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When a Child is Anxious

Fear and anxiety in childhood is commonplace. It’s almost a rite of passage. The list of things children are afraid of can include the dark, dogs, being laughed at by classmates, talking to strangers and so on. As children get older and have a better understanding of the world, more complex issues can cause fear such as death or burglary and may be influenced by real-life events or experiences seen on the news. Suffering from slight fear is a normal part of life, but some adolescents experience more than the average developmental anxiety. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 31% of adolescents...

Police and Mental Health Professionals Respond to Calls Together

Occasionally, those suffering from a mental illness encounter situations that prevent them from maintaining control of how their illness impacts the. Those around the person in crisis may not know how to help in these cases. When situations escalate, the best course of action is to contact a trained professional. Previously, the only reasonable option was to contact a psychiatric doctor. Today, the best option may be to call 9-1-1. A meta analysis studying police and mental health professionals co-responding to 9-1-1 calls, reported that between seven and 31 percent involved someone with a mental illness (Shapiro et al, 2015). That number is increasing in...

New Study Highlights Underreporting of Suicide by Drug Intoxication in the...

Suicide by drug intoxication in the United States is under-reported and misclassified, suggests a new study conducted by researcher, Dr. Ian Rockett of West Virginia University’s School of Public Health (Paul, 2018). Death by drug intoxication in the United States has increased for ages 15-years and older by 275% from 7.81 deaths per 100,000 in 2000 to 20.07 in 2015 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). The suicide rate has risen, and though we have the data mentioned above available to us, researchers emphasize that the numbers could be higher—misclassification and underreporting of intoxication suicides may have skewed the figures and most drug related...

Regaining Positive Body Image

I didn’t have to look far to find examples of unrealistic body images after deciding I would use that topic as the focus of my next Blueline News post. Aside from the dozens of articles that populated my google search, I found myself barraged by unsolicited advertisements posted on the side of my screen telling me that I could drop a pant size (“It’s easy!” it said), alongside images of flawless women, with perfectly white teeth, a perfectly flat stomach and a perfectly curved waist The topic of body image is something that can bring up sensitive feelings. Many people, especially women, feel insecure in...

The Effects of Sleep on Mental Health

Sleep affects mental health, contributing in positive and negative ways depending on the amount and quality a person gets. Studies show that when people sleep the recommended seven to eight hours consistently there is an increase in the ability to manage stress as well as engage in other healthy behaviors such as eating well (Chen, Wang, & Jeng, 2006). One of the central functions of sleep is to allow the brain to return to homeostasis and regain the ability to regulate emotions, allowing the person to wake up ready to face a day full of emotions (Weinberg, Noble, & Hammond, 2016). Another function of sleep...

Racial Inequalities and the Future of Solitary Confinement

Using statistics from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, K.A. Reiter was able to determine what race the prisoners and parolees are, the amount of time they were placed in solitary confinement, and how often they were released. Reiter found that every month in California 75 prisoners are released directly from solitary confinement straight to parole (Reiter 2012, n.p.). According to Reiter , there are three ways in which you will be able to leave solitary confinement: parole, snitching (i.e. debriefing) or death. Furthermore, Reiter’s research shows that in California, “Hispanics” are disproportionately more likely to spend time in the Special Housing Units (SHU),...

Isolation and suicide

Many studies on the interaction between the kind of housing an inmate is placed in and reports of suicide and self-mutilation show that there is often a coloration with solitary confinement and isolated housing (Haney 2003). When comparing those who commit suicide in the general population versus inmates placed in solitary confinement two researchers, Bonta and Gendreau, stated the following: “Inmate suicides for a 20-year period in the United States were at a rate of 17.5 per 100,000 inmates in contrast to 11 per 100,000 people in the general population”(Bonta, Gendreau 1990, p. 19). In a quantitative study done by researchers Smith, Wolford-Clevenger, Mandracchia and...

The Mental and Emotional Impact of Solitary Confinement on Inmates in...

There are 80,000 prisoners minimum that are living out their sentences in a form of isolation and confinement, as well as 25,000 prisoners in super maximum-security prisons (Mears 2013, n.p.). Solitary confinement, also called ‘segregation’, is usually defined by an inmate who spends 22-24 hours of their daily lives confined to a small cell, without sunlight, books, music or human interaction (Appelbaum 2015, n.p.). Although there is an extensive amount of research proving that the consequences of solitary confinement are profoundly negative, much of the Unites States still uses it. This is one of the major social issues of our time that is largely...

Reducing Harm: Could Knowing Your Pot be The Key to Treating...

The United States has been experiencing a surge in opioid addiction for over two decades, and the emergence of other drugs has also fallen into that mix. Today, these addictions have entered crisis mode. Our nation is truly suffering from an epidemic. Cocaine and opioid based drugs are just two of the most difficult addictions to overcome because of the way they alter the brain. Though traditional abstinence has usually been the method used for treating drug addiction, this does not seem to have a great track record since abstinence is rarely achievable for many addicts and eventually leads to relapses, says Dr. Nora...

Mental Health Myths

Understanding surrounding mental health has improved significantly over the past decade, but there are still many misconceptions about the subject. One of the more surprising myths about mental health is explained by the United States Department of Health & Human Services on their webpage “Mental Health Myths and Facts.” Here, they reveal that the phrase, “mental health problems don’t affect me” (A. 2013, p.1), is often less true than those uttering the words would like to believe. According to Mental Health Facts in America, “43.8 million adults experience mental illness in a given year” (2017). That equates to one in five adults. Despite mental health’s prevalence...