In The News

Cities know the way police respond to mental crisis calls needs to change. But how?
Posted on Nov 09 2023
NPR Shots
In 2020, the Crisis Receiving for Behavioral Health center ("Crib") opened in Downtown Sacramento and receives people experiencing a mental health crisis. The center allows them to stay for 24 hours and get connected to other services. “Physical locations linked to services, like Crib, are a crucial part of a well-functioning 988 system,” said Jennifer Snow, National Director of Government Relations, Policy and Advocacy for NAMI. "Those crisis stabilization programs are key to helping people not languish in the ER or unnecessarily get caught up in the criminal justice system," Snow said. “It's too early to know how the nation is progressing overall on building up these kinds of centers,” Snow said.
‘Kids are struggling’: Suicide rate soaring for Black children, teens nationwide
Posted on Nov 08 2023
Cox Media Syndicated: Boston 25 News
A recent Johns Hopkins University analysis of CDC data reveals that in 2022 the gun suicide rate for Black teens surpassed that of white teens for the first time and the suicide rate for Black kids and teens has tripled over the past two decades. “Whether it be racism, discrimination…kids are struggling across so many different domains and then in addition to that there’s bullying,” said Dr. Christine Crawford, NAMI associate medical director, in a taped on-camera interview. Dr. Crawford said many Black students are facing more stressors and they may not have all the necessary tools to cope with them. Crawford believes this process starts at home. “Prioritizing conversations around mental health is a matter of safety and quite frankly it’s a matter of your children’s life,” said Crawford.
How to Deal With a Narcissist Boss, Co-Parent, or Child
Posted on Nov 07 2023
Yahoo! Life
You can’t always just leave the narcissist in your life if it’s a parent or co-parent, boss, or child. “A disorder implies poor functioning, but there are plenty of successful people who are narcissistic and live happy lives,” says Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI CMO. “If you’re fine with not having meaningful relationships, if it works for you on some level, you might do nothing. But I think empathy can be learned through group work and psychotherapy. I don’t think you’re doomed if you want to work on the problem.” If people exiting your life have told you that you are self-centered, that you lack empathy, and that you weren’t willing to consider their experience, consider getting a therapist, urges Dr. Duckworth.
Biden, Trump HHS honchos spar at Milken
Posted on Nov 06 2023
Politico Future Pulse
Technology is often blamed for young people’s mental health struggles. It can also be a solution, panelists at the Future of Health Summit said. “Siri, I’m feeling depressed.” Encouraging a young person to start a conversation about their mental health care, even with Apple’s assistant, Siri, can make a difference, said Daniel Gillison, NAMI CEO. In response, Siri says it’s sorry to hear that and offers to connect the person to a family or friend or refer them to the alliance’s website, Gillison said at a session on America’s youth mental health crisis. Why it matters: While devices and social media are often seen as contributors to teens’ anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts, they can also help youth get support with their mental health struggles, Gillison said.
Talking to kids about tragedy in wake of Maine mass shootings
Posted on Oct 31 2023
Yahoo! News
In the wake of the mass shootings in Lewiston, Maine, many parents are navigating how to talk to their kids about the tragedy. Dr. Christine Crawford, NAMI associate medical director, said there is no one right way to talk to kids but simply talking, listening, and reassuring are key. “One way to start is to ask the kids what they think about the current situation, how does it make them feel, what have they heard about it, so you know exactly where you’re starting from,” Crawford said. “From there they can talk about what feelings and emotions it brings up for them.” Parents should reassure kids they are safe, she said, and that there is hope in a world that seems scary. “Safety is key because for a lot of kids, especially young kids, they just want to know the adults in their lives can take care of them and keep them safe,” Crawford said. “But when you hear about all these unsafe events, it makes kids wonder, ‘Are the adults able to protect me if something were to go wrong?’”
Transgender students: How controversy over NJ school policy is taking a toll
Posted on Oct 31 2023
NJ Spotlight News
Transgender students say rollback of transgender protections makes schools less safe and welcoming. Hannah Wesolowski, NAMI CAO, said too many people assume every child has a supportive home environment, which isn’t always the case. “We’re losing too many kids every single day and we need to do more to tell our kids that they are perfect as they are, that we love them, we accept them and do everything we can to protect our children’s health and well-being,” Wesolowski said. She added that the discussion of anti-LGBTQ+ policies alone can have a hugely detrimental impact on youth who may feel like the resources, support and access to care they benefit from are at risk. This leads to higher rates of depression, anxiety and suicidality, Wesolowski added.
Gen Z young adults face double the depression and anxiety of teens, Harvard report finds
Posted on Oct 24 2023
Dr. Christine Crawford, NAMI associate medical director, said the report's findings correspond with what she sees in her practice. "This transitional period [to adulthood] has always been the same, but young people [now] are consistently being inundated by messages of what's happening to the world, the environment, and that's further fueling some of the mood-related symptoms they're experiencing," she said. Crawford added that heightened anxiety among parents and the trend in recent decades of an "all hands-on deck, micromanaging" style of parenting have led to young people not being as well prepared to enter adulthood.
Young adults suffer from anxiety, depression twice as often as teens
Posted on Oct 24 2023
The Washington Post
Young adults in the U.S. experience anxiety and depression twice as frequently as teenagers, according to a new survey report by the Harvard University Making Caring Common project. The high levels of mental illness reflect the current challenging conditions for entering adulthood. For the first time since the Great Depression, the most common living arrangement for people in their 20s is with one or both parents. “Transitioning to independence and to adulthood has been pretty hard for our young people nowadays,” said Christine Crawford, NAMI associate medical director and psychiatrist. “There are a lot of concerns that have to do with finances, as well as uncertainty about what their future could bring.”
Money and mental health: experts, lawmakers say lack of funding is limiting access
Posted on Oct 18 2023
The Hill
A lack of funding and resources can prevent Americans from getting the mental health care they need, experts say. Lawmakers, mental health experts and advocates joined together to discuss how stigmas associated with mental health can be broken and how to build a comprehensive health care system that supports individuals affected by mental illness, among other topics. The lawmakers seemingly agreed that the lack of resources makes it more difficult for those who need help to receive it, and that a larger investment into mental health is necessary. “Mental Health doesn’t look Republican, it doesn’t look Democratic, it doesn’t look independent, it looks like all of us,” NAMI CEO Daniel Gillison said.
‘It’s not a red state, blue state thing': Senators form bipartisan Mental Health Caucus
Posted on Oct 16 2023
NBC News Now
Sens. Padilla and Tillis bonded over their experiences caring for loved ones undergoing mental health crises. Their conversations transformed into action when, a few months later, they launched the bipartisan Mental Health Caucus that, for the first time, would focus solely on the issue. The U.S. is in a mental health crisis, according to NAMI, the country’s largest grassroots mental health organization, which has partnered with the new Senate caucus. “In the last few years, we have seen a massive increase in what people need. There are so many more people who are recognizing that they’re struggling with their mental health, and there are so many more people who are having those symptoms of mental health conditions,” said Hannah Wesolowski, NAMI CAO.