Screen early, improve lives
Thursday, October 8th is National Depression Screening Day. YHC recommends participation in the screening process to help detect signs of depression, bi-polar disorder, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, alcohol use disorders, eating disorders and stress. Early identification can greatly assist with intervention and referral. When not treated early these mental health disorders can evolve into much more serious issues.
Please refer to the web site: www.mentalhealthscreening.org or call 781-239-0071 for information and access to inventory tools, forms, posters, brochures, clinician education information and a depression fact sheet.
A recently released report; Preventing Mental, Emotional and Behavioral Disorders Among Young People: Progress and Possibilities sponsored by SAMSHA recommends the use of evidence based interventions and increased funding for prevention research. The report identified several prevention techniques that demonstrate promise and others that show effectiveness. One of them described is a 15 session Cognitive Behavioral Prevention group for adolescents that helps them manage stress and address cognitions relating to depressive thinking. Other interventions helped by using free time and other rewards to reinforce desirable behavior in elementary age students. It has long term effects of lowering the risks of suicidality and substance abuse. A third intervention described was a positive parenting program.
This is a call to action. We have an opportunity to take what research has demonstrated is effective and make real differences in the lives of children, adolescents and families.
The importance of play
While some consider it “swimming against the tide” new research is supporting the vital importance and the impact play has for developing children. There is intense pressure for early instruction in reading, writing and math but just as important are creativity, critical thinking and the ability to learn from failure, all skills learned through “play”. One researcher has found children from “academic” preschools were more anxious. The real issue is how to present content for children while giving them time and experience to incorporate skills with creativity and social interactions. Playful learning leads to literacy and math skills.