August 18, 2022

Good morning, readers. Today, we bring you a MindSite News Original story from contributor Rachel Cassandra, looking at the way young transgender people and their families are grappling with policies that deny their ability to make autonomous decisions.

In today’s roundup of mental health news, a new report looks at the critical shortage of mental health workers in San Diego and calls on major spending. Another looks at a new focus for many therapists and finance pro’s: “financial therapy” – because, after all, who doesn’t get stressed about their finances? And a new study suggests that good “anti-inflammatory habits” early in life can promote mental health later.

Now, a reminder about a MindSite News Live event coming up next month:

MindSite News, Ken Burns Presents and WETA present a FREE live back-to-school event:
A Conversation About Youth Mental Health and the Making of Hiding in Plain Sight

THURSDAY, September 8th at 4:00pm PST | 7:00pm EST

For more information regarding the film speakers and MindSite News interviewers for this special event click HERE


Cowgirl Boots, Anxious Nights: Transgender Youth and Families Grapple with Hostile Legislation – and High Rates of Mental Illness

It started with a pair of cowgirl boots – pink and blue with floral embroidery. Grandpa B. offered to take his grandchild Marty shopping for boots. At the store, which sells Texas-style western wear, 5-year-old Marty checked out the offerings and decided that the coolest by far was that special pair from the girls’ section. Assigned male at birth, Marty (a pseudonym) had already been experimenting with mixing “boy” and “girl” clothes, a point of tension between the generations in the family. Grandpa B. wasn’t about to buy girly pink boots for the kid he considered his grandson. He said no.  Continue reading…


New report: Invest $128 million to offset shortage of mental health workers in San Diego County

San Diego County’s mental health care workforce – already seriously understaffed – is so underpaid and so burnt out that 44 percent of current workers may seek different jobs in the next 12 months, the San Diego Union-Tribune says, based on a new report from the San Diego Workforce Partnership. The reported was prepared for the county board of supervisors at the request of its chair, Nathan Fletcher, who noted in the introduction that his “single highest policy priority since taking office in 2019 has been behavioral health – the intersection of mental health and addiction treatment.”

The Partnership surveyed nearly 1,600 local behavioral health workers. Their responses, combined with plenty of statistics and peer-reviewed research, paint a sobering picture of an industry estimated to serve more than 400,000 county residents per year. The report — available at — will be discussed at a free symposium Aug. 23.

-Rob Waters

Financial therapy is catching its stride

Here’s a reality: Money is a huge emotional and psychological worry to many people, yet neither therapists nor financial advisers are trained to work with them in a way that addresses both concerns. Financial therapy, a small and relatively new division of practice, is bridging the gap between finance and mental health, the New York Times reports. The field traces its roots back to 2008 when the financial crisis prompted a group of financial planners and mental health professionals to gather in California for a forum. The meeting birthed the Financial Therapy Association, which boosts awareness of the links between psychology and personal finance.

“Most people in the mental health community are trained to ask our clients about their marital stress, whether they can sleep at night,” said Brad Klontz, a financial planner and psychologist who has researched the relationship between finances and mental health since the early 2000s. “We’re not trained to say, ‘So, how about your money?’” Likewise, says Megan McCoy, “financial professionals love numbers and clean answers and solutions, and they didn’t know how to deal with these messy emotions.” McCoy is program head and professor of the financial therapy graduate program at Kansas State University – the first of its kind.

The program offers a way for both financial and mental health professionals to take classes in both personal finance and therapeutic techniques and allows them to become certified in financial therapy. The Financial Therapy Association provides a directory of qualified financial therapists on its website – people who are also trained to know what they don’t know. “The financial therapy program trains people to recognize when an issue is outside of their expertise, and how to make a referral to someone else when necessary,” McCoy said.

-Courtney Wise

In other news … 

Cultivate anti-inflammatory habits in your 20s and 30s for mental well-being later in life. That’s the gist of a new report in Inverse, based on a study published in The Journals of Gerontology that examined the relationship between inflammation and depression. The study’s co-author, Harvard research fellow Courtney Millar, told Inverse that an anti-inflammatory diet and regular physical exercise can help safeguard mental health and prepare the body for older age. “A good rule of thumb is to try and eat a colorful diet; a good number of the pigments that color our fruits are actually antioxidants.”

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If you or someone you know is in crisis or experiencing suicidal thoughts, call or text 988 to reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline and connect in English or Spanish. If you’re a veteran press 1. If you’re deaf or hard of hearing dial 711, then 988. Services are free and available 24/7.

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