Saturday, July 31, 2021

Play

Educators' unions call for efforts to ensure in-person learning keeps students, teachers, families, and staff safe; and an update on hate crimes by state.

Play

Congress passes Capitol security funding; House Freedom Caucus members want Cheney, Kinzinger out of GOP conference; Schumer closes a deal to advance $3.5 trillion reconciliation package; and a new report says investor-owned utilities try to block rooftop solar.

Need for Mental, Substance-Abuse Treatment Increased During COVID

Play

Tuesday, May 4, 2021   

FORT LUPTON, Colo. -- Suicide rates, overdoses and substance abuse all are on the rise since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.

Colorado's community health centers have seen a dramatic increase in patients in need of care.

Jonathan Muther, vice president of medical services for Salud Family Health Centers, which operates 13 clinics serving both rural and metropolitan residents, said before COVID-19, nearly one in five patients presented symptoms of mental illness or substance-use disorder. Since the pandemic, one in three present symptoms, but most cannot access care.

"Even before the pandemic, more than half of the individuals with an identified need did not receive access to care," Muther recounted. "And that gap has only widened since the pandemic."

Last week, Muther told members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions his team has responded to the increased need in part by expanding telehealth efforts. But he argued more needs to be done to remove barriers that prevent people from getting care, including lack of adequate health coverage, not knowing where to get help, social stigma, and a lack of non-English-speaking staff.

Changes in how federally qualified health centers are reimbursed would give more providers the flexibility to meet people in need of care where they are.

Muther pointed to Salud's integrated approach to care, where people get mental-health screenings whenever they check in with their primary-care provider, vision specialist or dentist.

"We structurally embed a behavioral-health visit in the context of the medical visit, whether that's in person or via telehealth," Muther explained. "We have behavioral-health providers that just do a proactive outreach to individuals in order to recognize a mental-health concern as early as possible and be able to do something about it."

Adults are most likely to reveal symptoms, which can include increased anxiety or depression, but also physical manifestations such as chronic head or stomach aches, to their doctor.

Muther added getting more mental-health professionals into schools can help reach children. Clinics have also successfully reached patients who don't get regular checkups through targeted outreach.


get more stories like this via email
In addition to roof repairs and other home improvements to lower utility bills, a Michigan League for Public Policy report recommends expanding utility-shutoff protections to include households with young children. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

LANSING, Mich. - High utility costs are a major burden for Michigan's low-income residents, and a new study says they have an impact on their health…


Environment

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A new report shows an effort by investor-owned utilities in the Sunshine State to block the growth of rooftop solar. The …

Health and Wellness

By Troy Pierson / Broadcast version by Mary Schuermann reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration. As marijuana becomes more …


Across the United States, 46 states have laws allowing for harsher punishment for crimes based on bias. (Ludk/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

SALT LAKE CITY - With rising numbers of people targeted in hate crimes and related violence, a new report analyzes the hate-crime laws in each state…

Social Issues

BOSTON - Educators' unions are calling on the state to support their efforts to ensure in-person learning in the fall keeps students, teachers…

According to AARP Connecticut, 47% of family caregivers have had at least one financial setback, such as having less money for retirement or savings, or cutting back on their own healthcare spending. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

HARTFORD, Conn. - In Connecticut, more than 460,000 people care for close friends or family members who can't manage on their own - and their …

Social Issues

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Millions of Americans soon could find eviction notices on their front doors, but New Mexico renters will not be among them - as …

Health and Wellness

CONCORD, N.H. - New Hampshire advocates for affordable healthcare access want Congress to lower prescription costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate …

 

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