Posts tagged with "adolescents"

Transgender illustration by Heather Skovlund (Original Photo Credit: Pixabay) for 360 Magazine

Parents Open Letter to Lawmakers

1,500+ Parents of Transgender, Non-Binary, and Gender-Expansive Youth Condemn Anti-Trans Bills in Open Letter to Lawmakers

More than 1,500 parents of transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive youth — from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico — signed a letter imploring elected officials to oppose anti-transgender bills under consideration in state legislatures across the country.  

The letter — organized by the Human Rights Campaign’s Parents for Transgender Equality National Council — was sent to elected officials Monday morning.

The letter comes in response to a fast and furious effort led by national groups aiming to stymie LGBTQ progress made on the national level and in many states. There are currently more than 200 anti-LGBTQ bills under consideration in state legislatures across the country. Of these discriminatory bills, 106 directly target transgender people, including efforts to ban transgender girls and women from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity and prohibit evidence-based, life-saving health care for transgender youth.

“Transgender kids all across the country are listening to what you say and watching what you do. The act of writing bills like this, holding hearings, and later casting votes sends a direct message to them: ‘You aren’t real to us. We don’t believe you when you tell us who you are. Your existence is dangerous to the other kids around you. We are okay if you feel lonely, isolated, and unwelcome. We are willing to take away even the smallest concessions that have been made for you because we have power and you don’t,’” the parents wrote. “Transgender folks are so tired, tired of fighting for their existence. And parents like us are tired of begging you to see our kids and treat them as full and equal members of society.”

“Transgender children are children. They deserve the ability to play organized sports and have access to medically necessary care, just like all children. These bills are cruel — and parents are not going to be silent when elected officials attack their children through discriminatory legislation,” said Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David. “Transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive youth impacted by these bills are among the most vulnerable to experience depression and engage in self-harm, including suicide. Legislators must realize the seriousness of this issue and remember that they were elected to lead — not call into question whether certain children have the right to exist, to be happy, or to live authentically.”

“As a trans person, I know what it means to have lawmakers try to write me out of existence — imagine being a trans child trying to cope with this reality. There is a coordinated attack on transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive youth being waged in state legislatures across the country and it is having a devastating impact on the mental health of kids, who just want to be kids,” said Jay Brown, Senior Vice President, HRC Programs, Research & Training. “Parents will not back down when it comes to protecting their children, and they will not tolerate their elected officials using their positions of power to harm and further oppress them. We will never give up hope that if people — including elected officials — hear from people at the center of the policy debate, and their loved ones, that their hearts will open, and their minds will change.”

The full letter is below.

April 12, 2021

Dear Elected Officials,

Many of you are sponsoring, co-sponsoring, or considering voting for legislation that would force transgender children to participate in sports based on a letter on their birth certificate rather than who they are – or not participate at all. Some of you are also sponsoring, co-sponsoring, or considering voting for bills that would criminalize best-practice, evidence-based, life-saving health care that transgender youth need (and deserve!) to thrive. 

Parents of transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive youth like us have called you, sent you emails, and have showed up in the midst of a global pandemic to testify about how devastating these bills are…not only if or when they pass and become law, but also right now because, by whipping up a firestorm of attacks on our kids, they have already caused damage to our families.

Parenting during a pandemic is hard enough. The fact that these bills exist at all—that the lives of our children are up for debate in any state in this nation—adds a layer of worry to an already fraught time. Let’s be clear: the impact of these bills goes far beyond sports and medical care; they call into question whether our children have the right to exist, to be happy, to live authentically. The answer is yes. They absolutely do.

We have shared studies with you explaining that trans youth are more susceptible to struggle with anxiety or depression, not because they are transgender but because of stigma and discrimination. You have heard that being able to participate in sports and being on a team with friends and classmates can improve their mental health. You have heard adolescents tell you how afraid they are of experiencing the wrong puberty or how terrified teenagers are of having their medically-prescribed hormones denied to them. 

This isn’t the first time. We tried telling you all of this a year ago before the pandemic thankfully cut many legislative sessions short and these bills floundered. After hearing some of these concerns last year, a senator in Missouri was quoted dismissively saying “We can’t be responsible for everyone’s mental health.”

We are pointedly telling you now that you actually are responsible for the mental health of these kids. We are holding you personally responsible for the amount of stress, anxiety, and fear our precious children are currently struggling with. We are holding you responsible for how some of our children are crying themselves to sleep every night, asking why so many people hate trans kids and want them to suffer. You are the reason they are asking to move somewhere where they will be protected, because their home doesn’t feel safe anymore with you in charge of creating its laws.

