Gun-Related Deaths of Children on the Rise

Injuries are the most common cause of death among children and adolescents, and for more than 60 years, motor vehicle crashes were the top cause of the injury-related deaths for children. However, beginning in 2017, gun-related deaths took the top spot on the list. “That spike is attributable to the simultaneous crackdown on motor vehicle

Hot Topic: Mental Health Reform

Congress must pass legislation that addresses barriers to mental health care for youth and their families, including maternal mental health care, services and prevention for children and adolescents, Medicaid reform, and bolstering the workforce. Maternal mental health: postpartum depression affects up to 15% of women, and the negative short-and long-term effects on child development are

Discriminatory Transgender Health Bills Have Critical Consequences for Youth

A new Child Trends brief describes the harm inflicted upon gender-diverse children and youth when policies deny them access to gender-affirming care and supportive environments. Gender-affirming care provides developmentally appropriate supports to gender-diverse children and youth. When transgender children and youth feel that their identities are supported, they experience greater life satisfaction, fewer depressive symptoms,

Rate of Fatal Teen Overdoses Doubled in 2020

The overdose death rate among U.S. adolescents nearly doubled from 2019 to 2020 — a climb that continued into 2021, a new study in JAMA shows. Researchers determined that it’s not a surge of 14- to 18-year-olds using drugs - survey data actually indicate that fewer teens experimented with drugs during the pandemic. Rather, a

House Hearing on H.R. 7236 – Strengthen Kids’ Mental Health Now Act

Tuesday, April 5th, 2022 the Health Subcommittee of the Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing on several important bills, including H.R. 7236, the Strengthening Kids' Mental Health Now Act. If enacted, H.R. 7236 would expand the availability of mental, emotional, and behavioral health services under the Medicaid program.  This bipartisan legislation would bolster the infrastructure for

Senate Finance Committee Hears from Witnesses on Mental Health Parity

On Wednesday, March 30th, 2022 the Senate Finance Committee continued their series on mental health with a hearing entitled ‘Behavioral Health Care When Americans Need It: Ensuring Parity and Care Integration.’ Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) emphasized the need to hold insurance companies accountable for not adhering to parity laws. Wyden referenced a recent GAO report,

Resilient But Not Recovered: National Women’s Law Center Shares New Data

In their recent publication, Resilient But Not Recovered: After Two Years of the COVID-19 Crisis, Women Are Still Struggling, National Women’s Law Center combines analysis of federal data sources with findings from a research to better understand how women are faring at work and in their lives after weathering two years of this pandemic. As reported

CDC Report: Pandemic Took a Toll on Teen Mental Health

In a new report released by the CDC, school closures and distance learning have had a negative impact on student mental health. In a study titled “Mental Health, Suicidality and Connectedness Among High School Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” survey results showed that more than a third (37%) of students surveyed said they experienced poor

Senate HELP Hosts Second Hearing on Behavioral Health

On Wednesday March 23rd, 2022, Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) led the Senate HELP Committee’s hearing: “Strengthening Federal Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Programs: Opportunities, Challenges, and Emerging Issues.” The Committee members and witnesses discussed issues necessitating bipartisan legislation addressing the increasing severity of the mental health and substance use disorders prevailing across the country.

Gender-Affirming Care is Trauma-Informed Care: Resource

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) released “Gender-Affirming Care is Trauma-Informed Care,” a new fact sheet that defines gender-affirming care, describes approaches for supporting trans, gender-diverse, and intersex (TGI) youth, and includes additional tools for providers. From the release: “Transgender, gender diverse, and intersex (TGI) youth can thrive when they are supported and affirmed

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