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As Congress and presidential candidates trade accusations over immigration reform, advocates and experts urge caution in spreading misinformation; Alabama takes new action IVF policy following controversial court decision; and central states urge caution with wildfires brewing.

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Congress reaches a deal to avoid a partial government shutdown again. Arizona Republicans want to ensure Trump remains on their state ballot and Senate Democrats reintroduce the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

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Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

This school season, know warning signs of youth mental distress

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Tuesday, October 3, 2023   

Data from last year show a growing percentage of Kentucky children and teens report struggling with depression or anxiety, largely driven by social media use. A new online toolkit from Mental Health America aims to provide information, tips and resources for young people, caregivers and school personnel on how to protect kids' mental health in a digital world.

Marcie Timmerman, Mental Health America Kentucky's executive director, said having resources to spot early warning signs can help families get off to a good start this school year, when many households are adjusting to new patterns and habits.

"I think one of the biggest early warning signs, especially related to social media use, is that they suddenly stop wanting to use it, or they are on it all the time," she explained. "There's an extreme change in their behavior and maybe their attitude as well toward the media platform."

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force now recommends screening for anxiety in children and adolescents ages 8 to 18 years, even if they are not showing recognized signs or symptoms of anxiety. Over the past decade, feelings of persistent sadness and hopelessness, along with suicidal thoughts and behaviors, increased by about 40% among young people, according to the CDC.

Hannah Hallen, a Kentucky college student and mental-health advocate, believes traditional approaches to mental health have not kept up with the needs of her generation.

"I feel like they are trying their best with potentially old resources or things that used to work," she said. "But with the changes in this generation that are so niche to this era, there are a lot of differences."

In addition to social media, more young people report feeling distressed about mass shootings, climate change, and the growing political divide.


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House Bill passed with an overwhelming vote of 94-6, with three abstentions. Its companion, Senate Bill 159, passed unanimously with a vote of 34-0. (Chad Robertson/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

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The Alabama House and Senate both passed bills this week that would help people resume in vitro fertilization and provide legal protections for provid…


Environment

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A new report finds some Missouri laws and prospective laws are perceived as discriminatory regardless of their actual intent - and it outlines some bi…


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Environment

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By Frank Jossi for Energy News Network.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Pub…

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By Claire Carlson, John Upton and Kaitlyn Trudeau for The Daily Yonder.Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Oregon News Service for the Public …

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As members of Congress and presidential candidates battle it out over immigration, a group of Nevada leaders and experts dedicated to advancing …

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