You were elected to your positions to lead. And leaders understand that in our great but imperfect system of government, we favor the concept of “majority rule, minority rights.” Leaders do not use their positions of power to harm and further oppress a struggling and hurting minority.

Transgender kids all across the country are listening to what you say and watching what you do. The act of writing bills like this, holding hearings, and later casting votes sends a direct message to them: “You aren’t real to us. We don’t believe you when you tell us who you are. Your existence is dangerous to the other kids around you. We are okay if you feel lonely, isolated, and unwelcome. We are willing to take away even the smallest concessions that have been made for you because we have power, and you don’t.”

Transgender folks are so tired, tired of fighting for their existence. And parents like us are tired of begging you to see our kids and treat them as full and equal members of society. 

Here is a powerful quote from Nomi Ruiz, a Puerto Rican trans woman, artist and performer, that we’d like you to take time to think about…

“The outside world will never truly understand the magnitude of the trans experience, especially that of a child who has an undying need to live in truth despite being ostracized for it. The only way for trans children to thrive is to allow them to live freely in the face of a society that abuses them for it.”

Stop abusing our kids by creating legislation that targets them. Kill these bills now and leave our kids alone.

Justifiably angry,

Parents of Transgender, Non-Binary, and Gender-Expansive Youth

Child with phone illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Children and Screens Announces Grant

­CHILDREN AND SCREENS ANNOUNCES $100,000 GRANT SUPPORTING NEW RESEARCH INTO DIGITAL MEDIA USE AND BRAIN DEVELOPMENT

Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development is pleased to announce that it has awarded a grant of $100,000 to Marc Potenza, Ph.D., MD, Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University, Yihong Zhao, Ph.D., member of the Center of Alcohol and Substance Use Studies at Rutgers University, and their interdisciplinary, interinstitutional team, in support of their research exploring the associations between screen media activity and brain development in school-aged children. 
 
“It is vital to investigate what ever-increasing digital media engagement means for developing brains, especially in middle childhood when children’s devices and brains are working on overdrive. Technology is advancing rapidly, and we hope to do our part to help science keep up; we are delighted to create opportunities to advance scientific research on this topic through the Institute, which I founded 13 years ago.” Dr. Pam Hurst-Della Pietra, President and Founder, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development 
 
Drawing on longitudinal data from the NIH’s landmark Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study, Dr. Potenza, Dr. Zhao, and their associates intend to utilize state-of-the-art statistical methodology and predictive modeling to investigate the relationships between digital media use and changes in brain structure and function, as well as the associated clinically relevant behaviors. The study, which was proposed following the Institute’s March 2020 Digital Media and Developing Brain Research Retreat, will examine the effects of a variety of specific media-based activities and will focus on children from ages 9-12. The results of this research will yield benefits and insight not only for the research community, but also for families, clinicians, and policymakers.
 
“The advances in ‘big data’ approaches have led to an unprecedented increase in our understanding of how brain structure and function relate to specific behaviors. With the support of Children and Screens, we aim to apply novel and innovative big data approaches to ABCD data to understand how brain structure and function relate to, and importantly may be impacted by, types and patterns of screen media activity. Dr. Martin Paulus and colleagues used a portion of the first wave of ABCD data to identify patterns of cortical thinning associated with screen media activity. We hope to build off and extend this work by examining the full initial sample and subsequent waves of ABCD data to determine brain-behavior relationships with respect to youth screen media activity. We hope to communicate these findings in order to advance prevention and policy efforts that promote healthy childhood development in environments increasingly involving digital technologies.” – Dr. Marc Potenza, Grant Recipient
 
Bridging the medical, neuroscientific, social scientific, education, and academic communities, the Children and Screens’ interdisciplinary scientific research grants program was conceived as part of a larger research program to advance and support study, knowledge, and scientific collaboration. Developed in 2017, the grants program provides researchers with access to the early-stage financial support necessary to pilot worthy new projects studying the impact of children’s engagement with current and evolving technologies.
 
In addition to the research funds awarded as part of the retreat program and those granted to explore the impacts of digital media during the current health crisis, Children and Screens’ regular Tips for Parents newsletter provides evidence-based, practical advice for families coping with the unprecedented realities of the pandemic, including changed economic circumstances, health concerns, lockdowns, social distancing, remote learning, and working from home. Each newsletter features insights from world-renowned experts, who share tips and advice about managing screen time, social media use, gaming, technology addiction, privacy, parenting, and more.
 
