Opinion

Opinion: It’s Time to Fulfill Our Promise to Teachers, Students and Parents

I recently introduced Senate Bill 387 to help teachers and school-based staff receive training on how to recognize the signs of a mental health crisis.

Although teachers and school-based staff are not trained mental health professionals, they are in a unique position to support youth who need help. By equipping teachers with the training needed to recognize the signs of someone experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge, we’ll help ensure students don’t slip through the cracks.

Analysis: We Can Talk About Abortion Without Being Ableist

I made the choice to continue a high-risk pregnancy, but I honor the choice of any pregnant person who opts to terminate given the same set of facts.

What I don’t like is seeing ableism — that is, prejudice against adults and children with disabilities — rolled into discussions about abortion, as has happened often since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Opinion: Bill to Strengthen Paid Family Leave is Good Medicine 

Paid Family Leave and State Disability Insurance are supposed to prevent low-income Californians from falling into poverty or homelessness when they need to take time off work.

But the program is largely an empty promise for these patients because the benefits replace only 60 percent of income. Two of my patients are among the many Californians caught in this trap.

Opinion: Most Vulnerable Foster Youth Left Behind in State Budget

At the California Alliance, we hear story after story of foster youth housed in county welfare offices and hotels because there are not enough placements for them in the child welfare system.

It horrifies us to think that these youth, many of whom were abused or severely neglected, are now having to live in unofficial shelters while they wait to be placed with a foster family.

Opinion: We Need More Mental Health Resources to Tackle Childhood Anxiety

In 2013, my son Ram spontaneously developed a condition called selective mutism, a childhood anxiety disorder. After three months of searching, I finally found a therapist familiar with the condition. My husband and I felt so relieved — until we found out she doesn’t take insurance.

It turns out, this scenario is common. Health insurance — whether private or through California’s Medi-Cal program — doesn’t pay what many psychologists request for their services.

Opinion: The Gun Violence That Doesn’t Make the News

I’m a pediatric intern at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, a safety-net hospital in Los Angeles County. When I decided to go into pediatrics, I pictured helping children and their families with broken bones, asthma and ear infections, as well as some chronic diseases, such as diabetes.

I never imagined how often I would take care of children trying to heal from the physical and mental trauma of being shot.

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