The BCS Model tm
Over 200,000 homicides occur annually worldwide among youth between the ages of 10 to 29. According to the new data, in 2021, more than a third (37%) of high school students reported they experienced poor mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 44% reported they persistently felt sad or hopeless during the past year. Rates of a severe major depressive episode were highest among youth who identified as more than one race, at 16.5% (about 123,000 youth).The new data describe includes severe challenges youth encountered during the pandemic, 55% reported they experienced emotional abuse by a parent or other adult in the home, including swearing at, insulting, or putting down the student. 11% experienced physical abuse by a parent or other adult in the home, including hitting, beating, kicking, or physically hurting the student. More than a quarter (29%) reported a parent or other adult in their home lost a job. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2022/p0331-youth-mental-health-covid-19.html . Traumatic stress disorders, are related to the immune response, including increases in inflammatory factors and decreases in anti-inflammatory factors.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8385235/#:~:text=Traumatic%20stress%20disorder%2C%20mainly%20PTSD,at%20the%20gene%20expression%20level. Inflammation in the brain causes symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as fear and irrational thoughts resulting in reactionary impulsive behaviors that could result in self harm or harm to others.
Food insecurity caused by the pandemic was associated with increased risk of mental illness, associated with a 257% higher risk of anxiety and a 253% higher risk of depression. https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-021-10631-0. Environmental factors including a change in learning environment, isolation, lack of normal scholastic activity like reading from text and writing, and extended periods of time engaging in online learning have drastically stunted brain development in our youth. During adolescence, the cortex undergoes critical development. Screen time may affect its growth. A study called Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) revealed that some kids who use screens more than seven hours a day had a thinner cortex than those who used screens less. https://nida.nih.gov/sites/default/files/NIDA_YR18_INS3_ACTION_StuMag_2pg_508.pdf
Underdevelopment and inflammation of the prefronatal cortex and basla ganglia networks severly impacts rational thought, cognition, executive function, emotional well being, and reward seeking behaviors. The BCS model, created by LTBSC/ Jamie Christian, produces programs that are sequential, active, focused, and offer explicit skill-building activities that emphasize character development and social skills. The curriculum is a synthesis of sustainability and mindfulness education that improves cognitive function, and social and emotional learning. Activities we engage involve planning, problem solving, physical activity, nutrition, and environmental stewardship boosting neuroplasticity in the prefrontal cortex which is responsible for cognitive control, thereby influencing attention, impulse inhibition, prospective memory, and cognitive flexibility. The activities also boost neuroplasticity in the basal ganglia network which operates motor control, as well as other roles such as motor learning, executive functions and behaviors, emotions, and reward seeking behaviors leading to improved SEL, better decision making, and less reactive more positive interactions with peers, teachers and employers. We apply a holistic approach to mental, physical, and emotional wellness by teaching self care, nutrition, ecology, economics, and agriculture to help participants live a healthier more well rounded life. Topics like gardening, recyclables micro farming, seed saving and cooking improve access to healthy food, involve planning, and problem solving. Subjects such as herbology, hydration, and how to grow and prepare healthy food can also help students learn how to reduce inflammation in the body and brain.