“When we look at the mental health of American girls today, one thing becomes clear: We as a society are failing pretty miserably….One out of four adolescent girls reports suffering from symptoms of major depression compared with fewer than one in ten boys.” —Donna Jackson Nakazawa, Girls on the Brink
The rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide among girls have skyrocketed over the last 15 years. The influences of social media, over sexualization of girls, environmental and societal stresses, school pressures, sexual harassment, gender inequalities, and other stressors have caused a crisis that needs to be understood and addressed.
My guest, Donna Jackson Nakazawa provides the science of why our girls are struggling and 15 antidotes for our consideration to support girls on their journey to live meaningful and independent lives.
Guest: Donna Jackson Nakazawa is an award-winning science journalist, author of seven books, and an internationally-recognized speaker whose work explores the intersection of neuroscience, immunology, and human emotion. Her latest book is, Girls on the Brink: Helping Our Daughters Thrive in an Era of Increased Anxiety, Depression, and Social Media. Donna’s other books include The Angel and the Assassin: The Tiny Brain Cell That Changed the Course of Medicine, Childhood Disrupted, and The Last Best Cure. Her writing has appeared in Wired, The Boston Globe, Stat, The Washington Post and Health Affairs. For her writing on health and science, she received the AESKU lifetime achievement award and the National Health Information Award. She has appeared on The Today Show and NPR and is a regular speaker at universities, including the Harvard Division of Science Library Series, Rutgers University, Johns Hopkins, Learning and the Brain, and the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. Donna is also the creator and founder of the narrative writing-to-heal program, Your Healing Narrative, which uses a process called Neural Re-Narrating™to help participants recognize and override their brain’s old thought patterns and internalized stories, and create a new, powerful, inner healing narrative that calms the body, brain, and nervous system. You can learn more here: https://donnajacksonnakazawa.com
There are so many questions regarding digital media’s impact on a child’s development. How does it affect their mental and physical health? We know there are consequences of too much media exposure for children’s minds, physical health, and social wellbeing, but how much is too much? And what about the quality of the media children absorb starting at a young age? Most parents, grandparents, and providers struggle daily to make decisions about how to set limits on screen time, no matter what age a child is.
Kris Perry, Executive Director of Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, most recently served as Senior Advisor to Governor Gavin Newsom of California and Deputy Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency where she led the development of the California Master Plan for Early Learning and Care and the expansion of access to high-quality early childhood programs. She led systems change efforts at the local, state and national levels in her roles as executive director of First 5 San Mateo, First 5 California, and of the First Five Years Fund. Through it all, Perry has fought to protect children, improve and expand early learning programs, and increase investments in low-income children. Perry was instrumental in returning marriage equality to California after the landmark 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling Hollingsworth v. Perry, which she wrote about in her book, Love on Trial (Roaring Forties Press, 2017).
Bullying and abuse can be seen in all corners of society from children’s playgrounds, to baseball practice, and dance class. We also see adult bullying in the classroom, at summer camp, at home, on the job, and in the political arena. The psychological trauma of being bullied produces damage to the developing brain, and the child who is doing the bullying also suffers. The bullied brain can heal, and children can be taught to not fall victim to bullying. Join us to learn more.
Listen now to About Health on KPFA.org— 94.1FM (8/1/22)
My guest is best-selling author and award-winning teacher, Jennifer Fraser. With a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Toronto, Jennifer is trained to take different discourses—literature, anthropology, psychology, pedagogy, neuroscience, philosophy—and put them into dialogue. Her wide-ranging knowledge, lived experience, dedication to learning and teaching, produce new insights into age-old problems. Not content to merely discuss, Jennifer’s goal is to set in motion significant change. Her latest book is The Bullied Brain: Heal Your Scars and Restore Your Health. Jennifer’s first book was on the rite of passage from being a reader to a writer of culture. Her second book was on suppressing grief in childhood, only to have it resurface as either numbness or aggression. Her third book was about the way children learn bullying from influential adults. She is interested in designing a world with our brain in mind. Go to https://www.bulliedbrain.com/ to learn more.
