Difficulties Faced by Juvenile Offenders With Mental Illness

Posted by MST Services

AdobeStock_213897759It was an innocuous summer day in 2009 when DeVonte Jones first exhibited signs of schizophrenia. Jones and his mother were attending a baseball game at Wavering Park in Quincy, Illinois, a sprawling facility of playground equipment, pavilions, grills, and, of course, baseball diamonds. Jones was just a teenager at the time.

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Topics: Mental Health

The Holistic Approach to Mental Health

Posted by MST Services

Every day in the U.S., one in five children are struggling with significant mental health issues. These diagnoses take many different forms— attention deficit disorder, depression and anxiety are among the most common— but all of them, left untreated, have the potential to cripple the opportunities of childhood. By only age eight, 14% of youth will have developed a mental, behavioral or developmental disorder; just over half of these children will receive the treatment they need. But unaddressed mental health issues increase the likelihood that treatable diseases will become chronic, leading to cycles of mental struggle throughout adulthood; in fact, untreated mental health problems cost America billions each year in lost earnings. Even before reaching adulthood, youth with a mental health condition are at higher risks of developing co-occurring disorders, like substance abuse issues, and dropping out of school— grievously, suicide is the third-leading cause of death among Americans aged 10-14.

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Topics: Mental Health

Stopping the Occurrence of Youth Suicide

Posted by MST Services

preventing-youth-suicide

The Sellers had lived in Pell City, Alabama for as long as they could remember. They had been married for over 17 years, established themselves in their local church, and had their first and only child, Sydney, in the city. Sydney was their pride and joy—in 2014, she was off to a successful first year of high school, earning her black belt in Taekwondo and taking honors classes. On December 7, she was “laughing, joking and watching TV”; everything seemed normal until her parents found her...

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Topics: Mental Health

How Can We Improve Mental Health Treatment In Schools?

Posted by MST Services

In the middle of her third grade year, eight-year-old Katie learned that she was transferring to an elementary school across town. As the new kid, she didn’t have anyone to play with at recess—Katie felt lonely, and would make excuses to stay inside and finish work with her teachers. As the year went on, Katie lost hope. She began self-harming, and eventually developed an eating disorder. These mental health struggles caused her to miss school and fall behind on her work, only adding to her anxiety; eventually, Katie was hospitalized after expressing suicidal ideations. Mental health problems, left untreated, can become an unbearable hardship for young students. But if Katie had a comprehensive mental health treatment system in her school—one that intervened and provided support early on in her life—she may have avoided reaching desperation. For students to succeed academically and personally, it’s imperative that schools treat juvenile mental health just as seriously as physical health.

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Topics: Mental Health

Childhood Trauma and Its Lasting Impact

Posted by MST Services

childhood-trauma

Childhood trauma can cause youth to develop coping mechanisms and behavior that stops social-emotional development and can dramatically impair their academic success. Gang activity, drug use, delinquent behavior, and aggressive attitudes become survival tools to get teens and youth through their traumas.

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Topics: Troubled Youth

Let's Stop the Violence in Youth Detention Centers

Posted by MST Services

violence-in-youth-detention-centers

A 2014 article based in Cleveland, Ohio gives harrowing stories about the violence in their youth detention centers – staff to juveniles and juveniles to others. Is this article typical of juvenile detention centers across the nation?

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Topics: Troubled Youth

Pressures of Gang Affiliation on Youth

Posted by MST Services

group black and white

On the last day of March, 2017, Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood saw seven people murdered in just twelve hours. Six of those occurred at the hands of gangs.

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Topics: Troubled Youth

The Opioid Epidemic's Effect on Children

Posted by MST Services

addiction-antibiotic-capsules-159211Elizabeth’s baby was due in June, and that’s exactly when she came— on the very morning of her due date, a new little girl entered the world. Elizabeth was ecstatic to become a mother, sharing the special moment with her partner, but as the newborn was examined, doctors came back with bad news: the baby was unnaturally stiff and had difficulty breathing. Elizabeth’s heart sank as she heard the diagnosis: neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS. After years of opioid addiction, beginning with prescription painkillers like Percocet and culminating with heroin usage, her worst fears had come to fruition: Elizabeth’s baby girl had been born with an opioid addiction.

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Topics: Child Welfare, Substance Abuse

Four Programs That Treat Teen Substance Abuse

Posted by MST Services

AdobeStock_143649277_PreviewThe effectiveness of teen substance abuse programs relies on a collaborative effort between the program, the parents or family, and the adolescent. Successful programs must have the agreement and participation of the adolescent involved in substance abuse. Treating drug abuse is not an easy task, but there are a mix of programs out there determined to address the issue.

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Topics: Substance Abuse

Alcohol, Drugs, Youth, and Arrests.

Posted by MST Services

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Drug and alcohol use can cause tragedy across all members of society. Perhaps one of the most vulnerable groups is that of juveniles.

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Topics: Substance Abuse