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12/1/2017: 3 Articles You Need to Read This Week

We know you're busy--that's why we're keeping up on the news for you. Here are some of the latest articles that are worth your time. Check back every Friday for more headlines you may have missed. 


Smartphones may have brain-altering effects

According to a recently released study presented at the Radiological Society of North America, teens addicted to smartphones showed chemical imbalances in their brains. The study looked at 19 teens in Seoul Korea, who all had some sort of smartphone addiction. Teens with more severe addiction had increased GABA levels, "a neurotransmitter in the brain that inhibits or slows down brain signals." In addition to raised chemical levels, addicted teens also showed higher rates of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and impulsivity.


More middle school girls are inflicting self-pain. A possible culprit? The smartphone 

Since 2008, emergency room visits related to self-harm for girls ages 10-14 has seen an increase. Experts say this could be because more middle-school girls now have access to smartphones and are more susceptible to internet bullying.  From 2009 to 2015, the number of girls who visited the ER for self-harm increased by 8.4 percent annually. This comes at a time when the suicide rate (in 2015) hit a 40-year high, increasing almost 50 percent since 1975.


Two students help create an app to raise awareness for teen mental health

Two high schoolers in Montana realized that too many teens at their school were unaware of the signs and risk factors for mental health issues, so they set out to make a difference. The two sophomore students joined their Alliance for Youth program coordinator, Nicole Zimmerman,  to work on creating content for an app Zimmerman was working on, called #LetsTalk. The app, meant as a resource, contains information on symptoms of mental health issues, lists of numbers to call for support, and a map of safe spaces in the girls' hometown of Great Falls, Montana. 


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