Monday, July 4, 2022

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July 4th: an opportunity to examine the state of U.S. Democracy in places like MT; disturbing bodycam video of a fatal police shooting in Ohio; ripple effects from SCOTUS environmental ruling.

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The Biden administration works to ensure abortion access, Liz Cheney says Jan 6th committee could call for criminal charges against Trump, and extreme heat and a worker shortage dampens firework shows.

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From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

In TN, Mental-Health Issues Increase Child Anxiety

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Thursday, May 5, 2022   

Marking Mental Health Awareness Month, advocates contended more outreach and services are needed to help Tennessee mothers with postpartum depression, which can lead to increased anxiety for children and other difficulties for families.

In addition to May's focus on mental health, this week also highlights Children's Mental Health Awareness, underscoring positive mental health is essential to a child's healthy development.

Global nonprofit Save the Children works to increase mental-health programs in the Volunteer State.

Amber Cundiff, lead associate of early-childhood programming in Tennessee for the group, said conditions such as postpartum depression can affect entire families.

"Women who just delivered their child many times begin displaying signs of depression due to lack of resources in the community, transportation, family support and overall stigma," Cundiff outlined. "When a parent is dealing with a mental-health challenge, that directly affects the mental health of their child."

Cundiff pointed out Save the Children's social and emotional learning program, Journey of Hope, helps around 250 children across four Tennessee counties to explore and understand their emotions, develop healthy coping skills and build resilience for future challenges.

Cundiff emphasized Tennessee's rural poverty is a barrier to adults and children finding the help they need.

"Two thirds of the country's mental-health care deserts are in rural America, including the communities where Save the Children works in Tennessee," Cundiff noted. "Additionally, three in five adults have reported that the pandemic has impacted mental health in their communities 'a lot or some.'"

Greta Wetzel, senior adviser of psychosocial support for Save the Children, acknowledged the problems Tennessee faces are often the same as other states with large rural populations.

"In our rural communities, you might have one mental-health facility for the whole county that could be an hour drive away from you," Wetzel stressed. "Or, one social worker that covers the entire school district."

Wetzel noted Journey of Hope programs also offer services for caregivers, explaining while adults are often focused on the needs of children, they need to take moments for themselves.

Disclosure: Save the Children contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Early Childhood Education, Education, and Poverty Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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