The following stories appear in full on Today's Vidyya Medical News Service Web site.
Today's Vidyya presents a set of resources designed to help professionals deal with youth violence. A review of these resources seemed appropriate after Monday's school shooting in Santee, California.
The National Institute of Mental Health has joined with other Federal agencies to address the issue of reducing school violence and assisting children who have been victims of or witnesses to violent events. Recent nationally reported school shootings such as those that occurred in Santee, California; Bethel, Alaska; Pearl, Mississippi; West Paducah, Kentucky; Jonesboro, Arkansas; Edinboro, Pennsylvania; Springfield, Oregon; and Littleton, Colorado have shocked the country. Many questions are being asked about how these tragedies could have been prevented, how those directly involved can be helped, and how such events can be avoided in the future.
For more information: Helping Children And Adolescents Cope With Violence And Disasters
Many federal agencies actively address the problem of violence in schools by acquiring and disseminating information about school violence and supporting strategies that work to reduce violence. An inventory of federal activities addressing violence in schools was created through the collaborative effort of many federal agencies and offices is available for you to download in today's Vidyya. It is designed to facilitate the coordination of federal school violence prevention activities and enhance collaboration on future projects. By describing these activities and projects, this inventory will also help those
interested to better understand federal activities addressing violence in schools.
For more information: Inventory Of Federal Activities Addressing Violence In Schools
This is a time of high concern about violent behavior by young people. As a nation, we are in a period of reflection as to what can be done to stem this tide. The NIMH is currently involved in a "taking stock" activity to guide research into the areas where questions exist, with a special emphasis on identifying when and how to intervene. Youth violence is a complex problem and will require complex solutions. There is a natural desire to develop a "child violence" profile, but this not only risks a negative label on a child, but also risks missing the quiet, troubled child with a series of problems, who may actually become the most violent.
For more information: Child And Adolescent Violence Research At The NIMH
Arguments are waged as to the management of children who attempt suicide, commit crimes or even those who are abandoned and neglected. Our society has impoverished resources to answer such questions and while some hospitals are available, all too often the answer is prison. Research has demonstrated, however, that children do not need to be hospitalized or incarcerated to get the help they need. A home-based model of therapy, called Multisystemic Therapy or MST, offers treatment services to young people and their families in their homes.
For more information: Youth In A Difficult World
The newfound appreciation of the dynamic nature of the teen brain is emerging from MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) studies that scan a child's brain every two years, as he or she grows up. Individual brains differ enough that only broad generalizations can be made from comparisons of different individuals at different ages. But following the same brains as they mature allows scientists a much finer-grained view into developmental changes. In the first such longitudinal study of 145 children and adolescents, reported in l999, NIMH's Dr. Judith Rapoport and colleagues were surprised to discover a second wave of overproduction of gray matter, the thinking part of the brain-neurons and their branch-like extensions-just prior to puberty.
For more information: Teenage Brain: A Work In Progress
Today's Vidyya articles are:
As always, we hope you enjoy the issue.