Nov 5, 2018, Brunswick (ME) Times Record: Youth mental health remains a concern in Sagadahoc County https://www.timesrecord.com/articles/front-page/youth-mental-health-remains-a-concern-in-sagadahoc-county/ A new health survey of Sagadahoc County shows that despite gains, youth mental health remains an issue in the area. “Overall, if you look at the county’s health index, we are often one of the healthiest counties in the state, but our youth mental health rates are some of the unhealthiest in the state,” said Director of Community Health Promotion at Mid Coast Hospital Melissa Fochesato. … For data on youth mental health, the Sagadahoc County Health Profile draws from the Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey, a survey of Maine students conducted every two years. The 2017 data shows 30.2 percent of Sagadahoc County high school students felt sad or hopeless for two weeks in a row, which is about 3 percent higher than the statewide average. 17.6 percent seriously considered suicide, compared to the statewide average of 14.7 percent. … “Three years ago, I would argue one of the areas that have seen a lot of focus is youth mental health,” said Fochesato. “Three years ago, we said as a community that we need to put some extra focus on this. So Mid Coast Hospital got a Youth Mental Health First Aid Training grant to help adults in our region recognize signs and symptoms.” In addition to those training, Mid Coast Hospital has been working closely with the Midcoast Community Alliance, a nonprofit group that originated two years ago in response to a youth suicide in the community. While the organization’s original mission was to make Bath a suicide-free community, it has since broadened its horizons to tackle mental health awareness as a whole. … Since 2015, the number of Sagadahoc County youth who reported seeking help from an adult when experiencing signs of depression increased from 21 percent to 29 percent. And now 59 percent of area youth believe they matter to the community, compared to just 49 percent in 2015. Those numbers show a small but marked change in youth mental health in Sagadahoc County. It can take a long time to move the needle on health factors, noted Fochesato, but the results so far are promising. …
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Children today are noticeably different from previous generations, and the proof is in the news coverage we see every day. This site shows you what’s happening in schools around the world. Children are increasingly disabled and chronically ill, and the education system has to accommodate them. Things we've long associated with autism, like sensory issues, repetitive behaviors, anxiety and lack of social skills, are now problems affecting mainstream students. Blame is predictably placed on bad parenting (otherwise known as trauma from home).
Addressing mental health needs is as important as academics for modern educators. This is an unrecognized disaster. The stories here are about children who can’t learn or behave like children have always been expected to. What childhood has become is a chilling portent for the future of mankind.
Anne Dachel, Media editor, Age of Autism
(John Dachel, Tech. assist.)
What will happen in another 4 years? How can we go on like this? This is a national (and international) problem of monumental proportions. We have an entire new class of children who cannot be accommodated by the system: many are manifestly neurologically impaired. Meanwhile, the government and the medical profession sleep on regardless.
UK media editor, Age of Autism
The generation of American children born after 1990 are arguably the sickest generation in the history of our country.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
It seemed to me that with rising autism prevalence, you’d also see rising autism costs to society, and it turns out, the costs are catastrophic.
They calculated that in 2015 autism cost the United States $268 billion and they projected that if autism continues at its current rate, we’re looking at one trillion dollars a year in autism costs by 2025, so within five years.
Toby Rogers, PhD, Political economist
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