In addition, our popular, bi-weekly Ask the Experts virtual workshop series features dynamic conversations among international, interdisciplinary experts in the field of digital media and child development. Each discussion explores a different digital media challenge associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and presents families with current scientific research, clinical advice, and practical, evidence-based advice. Panelists include leading parenting experts, former AAP Presidents, top child and adolescent psychiatrists, high-impact journal editors, leading researchers, well-known authors, and others. To date, the series has reached parents, researchers, educators, clinicians, government agencies, and public health professionals in over 30 countries and all 50 states.
 
About Children and Screens:
Since its inception in 2013, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, has become one of the nation’s leading non-profit organizations dedicated to advancing and supporting interdisciplinary scientific research, enhancing human capital in the field, informing and educating the public, and advocating for sound public policy for child health and wellness.

Teletubbies illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Teletubbies Launch Tubbycoin

Teletubbies Launch New Cryptocurrency Tubbycoin

Share BigHugs! with hashtag TubbyCoin

To mine TubbyCoin, all users need to do is share Big Hugs! tokens on social media with anyone who needs a hug, accompanied by the hashtag TubbyCoin. Then, sit back and let HugTech do the rest, as your TubbyCoin grows in value by collecting good vibes from being so nice.

As part of the initial offering of TubbyCoin, WildBrain will be making a base donation of $5,000 CAD to Kids Help Phone, and for every TubbyCoin shared or liked on social media, we’ll add one additional dollar to our donation, up to a total of $10,000 CAD. Be sure to use the hashtag TubbyCoin. Kids Help Phone gives millions of youth a safe, trusted space to talk over phone or through text or in self-directed support in any moment of crisis or need. In 2020, Kids Help Phone had 4.5 million connections with young people, reflecting a 137% increase over 2019.

HugTech – harnessing the power of Teletubby antennae

The result of years of research at WildBrain Labs, HugTech is a unique, proprietary technology that harnesses the value of the Teletubbies’ trademark BigHugs! through a nascent technology that marries the secret power of the Teletubbies’ antennae with cutting-edge cryptographology.

Dr. Rolf P. Solia, Principal Scientist and Head of Cleverness & Fabrication at WildBrain Labs, said: “We have finally arrived at the unachievable! Everyone knows the Teletubbies spread joy and delight across the world. But until now, few outside WildBrain Labs knew those special powers emanated from their antennae. Now, through the magic of cryptographology WildBrain Labs has harnessed that power to offer people around the world the opportunity to share the ebullience of the Teletubbies through TubbyCoin.”

Teletubbies spokestubby Tinky Winky added: “Eh-oh! Big hugs!”

Gotcha! Happy April Fools’ day!

Michael Riley, Chief Brands Officer of Teletubbies owner WildBrain, said: “I’d like to wish everyone a Happy April Fools’ Day! Although TubbyCoin is not really a cryptocurrency, our hope is that you’ll still enjoy sharing TubbyCoins with friends, family and anyone who needs a hug – all to bring some very real smiles to faces. And the part about WildBrain’s donation to charity is no joke. To help ensure kids have the assistance they need in these difficult times, we’ll be making a $5,000 donation to Kids Help Phone and adding one dollar to our donation for every TubbyCoin shared on social media up to a total of $10,000. So, share those virtual BigHugs!”

About WildBrain Labs

At WildBrain Labs we strive to break free of the constraints of imagination and reach for the unachievable. Based in a secure, state-of-the-art facility in a region of the Coachella Valley so remote that even we sometimes have trouble remembering where it is, WildBrain Labs is home to an advanced team of rock star scientists, programming wizards, ninja futurists and various other less outrageous people who keep the lights on – all of whom are laser focused on deploying cleverness and fabrication to make the world a better place or at least a bit less boring.

About Kids Help Phone

Kids Help Phone is Canada’s only 24/7 e-mental health service offering free, confidential support in English and French to young people. As the country’s virtual care expert, we give millions of youth a safe, trusted space to talk over phone or through text or in self-directed supports in any moment of crisis or need. Through our digital transformation, we envision a future where every person in Canada is able to get the support they need, when they need it most, however they need it. Kids Help Phone gratefully relies on the generosity of donors, volunteers, stakeholder partners, corporate partners and governments to fuel and fund our programs. Learn more at Kids Help Phone.

