Posted: December 10, 2013
Univision Communications, Inc., in partnership with government agencies, the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation and other nonprofits, has announced an outreach initiative to empower Latino communities.
Launched as a multiplatform awareness campaign, Univision Contigo (“Univision With You”) will expand the company’s efforts to serve and empower the 55 million Hispanics living in the United States by boosting their educational attainment, improving their health and well-being, promoting financial literacy and small business entrepreneurship, and strengthening civic engagement. Univision also is partnering with Too Small to Fail — a joint initiative of Next Generation and the Clinton Foundation that works to improve the health and well-being of children up to the age of five — to bolster its efforts and those of its longstanding partners, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education, to boost educational attainment among Latinos.
To that end, the Univision Contigo campaign will leverage the company’s media assets, including its broadcast and cable TV networks, local television and radio stations, and numerous digital platforms, to reach out to Latinos in the U.S.; eventually, the campaign will be expanded to include grassroots activities. In addition, the initiative’s Web site, UnivisionContigo.com, will provide online resources and tools — in English and Spanish — to help families assess their situation, set goals, and take steps needed to succeed.
Peer Bridgers:The Rare Mental-Health Fixers
Posted: December 09, 2013
Peer bridgers use the power of mental health recovery stories to reduce psychiatric hospitalizations, writes Seattle Times columnist Jonathan Martin:
Crystal looked down at her bowl of handmade pasta like she expected it to suddenly disappear. You can understand her hesitation. The day before, she was in a West Seattle psychiatric hospital after being committed for wandering Seattle streets, suicidal. This day, she lived in a downtown Seattle homeless shelter, a 57-year-old woman adrift, without a phone, clothes or identification.
Enter Dennis Villas and Mary McDonald. Their job for the day was to make sure Crystal got a square meal — the pasta at an Italian bistro downtown — and a phone. Then they would get her a first appointment with the public mental-health provider across the street. “We’re not going to leave until we have a case manager,” said Villas, 43, with inspiring confidence.
Mary and Dennis’s job title — peer bridgers — is new to the local mental-health system, but so intuitive it is a no-brainer. Mary and Dennis help ease patients out of Navos, a community psychiatric hospital in West Seattle, and, for up to three months, help to plant them in new lives firmly enough that they won’t quickly need readmission.
What’s unique about peer bridgers is they have to know the territory and be in recovery themselves. Mary was an office-supply saleswoman before she nearly died from untreated bipolar disorder and alcoholism. Dennis had a good career in the investment industry before losing it to methamphetamine and meth-induced psychosis. Their shared struggle offers a quick inroad to gain their clients’ trust.
Crystal, at first, wasn’t interested in help. But when Mary and Dennis shared, she opened up. They spent weeks just helping Crystal gather documents to get an identification card, which is necessary for her to get other help.
Read more on SeattleTimes.com.
Life-Saving Suicide Prevention Resources Address Critical Need in Juvenile Justice System
Posted: December 07, 2013
When it comes to high risk for suicide, youth in contact with the juvenile justice system stand out. It is alarming. Fortunately, staff within the system can play a crucial preventive role by working collectively to provide guidance, support and access to needed care. Studies show that up to 70 percent of youth in the system have a behavioral health problem, and for a large percentage, one or more life functions are significantly affected. An at-risk youth’s past nearly always includes multiple adverse childhood events; this, combined with the sense of hopelessness and isolation that ensues from the experience of confinement, increases the suicide risk for these youth to a level dramatically higher than for youth outside the system. The statistics are startling:
It is time to turn the tide. We must offer a brighter future to these youth. Everyone who contacts these youth, whether in juvenile justice, law enforcement, mental health, substance abuse, child welfare or education, must work collaboratively in order to successfully prevent suicide; and, in order for them to work collaboratively, the systems they work in must come together to provide “client-centered” services that are seamless to the individuals and families they serve. Suicide prevention should begin at the initial point of entry and be coordinated to protect youth at the following points of contact: referral/arrest, courts, probation, detention and aftercare.
To address this critical need, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance) has released a set of comprehensive suicide prevention resources to support staff working with youth in the juvenile justice system.
Film Looks at Native American Traditions and PTSD
Posted: December 06, 2013
Native American traditions may be the key to helping modern-day veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. Taki Telonidis, the producer for the Western Folklife Center's media office in Salt Lake City, has been working on a documentary called "Healing the Warrior's Heart" that explores the ways some Native American tribes treat their veterans when they return from war.
Telonidis said around two million Americans have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some come home fine, others have life-changing injuries and "many are coming home with invisible drama," or PTSD.
Some tribes refer to PTSD as a wounding of the soul, Telonidis said. Part of the veteran's spirit is still on the battlefield, and he said the tribes have traditions that can heal his or her heart. "What they're trying to do is bring their spirit home," Telonidis told the Elko Daily Free Press.
He said a lot of Native Americans have lost their connection to the warrior spirituality, but he is seeing a revitalization of that idea. The traditional healing methods are not only working for some Native American soldiers — Telonidis has seen the method work for other veterans suffering from PTSD.
Telonidis is studying two specific locations for his film: the George Wallen Veteran Affairs Center in Salt Lake and the Blackfeet reservation in Montana and Canada.
Evidence Mounting that Poverty Causes Lasting Physical and Mental Health Problems for Children
Posted: December 05, 2013
Sheila Good faced the decision most mothers dread. Should she spend more time raising her son or earning a paycheck? Should she be a better mom or a better provider? For her 6-year-old son, Benjamin, a little redhead dedicated to baseball, either choice would induce stress. It's one of those puzzles of poverty with health impacts on children.
Three recent studies add to mounting evidence that poverty can exact a lasting toll on a child's mental and physical well-being, with stress representing a key pathway. Those studies focus on poverty's impact on a child's brain volume, the adverse impact of childhood poverty on adult health, and the mental and behavior problems associated with substandard housing.
Realizing the high stakes for her son, Ms. Good, 29, of Pulaski, Beaver County, went part time for Benjamin's sake last summer despite living in poverty. Soon after that decision, a car accident on Aug. 2 left her in seizures from a concussion. Her car was totaled. She lost her part-time job. Ever since Benjamin's birth, Ms. Good said, they've lived under or near the federal poverty threshold.
Without a family car, Benjamin no longer can go to the park, the batting cages or the skating rink. "We're not doing as many things as we did before," said Ms. Good. "I don't like to let my anxiety trickle down to him, but he gets it [himself]. His quality of life has changed. I have to tell him no." She links her son's anxieties directly to household income. He's now in therapy.
"My son never had difficulty with anxiety or a sleeping disorder until our recent struggles to make ends meet," said Ms. Good, who has post-traumatic stress disorder from an impoverished childhood, bipolar disorder and anemia from a genetic bone-marrow disorder. "One small event can lead to a chain of events for a single-income household. One month we were living comfortably and then the next we had no car, no job and no health insurance -- and I was in poor health."
Read more on the Post-Gazette.com