mental health

Opinion: LGBTQ Youth Are Facing a Mental Health Crisis Too

Approximately 9.5 percent of teens ages 13 to 17 living in the U.S. identify as LGBTQ. Even before the pandemic, these kids were 4 times more likely than heterosexual youth to attempt suicide.

Those numbers have risen; LGBTQ youth are now 5 times more likely to attempt self-harm. As a psychiatrist who works extensively with LGBTQ youth, and as someone who identifies as a gay man, I am advocating for this particular group, as I have witnessed their struggles.

Striving to Meet the Mental Health Needs of Children with Physical Health Conditions

Research shows children with chronic illnesses are at least twice as likely as healthy children to develop a mental health disorder. They’re at higher risk for neglect and abuse. Their caregivers and siblings are also at increased risk for mental distress.

Yet there are few mental health treatment programs that cater to the needs of these children and their families. The MEND program at Loma Linda University is an exception.

Opinion: Why This Teacher Supports Bill to Improve Teen Mental Health

I have spent the past 30 years of my life as an educator in California, and I know firsthand that California teachers and schools are not currently prepared, staffed, or resourced to respond to California’s growing youth mental health crisis.

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted our collective mental wellbeing, whether from dealing with the fear of contracting COVID-19 to its related impacts like home isolation, family job loss, tech challenges, or loss of a loved one.

Opinion: Newsom Plan Responds to Crisis, Supports Vulnerable Youth

While the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our oldest Californians is well known, the pandemic also has caused widespread emotional suffering among California’s children and youth.

Out of this crisis, Gov. Gavin Newsom has demonstrated visionary leadership in making a historic $4.4 billion investment to transform the state’s behavioral health system for youth.

Opinion: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Is Helping Young People Find Purpose During the Pandemic

During my nearly 15 years as an adolescent psychiatrist, I have worked with hundreds of young people and their families. But, until last year, I had not seen hopelessness so prevalent in young people.

The pandemic affected teens and young adults in fundamental ways not necessarily associated with the coronavirus or the social isolation often blamed for spiraling youth mental health.

Frustrated sad black guy is watching at laptop screen

A Law Designed to Protect Health Consumers Has Ended Up Hurting Them

Network directories — lists of providers contracted with health plans — form the heart of decision-making for health care consumers. They can help people decide which health plan to choose if they want to stay with a trusted doctor.

But health care providers say insurers have shifted the burden of updating directories onto them — a patchwork system that is still riddled with errors and leaves consumers paying the price.

Sad teenager

Opinion: I’m a Doctor. The Kids I’m Seeing Need to Be Back in School

With the ongoing closures of schools, playgrounds, sports and other extracurriculars, children are missing out on large pieces of their development.

I’m seeing a spike in children with anxiety, depression and suicidal ideations in my practice. The current state of children’s mental health is concerning not only for the near future, but also for the long-term effects it may have on this generation and society as a whole.

Opinion: What California Must Do for Kids’ Mental Health

Due to systemic inequities, children and teens of color are affected more often when it comes to mental health crises, with Latinos ages 10 through 19 representing nearly 40 percent of the total deaths by suicide among Californians in this age range in 2017.

The simple truth is that California does not have a sustainable, long-term plan to support children and teenager’s mental well-being. We cannot continue to cobble together a broken system that perpetuates inequity. Here are some recommendations.

How Have Wildfires Affected You? Tell Us Your Story

In California, we now regularly see wildfires rip through communities, forcing mass evacuations, devastating homes and sometimes claiming lives. And this summer, on top of fire season, we have COVID-19.

These disasters also take a toll on mental health. We want to hear your story.

If you’ve been affected by a wildfire in the last 10 years, or if you are a mental health professional working with survivors, you can help by filling out a brief survey.

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