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Mental Health News Roundup 

By Wes Kilgore, Well Beings

Welcome to the Well Beings Mental Health News Roundup. Our goal is to shed light on the latest important, but often lesser known developments in mental health research, activism and legislation that could have a vital impact on diverse communities across the globe. From the latest reports on the accessibility of mental health treatment in the U.S. to in-depth analyses of the unique challenges faced by queer youth of color, we aim to bring forth insightful and crucial discussions. Our goal is to inform, educate, and inspire action towards cultivating a more inclusive and supportive mental health landscape.

 Week of 2/18/2024

Increasing Eating Disorders Among Adolescent Boys

PBS NewsHour discusses the rise in eating disorders among adolescent boys, exploring causes and highlighting key signs for awareness. The report sheds light on societal and social media influences that contribute to this trend and emphasizes the importance of recognizing and addressing these issues early. The piece serves as a crucial reminder of the changing landscape of eating disorders, traditionally seen more in girls, and the need for broadened awareness and support systems. Read more at PBS Newshour 

Early Childhood Mental Health in Georgia: A Council for a Strong America report underscores early childhood mental health (ECMH) as crucial for the success of Georgia’s children. It highlights the role of warm, responsive interactions with caregivers in supporting healthy brain development. The report addresses challenges like Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) that can hinder ECMH and stresses the importance of evidence-based interventions to support children’s mental health, enhancing community safety and national security in the long run. Read more at StrongNation.org 

Gen Z’s Education and Future Perspectives: The 74 highlights how Gen Z is reevaluating education and career paths amidst societal challenges. Concerns over mental health, political climate, and the pursuit of STEM fields reflect their desire for a functional adulthood. Gen Z advocates for better education, increased mental health support, and more inclusive STEM opportunities, despite feeling underprepared and pessimistic about political representation. Their collective experience shapes a unique outlook on personal and societal progress. Read more at 74Million.org 

EU’s TikTok Probe for Youth Protection: Amnesty International welcomes the European Commission’s investigation into TikTok for possibly breaching the Digital Services Act by not adequately protecting young users. The probe focuses on the platform’s engagement practices that may undermine children’s rights, with concerns about content that could negatively impact their mental health. The investigation aims to ensure safe online environments for children and young users. Read more at Amnesty International 

Child Suicide Prevention Legislation: Senator Tim Kaine has introduced the ‘Child Suicide Prevention and Lethal Means Safety Act’ aimed at transforming mental health care for children and teenagers. The act focuses on improving access to mental health services in underserved areas, like the Shenandoah Valley. This initiative underscores the pressing need for comprehensive mental health support for youth amidst the mental health crisis. Read more at BNN 

Mental Health Equity and Psychiatric Workforce Diversity: Psychiatric Times emphasizes the importance of recruiting a diverse psychiatric workforce to address mental health equity. It discusses how a variety of backgrounds among psychiatry residents can lead to improved understanding and treatment of patients from diverse communities, ultimately contributing to better mental health outcomes. The article highlights the need for holistic recruitment strategies that consider an applicant’s experiences, attributes, and competencies beyond academic metrics. Read more at Psychatric Times 

 Week of 2/11/202

Being Bullied in Childhood More Than Triples Risk of Mental Health Struggles Later: US News reports that experiencing bullying in childhood can more than triple the risk of mental health struggles in later life. This significant finding underscores the long-term impact of bullying on psychological well-being and highlights the importance of early intervention and support for those affected. Read more at US News and World Report 

NAMI Releases Poll Showing Post-Pandemic Workforce Demands More Mental Health Support: A new NAMI poll reveals a significant demand for more mental health support in the post-pandemic workplace. Employees express a strong belief in the importance of discussing mental health openly at work and advocate for mental health training to improve workplace culture. The poll highlights a gap in knowledge about employer-provided mental healthcare coverage, emphasizing the need for increased communication and resources. Read more at NAMI 

School District Lawsuits Against Social Media Companies Are Piling Up: Education Week reports on over 200 school districts suing social media companies, arguing these platforms contribute to a youth mental health crisis. The school districts are seeking damages and changes to social media practices, alleging that addictive product designs harm students’ mental health. This legal action highlights the growing concern over the impact of social media on young people’s well-being and the resources schools must allocate to address these issues. Read more at Education Week 

Being Bullied in Childhood More Than Triples Risk of Mental Health Struggles Later: US News reports that experiencing bullying in childhood can more than triple the risk of mental health struggles in later life. This significant finding underscores the long-term impact of bullying on psychological well-being and highlights the importance of early intervention and support for those affected. Read more at US News and World Report 

NAMI Releases Poll Showing Post-Pandemic Workforce Demands More Mental Health Support: A new NAMI poll reveals a significant demand for more mental health support in the post-pandemic workplace. Employees express a strong belief in the importance of discussing mental health openly at work and advocate for mental health training to improve workplace culture. The poll highlights a gap in knowledge about employer-provided mental healthcare coverage, emphasizing the need for increased communication and resources. Read more at NAMI 