The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, cutting off millions of women across the country from essential health care. All women have the right to accessible and culturally sensitive reproductive health care! And did you know that pregnant women in the US are more than twice as likely to die from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth than those in most other high-income countries in the world?
Tune in now to About Health on KPFA.org, 94.1FM (7/11/22)
Joy A. Cooper, MD MSc is a Philadelphia native and an Obstetrician-Gynecologist in Oakland, California. She completed residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her MD from Howard University and completed a Master’s in Sexually Transmitted Infections & HIV at University College of London/London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. She earned an A.B. in African and African-American Studies at Harvard College. Through her telemedicine startup, Culture Care, she is fulfilling her mission to impact women of the African Diaspora by linking Black women to Black doctors with the click of a button. Go to www.ourculturecare.com to learn more.
The F.D.A has recommended that the Moderna and Pfizer coronavirus vaccines be authorized for children as young as 6 months old. Very soon parents will have to make decisions about whether to vaccinate their young children, which vaccine to give, and if masking up is still necessary.
And with summer upon us, there are important general safety tips to talk about, such as preventing sun stroke and dehydration, as well as water safety.
Guest: Dr. Donna White Carey is the Medical Director of Case Management at Alameda Alliance for Health. She served as the first African-American Chief of the Division of Pediatrics at Alameda Health System and then became the first Chair of their Department of Pediatrics. As Chair, she initiated Pediatric Grand Rounds and developed a Safe Sleep Program. Dr. Donna is a past President of Sinkler Miller Medical Association and serves on several Boards and committees, including the Samuel Merritt University’s Ethnic Health Institute. She is also the Executive Pastor of True Vine Ministries. She initiated a quarterly women’s forum entitled “Sista Talk,” a weight loss program called “Fit for Life,” and “Survivor Weekend,” which focuses on cancer prevention.
Dr. Donna has received numerous awards, honors and commendations, including “STEM Woman of the Year” by then-assemblymember Nancy Skinner and a Chairwoman Award from the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce. She completed her pediatric residency training at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland and completed a one-year fellowship in adolescent medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.
You can follow Dr. Donna on her Facebook or IG pages. You can also “keep our appointment” and watch her weekly on her YouTube channel, “Talking with Dr. Donna.”
There is collective trauma in our nation, with the Covid-19 pandemic and the horrific gun violence epidemic. With the recent shootings in Buffalo, Uvalde, and Tulsa, people are once again dealing with the deep pain of loss, grief, anger, and fear. The trauma of gun violence impacts all of us, but our children are suffering in ways that are so hard to witness. What can teachers, parents, and all adults do to lessen the burden?
What you are doing to help the children in your life during this painful time?
Julie Kurtz is a child and family therapist and national speaker consulting and training on trauma and resilience. She is the Founder and CEO for the Center for Optimal Brain Integration® which promotes the concept of optimal brain integration to maximize human growth potential.
Julie is the co-author of—Trauma-Informed Practices for Early Childhood Educators: Relationship-Based Approaches that Support Healing and Build Resilience in Young Children, Culturally Responsive Self-Care Practices for Early Childhood Educators, Trauma Informed Practices for Early Childhood Leaders: Creating and Sustaining Healing and Engaged Organizations, and Trauma-Responsive Family Engagement in Early Childhood: Practices for Equity and Resilience. She is also the author of the award winning children’s books, Understanding My Brain: Becoming Human(E)! (Ages 4-8 and 5-10). Julie is the creator of the phone/tablet Application (APP) Trigger Stop: Sensory and Emotional Check-in designed specifically for children ages 3-8 years to promote sensory and emotional literacy and to support self-regulation. To learn more go to https://www.optimalbrainintegration.com/.