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...

Read More

Topics: Mental Health

How Can We Improve Mental Health Treatment In Schools?

Posted by MST Services

mental health in school

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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?

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Topics: Child Welfare, Substance Abuse

Alcohol, Drugs, Youth, and Arrests.

Posted by MST Services

active-activity-board-1246961

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

Read More

Topics: Substance Abuse

Are Juvenile Drug Courts a Good Alternative to Incarceration?

Posted by MST Services

 alone-boy-college-455

Life can just be plain tough sometimes. But for some adolescents who feel anxious, angry, depressed, oppressed, stressed or even bored, drugs are a glamorous escape. Drugs represent a way to avoid life and offer relief from the pain of abuse, a “bad day,” or poor self-esteem.

Natalie*, just 15 years old, snuck out and was inclined to take just one “hit” to forget the disappointment of being denied a night out by her parents. She quickly learned that drugs made it possible for her to forget that she had homework, housework, and a commitment to her family she felt was unwarranted. She had a feeling of pure escape that transcended the circumstances Natalie felt were wrong in her life. She wasn’t a bad kid, just susceptible—which eventually led her to a local juvenile drug court.

Read More

Topics: Substance Abuse

8 Years of Failed Interventions. Then Came MST.

Posted by MST Services

luke-porter-92269-unsplash

The Beginning

It is the beginning of my very first meeting with the Lowe family, and as we sit on their front porch during a hot summer day, Mr. Lowe plops 200 pages of copied material on my lap. Intrigued, I ask what it is. He lets out a sigh and tells me this is the paperwork from all the intensive behavioral treatments his grandson, Tim, has gone through the past 8 years since being in their care. 

Read More

How Can Juvenile Probation Help At-Risk Youth?

Posted by MST Services

AdobeStock_157329976

Juvenile probation is a form of sentencing that allows young offenders to remain in their communities while under the supervision of the court. During the probationary period, a juvenile may be required to follow certain terms or conditions.

Read More

Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform