Sunday, August 14, 2022

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Voting-rights groups sue AZ to block 'Election Security' Bills; U.S House vote expected today on the new Inflation Reduction Act; the Attorney General moves to release details on search of Trump s home.

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Local election officials detail how election misinformation is fueling threats; Media outlets ask a court to unseal the search warrant of Donald Trump's home; and the CDC changes its approach to COVID-19.

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Infrastructure funding is on its way, ranchers anticipate money from the Inflation Reduction Act, and rural America is becoming more diverse, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the leadership.

More Can Be Done to Boost Youth Mental Health in CT, U.S.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2022   

Connecticut ranks among the top 10 states in offering access to mental health services for its youth population, according to the latest report from Mental Health America, but advocates said more could be done.

The Children's Hospital Association said in 2020, early in the pandemic, there was a 24% increase in mental health emergency department visits for kids ages 5-11.

Bob Duncan, chief operating officer for Connecticut Children's Medical Center and Health System, said strengthening Medicaid's mental health investment is needed, and the nation needs more providers in the pediatric mental health system.

"We don't have enough psychologists and psychiatrists to meet the demand needed," Duncan observed. "Currently, there are 10 child psychiatrists per 100,000 kids. It is estimated that we need 47 per 100,000 kids."

He shared his findings as part of a coalition which met this month with members of Congress and the Secretary of Health and Human Services. However, Duncan thinks the divisive political landscape could stand in the way of facing these challenges promptly and agreeing on dollar amounts for funding improvements to the system.

Duncan wants to expand telehealth services as a way to reach kids in different parts of the state. In the meantime, he added there are ways for adults to help the children in their lives.

He recommended parents develop a relationship with their pediatrician and seek out a psychologist, if necessary. And he pointed out parents' first and most important step has been available all along: to talk with their children.

"Families have a chance to take time and spend time at home with their kids, and can see some of the things that their kids may have been struggling with that -- in a typical environment, when the kids were in school -- they wouldn't have seen," Duncan noted. "Taking time and creating an atmosphere where kids can talk to their parents, to express what they're feeling."

He remains hopeful the overall picture for kids' mental health will improve over time, but he acknowledged the stigma persists, and keeps people of all ages from talking openly about mental health.


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