Healthy Eating illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Food Insecurity

Michelle Obama‘s New Show Addresses Food Insecurity,

Recent Survey Findings Validate the Crisis Behind it

Six in 10 Americans have faced “food insecurity” at some point in their lives, and of those, 73% experienced it for the first time since the start of the pandemic, according to this new research. The ongoing issue of food insecuritycontinues to receive more attention from celebrities and programming, like Michelle Obama’s new Waffles and Mochi show, which is directed at children to learn how to eat and prepare healthy meals. 

To understand the true impact and severity of the food insecurity crisis, recent findings from a new study launched yesterday from Feed the Children, a nonprofit dedicated to ending child hunger around the world, and Herbalife Nutrition, not only validate the crisis that’s happening today, but also shows how the U.S. compares to the rest of the world

The global survey of 9,000 respondents in 21 countries touches on families experiencing food insecurity for the first time, how they are managing to keep their families fed, along with some of their biggest concerns.


Below are a few of the U.S. stats that have come out of the survey: 

  • 73% of Americans surveyed experience food insecurity for the first time during the pandemic.
  • 31% of which have said their family has had to skip meals
  • 59% of parents are concerned their children will have lasting health effects as a result of food insecurity
  • 78% of parents rely on their child’s school meals to ensure their kids receive healthy meals
  • 63% of parents feel the government should promote flexible working hours to parents, so they can ensure their kids are eating balanced meals

TOP CITIES FOR ACCESS TO PEDIATRIC CARE

Many cities in California and Texas have poor patient-reported pediatric care, according to a new 2017 Vitals Access to Pediatricians report. Vitals researched the top 200 American cities to find out which metros have access to the best and worst pediatric care.

The study also revealed that mid-sized cities scored better in categories such as access and quality. Aurora, Illinois ranked #1 on the list, followed by Madison, Wisconsin at #2, and Grand Rapids, Michigan, #3.

When creating the list of America’s Top Cities for Access to Pediatric Care, Vitals analyzed the number of pediatricians available in each city on a per-capita basis for their under-18 population. Patient-reported metrics such as ease of getting an appointment, pediatrician ratings, and wait times were also factored into the final rankings.

California and Texas each had 8 of the bottom 20 cities in the rankings. Many of the cities ranked in the bottom had under-18 populations higher than the national average of 24.7 percent.

Under-18 Patient to Pediatrician Ratio

TOP CITIES

City State # Children Ped# Per Capita for Children
Cincinnati Ohio 65751 1442 45.60
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania 49852 977 51.03
St. Louis Missouri 67504 1270 53.15
Orange California 32893 574 57.30
Miami Florida 76848 1326 57.95

 

BOTTOM CITIES

City State # Children Ped# Per Capita for Children
Laredo Texas 86850 57 1523.68
North Las Vegas Nevada 71693 42 1706.98
Grand Prairie Texas 55928 32 1747.76
Ontario California 50585 22 2299.32
Santa Clarita California 47053 6 7842.10

Wait time also affected the overall ranking of pediatricians. Pediatricians in the top cities kept wait times under 13 minutes (the lowest wait time being close to 10 minutes). The national average is 18 minutes, 35. Patients from cities at the bottom of the list reported wait times that stretched over 30 minutes. Five Texan cities and three Californian cities were among the bottom cities.

“When a child is ill, the primary concern for parents is getting quick access to quality care,” said Mitch Rothschild, Founder and Executive Chairman of Vitals. “Vitals not only helps consumers find top-rated pediatricians near their homes, but also make informed decisions, relying on the wisdom of others who’ve contributed to the 9 million patient ratings and reviews on the site.”

The cities ranked highest on America’s Top Cities for Access to Pediatric Care include:

City State Rank
Aurora Illinois 1
Madison Wisconsin 2
Grand Rapids Michigan 3
Minneapolis Minnesota 4
Rochester New York 5
Saint Paul Minnesota 5
Cleveland Ohio 7
Salt Lake City Utah 8
Cincinnati Ohio 9
Akron Ohio 10

To see the full list of city rankings, visit Vitals Official Website.

About Vitals

Vitals empowers everyone to shop for their health care like an expert. We bring together cost and quality transparency along with innovative consumer engagement programs to help people select high-quality, lower-cost care. Vitals leads the market with incentive and engagement programs that pay people to shop. Our solutions achieve measurable and sustainable savings for consumers, employers and health plans. Vitals helps more than 120 million people each year access better, more affordable care.