The General Assembly is considering sweeping criminal justice reforms, namely concerning incarceration alternatives and probation. The proposed legislative changes, filed on the same day by State Representative William Lamberth (R-Portland) and State Senator Jack Johnson (R-Franklin), are lengthy.
In part, the bill would expand those who qualify for community-based incarceration alternatives addressing substance abuse or mental health rehabilitation. It would also provide new avenues for individuals who break probation to have their probation reinstated (2 years at most), receive incarceration alternatives, or be shielded from extensive sentencing. It also caps probation sentencing to 8 years for felony offenses. Read More
Continuing with a national trend, a University of Michigan study found that college students reported record levels of anxiety and depression during the fall semester of the 2020 school year, during nationwide COVID-19 lockdowns.
“The UM Healthy Minds Study, an annual web-based survey looking at mental health and service utilization among undergraduate and graduate students, found that 47% of respondents screened positive for clinically significant symptoms of depression and/or anxiety – up from 44% last year and the highest since the survey started in 2007,” according to Michigan Live. Read More
The Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has released the results of a survey about the effects of COVID-19 lockdowns on children in the state, which it calls “alarming.”
“In the nine months since the issuance of the COVID-19 emergency declaration, our patients have experienced a major disruption in their lives, including disruptions to academic structure, participation in activities, peer interactions, lifestyle, and overall physical and emotional health,” the group explained. “To better identify and address the concerns of our patients and providers in Virginia, the Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics conducted a survey in December 2020 of 203 pediatric providers in the Commonwealth of Virginia.” Read More
Children and young adults are experiencing increased mental health issues, and suicide also is on the rise within the age group at least in part because of ongoing state shutdowns, according to several reports.
Within months of governors and local authorities shuttering schools, children were increasingly brought to emergency room doctors and specialists, according to a by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Read More
Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Metro School Board member Fran Bush to the studio to explain why she has continuously advocated for in-person learning and the vicious pushback she’s received. Read More
When Governor Ralph Northam outlined his latest COVID-19 restrictions and a curfew last week, he had a message specifically for religious leaders.
“This year we need to think about what is truly the most important thing. Is it the worship or the building? For me, God is wherever you are. You don’t have to sit in the church pew for God to hear your prayers,” the governor said. “Worship with a mask on is still worship.” Read More
Americans’ mental health has plummeted during the coronavirus pandemic as lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures remain in effect across the country, according to a survey published Monday.
Mental health is worse than any other point in the last two decades, Gallup reported on Monday. A survey conducted by Gallup showed 76% of Americans reported their mental health as either excellent or good, a decline from past surveys in which more than 80% of Americans reported positive mental health. Read More
Veteran Detective and Interim Chief John Drake has been selected as Metro Nashville Police Department’s new chief, Mayor John Cooper announced Monday at a press conference.
Drake, 56, is a Nashville native who began his MNPD career in 1988 and has served in a number of jobs throughout the department, the city said in a press release here. Read More
Mounting evidence shows that pandemic-related lockdowns and restrictions have inflicted much more harm on younger people than the coronavirus itself. A new report reveals that nearly half of 18 to 24 year-olds are “showing at least moderate depressive symptoms,” and for many the depression is severe. Read More
President Donald Trump signed an executive order Saturday aimed at “saving lives” of those suffering from mental and behavioral health needs, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.
Through the executive order issued Monday morning, Trump called for more crisis-intervention services to those in “immediate life-threatening situations,” and encouraged increased availability of continuing care after crises, nurture mentorship programs, expanded availability of telehealth, and more. Read More
Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio to discuss Joe Biden’s behavior and mental issues. Read More
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has contributed to rising drug-related deaths and the ever-worsening opioid crisis in the United States, according to health officials said local data.
Individuals battling opioid addiction have experienced increased stress due to isolation during the pandemic, according to health experts and data collected by the Wall Street Journal reported. Roughly 13% of American adults surveyed in June said they had started or increased drug use, according to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study. Read More
Gov. Bill Lee spoke by phone Wednesday with First Lady Melania Trump on a new task force to address children’s mental and physical health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The White House said Penny Schwinn, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Education, also participated. Read More
The costs of the government responses to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic have been severe. New evidence suggests they could be even worse than we imagined.
An ABC affiliate in California reports that doctors at John Muir Medical Center tell them they have seen more deaths by suicide than COVID-19 during the quarantine. Read More
Rep Andrea Schroeder (R-43-Waterford) detailed her “Save Our Students” plan in a statement on Wednesday, highlighting the plan’s usefulness for students who are struggling with thoughts of suicide. Read More
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s decision on December 24 that would say yes to more refugees in Ohio would allow the federal government to resettle them from any country, including from an estimated 300 to 720 refugees from the Middle East that the government of Australia has refused to accept. Read More
The national youth suicide rate has increased by 56% in 10 years, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Read More
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said Congress needs to address mental health problems that lead to violence among students in the wake of Wednesday’s deadly mass shooting at a Florida high school. “I’d like to broaden the question and broaden the discussion and say Congress needs to be holding hearings… Read More