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.

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
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