Covid Seriously Worsened Kid’s Mental Health: Study

The impact of covid “profoundly” impacted mental health of children and adolescents, a meta-analysis of other medical studies found. Meanwhile, the CT Mirror reports that a bill focusing on boosting children’s mental health support advanced in the Senate after gathering broad support.

Reuters: Mental Health Issues In Kids Rose During Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted the mental health researchers of children and adolescents, say, based on their analysis of findings from 17 earlier studies. The studies – published in 2020 and 2021 – found unusually high rates of anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, suicidal behavior, stress-related disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and other mental health problems during the pandemic. Individual behaviors such as hobbies, praying, and listening to music were associated with positive mental health, the studies also found. (Lapid, 4/29)

The CT Mirror: Bill Focusing On Mental Health Supports For Kids Clears Senate

The last of three robust bills aiming to broaden services and resources for children’s mental health cleared its initial hurdle Thursday, gathering wide support in the Senate. Senate Bill 1, which would bolster mental health programs in schools, increase wages for child care workers and create a minority teacher scholarship fund, among other priorities, passed the Senate with a vote of 33 to 2. Republican Senators Rob Sampson of Wolcott and Ryan Fazio of Greenwich were the only dissenters. (Carlesso, 4/28)

NBC News: States That Legalized Marijuana Now Researching Mental Health Risks Of High-Potency Cannabis

With national cannabis legalization poised to be introduced in the Senate, states that legalized recreational marijuana 10 years ago are now studying the public health implications of a variety of new high-potency products amid questions about a possible link to psychosis. The newer products are called marijuana concentrates and are commonly known as wax and shatter. They can have levels of THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana, as high as 85 percent to 90 percent. By comparison, researchers say, the marijuana level in a typical joint 20 years ago was closer to 5 percent. States like Washington and Colorado are now considering product warnings or potency caps to limit access. At a January forum, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Dr. Nora Volkow, raised that teens areency concerns vaping high-pot cannabis. (Strickler and Patterson, 4/29)

Washington Post: Google Is Letting You Limit Ads About Pregnancy And Weight Loss

Google, which makes money in part by showing you ads based on your search history and other online behaviour, has come under fire for targeting people with family or body-related ads they’d rather not see. Facebook has settings that filter ads about certain sensitive topics, but until now, Google users had little recourse. In December 2020, Google started letting people in the United States opt out of ads on YouTube that feature alcohol or gambling. Now, people worldwide can opt out of alcohol and gambling ads as well as ads in the newly announced categories across Google’s ad ecosystem. (Hunter, 4/28)

On mental health matters in the public eye —

Fox News: Amber Heard Has Symptoms Of Borderline Personality Disorder According To Forensic Psychologist: What Is It?

Forensic psychologist Shannon Curry, who was hired by actor Johnny Depp’s legal team, testedified this Tuesday in the civil lawsuit between Depp and his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, that she diagnosed the 36-year-old with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and histrionic personality disorder, according to a recent Time report. “Personality is the way of thinking, feeling and behaving that makes a person different from other people. An individual’s personality is influenced by experiences, environment (surroundings, life situations) and inherited characteristics. A person’s personality typically stays the same over time,” according to the American Psychiatric Association. (Sudhakar, 4/28)

Fox News: Amy Schumer Raises Awareness About Adult Autism Spectrum Disorder Through Her Husband’s Recent Diagnosis

Comedian Amy Schumer revealed last week on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” that her 42-year-old husband, chef Chris Fischer, was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as an adult, which is helping raise awareness that the condition can also be diagnosed as we get older. ASD “… is a complex, lifelong developmental condition that typically appears during early childhood and can impact a person’s social skills, communication, relationships, and self-regulation,” according to the Autism Society. (Sudhakar, 4/28)

Columbus Dispatch: Athletes’ Mental Health: Ohio State Counselors Say Stigma Diminishing

When Jamey Houle won his first Junior Olympic National Championship in gymnastics as a high school sophomore, he immediately wanted to win again. But when the next year’s competition rolled around, he choked. Houle’s coach told him that something needed to change. He suggested Houle see a counselor to talk about his thoughts and the pressure he was putting on himself. Houle wasn’t interested. “They dragged me kicking and screaming to see that counselor,” he said. “I thought it was some kind of voodoo.” Over time though, Houle started to see a difference in his attitude toward failure, that it’s OK to have a bad day and that doesn’t negate all your positive progress. After Houle won his second Junior Olympic Championship his senior year, his first call was to his psychologist. (Hendrix, 4/27)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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