skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Republicans have put Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress; state legislatures are missing people from working-class jobs, and FDA has advice for formulating the next COVID vaccine for a new strain.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

House Republicans vote to hold AG Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress. The Senate battles it out over federal protections for in vitro fertilization. North Dakota becomes the first state to impose an age cutoff to run for Congress.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Rural America's job growth is up, but still hasn't recovered from the pandemic, about one in five rural Americans lives in a town with a prison, rural women seeking birth control have a new option, and dark skies beckon as summer arrives.

Staff Shortages Threaten Mental-Health System for Basic Services

play audio
Play

Tuesday, May 25, 2021   

AUGUSTA, Maine -- With about three weeks left in the legislative session, mental-health advocates want lawmakers to increase the funding for essential MaineCare services in order to attract more badly needed staff.

Experts contended long waiting lists often mean families can't get counseling and end up in crisis.

Amy Cohan, vice president of outpatient and community services for Spurwink Services and a licensed clinical social worker, said at times there have been as many as 500 families waiting for in-home counseling, especially people who live away from the I-95 corridor.

"Insufficient rates make it really impossible for providers to travel to families' homes, particularly in rural parts of the state, in a financially sustainable way," Cohan explained.

Cohan noted during the pandemic, calls to hotlines, rates of anxiety and depression, suicidal thinking and suicides all rose sharply. In addition, opioid overdoses increased to record levels, reversing progress made in recent years.

Multiple bills, including Legislative Document 432 and Legislative Document 1173, which are intended to address the situation, are waiting to get a vote. Lawmakers need to finalize the budget before the session ends on June 16.

Opponents objected to the cost of raising providers' pay, but supporters countered it's crucial in order to attract more people to the social-services profession.

Rep. Colleen Madigan, D-Waterville, co-sponsored several bills to help alleviate some pressure.

"There needs to be more money put into put state now so that kids can stay at home," Madigan asserted. "They can be treated in their communities, and they can get the behavioral health care they need before they wind up in an emergency room or needing inpatient hospitalization or residential care."

Madigan pointed out many programs have been forced to cut services for lack of staff, leaving families no option but to send their children out of state to find a residential placement.

David McCluskey, executive director of Community Care, a nonprofit that treats people with mental illness, said the staff shortages translate into a broken system that causes real suffering for families.

"So there's people who are waiting to leave psychiatric hospitals because there's no place for them to step down to," McCluskey stressed. "And then there's also people waiting to get into hospitals. And so the system is sort of frozen."


get more stories like this via email
more stories
South Dakota loses up to 100,000 acres of grasslands annually, according to the South Dakota Grassland Coalition. Grassland bird species are declining faster than any other group on the continent. (Gregory Johnston/Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

About 1.6 million acres of Great Plains grasslands were destroyed in 2021 alone, according to a recent report, an area the size of Delaware. One …


Social Issues

play sound

Help is available for people looking to break out of a low-wage, "go-nowhere" job because the nonprofit Merit America is expanding its training …

play sound

The University of Wyoming is scrambling to address a major funding cut state legislators passed in a footnote to the state budget. During this …


play sound

Summer temperatures are one more reason for concern by environmental groups about the nuclear waste stored along the Great Lakes. There are three …

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the American Heart Association. It claimed more lives in 2021 than all forms of cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease combined. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

A North Carolina woman is highlighting how important knowing your family history can be in matters of the heart. According to the American Heart …

Social Issues

play sound

New Hampshire ranks first in the nation for overall child well-being but trauma and pandemic-related learning loss continue to impact students…

Environment

play sound

Walk through a store or schools, and there's a chance the overhead lighting will come from long fluorescent tubes. Minnesota is taking steps to phase …

 

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