News & Announcements
Understanding the Spread of HIV in Women in the South
Posted: February 25, 2014
Her biggest hope is that a cure will come soon. But either way, Lauryn Taylor will make the 45-minute bus ride to take part in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study for as long as she lives. Maybe it’ll make a difference in her life. Maybe it won’t. But, if her showing up twice a year will help scientists better understand why women are more susceptible to the deadly virus, if it will keep her 20-year-old daughter and other people’s children safe, Taylor said she intends to do her part.
Taylor is one of 40 women age 18 and over — some who HIV positive and some who are at risk of becoming infected — currently enrolled in the study. Emory University researchers are hoping to recruit 260 more. The study is the National Institutes of Health’s response to the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic in women.
“When the epidemic first broke in the ’80s, women in the U.S. comprised only 8 percent of people with HIV/AIDS,” said Dr. Igho Ofotokun, an associate professor of medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine and one of the lead researchers of the study. “Two decades later, nearly 25 percent of all people living HIV/AIDS are women in the U.S.”
Although the south has long been a breeding ground for the deadly disease, this is the first time in the two decades since the WIHS was first launched in 1993 that research sites have been located here. Atlanta is one of four new southern sites, a recognition of the epidemic’s disproportionate impact on women here. The others are located in Miami, Birmingham and Chapel Hill, N.C.
Ofotokun said that he and partner Gina Wingood, a professor of behavioral sciences and health education at the Rollins School of Public Health, were told from the outset that approval for a local site was an uphill battle, but they persisted because both he and Wingood had spent much of their careers working with HIV-infected women like Taylor.
There are an estimated 14,000 women living with HIV/AIDS in Georgia. Fifty-six percent of those live in Atlanta.
Read more AJC.com.
NNEDLearn 2014 Applications Now Available!
Posted: February 25, 2014
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration invites community-based NNED Partner Organizations to participate in its fourth annual training opportunity, NNEDLearn 2014, to be held 6 April – 9 April, 2014 in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico.
NNEDLearn 2014 offers five training tracks to build skills in evidence-supported and culturally appropriate clinical and consumer practices:
Applications for NNED Partners to participate in this meeting are now available. Organizations may apply to only one training track. Review the requirements by clicking on the training tracks above. Deadline to apply is March 12, 2014 at 8:00 pm ET. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so tracks may be filled before then.
If your organization is not a NNED member but would like to apply for NNEDLearn 2014, please sign up here.
Learn more about NNEDLearn 2014 and previous meetings.
Kids, Poverty and Mental Health: Building Community Solutions
Posted: February 24, 2014
McQuesten neighbourhood is home to the highest child poverty rate in the city. Fully 75 per cent of children under the age of six are poor. But residents will tell you it’s also a place that has a sense of community and that, despite the poverty, is a good place to raise children. That didn’t happen overnight.
“Eleven years ago nobody wanted to move to McQuesten because it was a scary place to go,” says David Darbyshire, community developer for Wesley Urban Ministries who works closely with McQuesten residents. “That’s all changed.” Since the Hamilton Community Foundation hired a community development worker 11 years ago, they have been working closely with neighbours to mobilize the strengths and skills of residents here.
There is still poverty here but if you walk around the streets, there’s also an energy and sense of pride in the surroundings. You’ll see lots going on — an Ontario Early Years Centre, McQuesten Boys and Girls Club, a Muslim basketball association, licensed childcare programs, free universal pre-school for three-year-olds, walk-in clinics and breakfast clubs.
“It’s been all about focusing on the assets and looking at the gifts people have rather than looking at what they need,” says Darbyshire, who grew up in McQuesten. “It fits with that saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.”
A McMaster University study showed that children living in poverty are three times more likely to develop mental health problems. Part of that is a result of poverty-related stressors, while part is due to difficulties low income families can have accessing services.
Judging by Early Development Instrument (EDI) data, which measures how well children are doing when they enter school, the folks at McQuesten must be doing something right to counter some of those negative impacts. The EDI average vulnerability rate (how many children are lagging behind) among children living in inner and lower city neighbourhoods in Hamilton is 33.6 per cent. In McQuesten, it’s 29 per cent.
Read more on CBC.ca.
Call for Abstracts for Family Violence and Child Victimization Research Conference
Posted: February 22, 2014
The Family Research Laboratory (FHL) and the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire are seeking abstract submissions from professionals and researchers interested in presenting at the 2014 International Family Violence and Child Victimization Research Conference to be held July 13–15, 2014, in Portsmouth, NH. Abstracts are sought in all areas of family violence representing diverse methodological approaches, including research on understudied populations, with an emphasis on minority issues in family violence and child victimization. E-mail or call 603–862–0767 for additional submission information. The abstract submission deadline is March 7, 2014.
Read more about the call for abstracts.
On Your Mind: Apps and Technology for Mental Health Maintenance
Posted: February 20, 2014
Want to set your home’s alarm system? There’s an app for that. Want to track your movements fitness goals? There’s an app for that too. But mental health maintenance? Can there be an app for that? As it turns out, there is. In addition to professional apps, independent consumer apps such as Lift, Unstuck, Superbetter, Optimism and others are designed with mental health goals in mind. Some of these apps, such as Unstuck, helps the user get to the root of their problem or negative mental state, and then allows the user to set a goal to move past it. Other apps, such as Superbetter, use a game-like interface to present healthy challenges and allow the user to overcome mental health “bad guys,” such as laziness or negative self-talk.
But how effective are independent apps for mental health maintenance?
“For people not dealing with any serious issues in their life and just looking to improve themselves, indeed, ‘there’s an app for that’—many good ones, too!” Says Jean Lubeckis, EAP Therapist with Franciscan Alliance. “Apps such as Optimism, Inspirational Quotes, Hope Book or Atease, can help someone practice mindfulness, meditation, improve attitude, sleep, or reduce stress,” Lubeckis says.
For those looking for a better quality of life, these apps can be very helpful. However, Lubeckis cautions others to be careful. “Just because there is an app, doesn't mean it is good or reliable,” Lubeckis says. For those with more serious mental health goals, Lubeckis suggests using higher-level apps along with other treatment.
“Anyone seeking information, guidance or help regarding mental health issues like anxiety, depression or issues negatively impacting their life, would be wise to seek information from professional apps,” she says. “For instance, there are apps by Web MD, Psych Central, state and federal mental health groups and even the DSM-V. Some apps have been designed by professionals and some are designed to accompany self-help books.
Read more on NWITimes.com.