Saturday, July 2, 2022

Play

The U.S. Supreme Court strips the EPA's power to curb pollution, California takes a big step toward universal health care, and a Florida judge will temporarily block the state's 15-week abortion ban.

Play

SCOTUS significantly limits the Clean Air Act and rules against the "Stay in Mexico" policy, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to office, and President Biden endorses a filibuster carveout for abortion rights.

Play

From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Health Centers Tap Loan Repayment to Recruit Mental-Health Providers

Play

Tuesday, February 5, 2019   

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Colorado is facing a shortage of behavioral-health providers. And, as a result, fewer than 30 percent of the state's demand for mental- and behavioral-health care is being met.

Minimum federal standards require at least one psychiatrist for every 30,000 residents. Colorado would need to add more than 90 mental-health professionals to reach that threshold. Dr. Sherri Sharp is vice president for behavioral health for Peak Vista Community Health Centers, which serves the Colorado Springs region.

"The awareness of mental-health issues has grown, and the stigma behind seeking service is improving,” Sharp said. “So people are more likely to look for help now. But trying to find help is the difficulty. And in rural areas, it's even worse."

Sharp said to address the problem, health centers are tapping new federal and state student-loan forgiveness programs. She said the prospect of being able to knock off thousands of dollars in medical-school debt should help attract and retain high-quality providers for the state's most underserved areas.

Health centers also are offering training for nurse practitioners to become certified medically assisted treatment providers. Sharp noted health centers have implemented policies aimed at quickly identifying potential behavioral-health issues and connecting patients with treatment options.

She said 1-in-5 U.S. adults has suffered from a mental illness in the past year.

"That, along with the opioid crisis, it's huge. There's about 28.6 million people who have used illicit drugs within the last month,” Sharp said. “So the fact that these numbers are growing, it's something that needs to be addressed, and we don't currently have enough providers to do that."

She said because community health centers offer patients a one-stop-shop medical home, residents are more likely to get effective treatment. If someone comes in for a dental appointment, for example, he or she will get a mental-health screening and often can get help at the same facility.

Just 12 percent of patients actually get care when given an offsite referral. But Sharp said if they can get help onsite, more than 75 percent end up completing treatment.


get more stories like this via email

While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…


Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …

Environment

The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …


The only memorial to Anne Frank is located in Boise. (Kencf0618/Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …

Environment

Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …

Medicare fraud costs taxpayers an estimated $60 billion each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare track what happens at their doctor appointments. It also can help …

Social Issues

A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…

Social Issues

Another important U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month has been overshadowed by the controversy about overturning abortion rights. Legal experts say …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021