School District Lawsuits Against Social Media Companies Are Piling Up: Education Week reports on over 200 school districts suing social media companies, arguing these platforms contribute to a youth mental health crisis. The school districts are seeking damages and changes to social media practices, alleging that addictive product designs harm students’ mental health. This legal action highlights the growing concern over the impact of social media on young people’s well-being and the resources schools must allocate to address these issues. Read more at Education Week 

Week of 2/4/2024

What Do Young People in Crisis Need From Their Communities?: Crisis Text Line, in partnership with Common Good Labs, discusses solutions to the youth mental health crisis. Their report, based on over 87,000 conversations, identifies six community resources that aid young people in crisis, including social connections, arts, mental health services, sports, reading materials, and access to nature. It highlights the decline in community programs that provide these essential resources and calls for a refocused approach to mental health support, emphasizing extracurricular activities and accessible public spaces. Read more at Crisis Text Line

14 Ways to Show Your Child Love: Valentine’s Day & Every Day: The American Academy of Pediatrics provides a guide on 14 effective ways to show love to your child, emphasizing the importance of emotional connection, support, and understanding in family dynamics. This resource offers practical advice to help parents and guardians foster a nurturing environment that contributes positively to a child’s emotional and psychological development. Read more at HealtheyChildren.org

New York City Has Designated Social Media as a ‘Public Health Hazard’: On January 24 in his State of the City address, Mayor Eric Adams announced New York’s initiative to become the first city in the country to classify social media as a health hazard for youth. In his address, the mayor discussed implications for social media companies, the broader context of mental health concerns related to social media use among youth and said that details about plans to combat the problem will be announced soon. Read more at Engadget 

Week of 1/21/2024 

New Report on Injury, Overtraining, and Burnout in Youth Sports: The American Academy of Pediatrics has published a report on the causes of injury, overtraining, and burnout in youth sports. This comprehensive report, updated from its 2007 predecessor, examines how excessive training can lead to physical and mental health issues in young athletes. It emphasizes the need for a balanced approach to training, the importance of listening to one’s body, and the role of pediatricians in encouraging healthy sports practices. Read more at American Academy of Pediatrics 

Meet NAMI’s New Class of Young Adult Advisors for 2024: NAMI has introduced the 2024 NAMI Next Gen class of 10 young adult leaders from diverse backgrounds who will represent the voices of lived experience to support youth mental health. These leaders aim to reduce stigma, provide resources, and offer support for young people facing mental health challenges. NAMI’s strategic plan prioritizes early intervention, as most mental illnesses begin by age 24. The organization will work with these young leaders to address the youth mental health crisis in the country. Read more at PR Newswire 

Week of 1/13/2024 

Targeting Kids Generates Billions In Ad Revenue For Social Media: A groundbreaking study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health exposed the staggering amount of ad revenue generated by social media platforms from U.S. teens, totaling around $11 billion. This revelation brings to light the immense economic incentives for platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram to continue to court young users, and the potential impact of these platforms on youth mental health. The study also stresses the need for more effective regulation and transparency in how these platforms operate and interact with young users. Read more at The Harvard Gazette

Climate Change is Hurting Kids’ Mental Health, Report Finds: A report by the American Psychological Association and nonprofit ecoAmerica delves into the mental health impacts of climate change on children. It shows that children, even those not directly affected by climate-related disasters, are increasingly suffering from anxiety and depression due to the stress related to climate change, and it emphasizes the importance of mental health screenings and enhanced access to mental health services for children and families. The report also highlights the critical role of parental well-being in supporting children’s mental health and encourages engaging young people in climate action. Read more at Yale Climate Connections

Most Americans With Mental Health Needs Don’t Get Treatment, Report Finds: A report by the actuary firm Milliman outlines a concerning trend in the United States regarding mental health. It reveals that a significant majority of Americans with mental health needs are not receiving the necessary treatment. The report delves into the reasons behind this treatment gap, discussing various barriers that individuals face in accessing mental health services. These barriers may include issues related to healthcare infrastructure, stigma, or financial constraints, underscoring a critical need for systemic changes to improve mental health care accessibility. Read more at NPR

Lgbtq+ Youth Of Color Predict Shorter Lives Than Their White Peers: Report: A report from the Trevor Project highlights a concerning trend among LGBTQ+ youth of color: they expect to live shorter lives than their white peers. Factors contributing to this include mental health challenges, societal stigma, and disparities in healthcare access. The report emphasizes the need for systemic policy changes and intersectional approaches to address the unique challenges faced by these youths. Read more at The Advocate


About the Author

ee Dunning, author & psychotherapist providing crisis intervention

Wes Kilgore is a writer, musician and bon vivant based in the Washington, DC area, and the proud parent of two disturbingly well-adjusted young women and two borderline sociopathic Corgis.

WellBeings.org is a mental health resource, not a crisis or suicide response website. If you are in crisis, or experiencing thoughts of suicide, please call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988. The service is free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.