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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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AL nonprofit urges Medicaid expansion to save rural hospitals; Harris skipping Netanyahu address shows daylight with Biden on Israeli leader; Biden to give first speech since dropping out of race; IN students face stricter attendance rules, new reading requirements; New Missouri law ensures medication access.

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Kamala Harris builds momentum toward nomination and vets potential Veeps. She and Trump take aggressive stances, as plans for a September debate continue. Sen. Bob Menendez says he'll resign, but will also appeal his corruption conviction.

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There's a gap between how rural and urban folks feel about the economy, Colorado's 'Rural is Rad' aims to connect outdoor businesses, more than a dozen of Maine's infrastructure sites face repeated flooding, and chocolate chip cookies rock August.

988 mental health crisis line celebrates 2nd anniversary

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Monday, July 1, 2024   

The country's new 988 mental health response system turns two years old this month and a new report praised California's implementation while calling for more investment.

The report from the nonprofit mental health advocacy organization Inseparable showed California needs a total of about 400 mobile response teams, which dispatch a mental health professional and often a peer counselor, instead of police.

Keris Myrick, vice president of partnerships and innovation at Inseparable, said people can call 988 instead of 911 for anything affecting their mental health.

"If you're struggling with loneliness, if you're feeling suicidal," Myrick explained. "Many people say 'I'm at the end of my rope,' and they just need somebody to talk to get them through that moment."

The 988 hotline in California received almost 38,000 calls in May alone. The report found the state will need up to 2,100 crisis receiving chairs and 1,850 short-term crisis residential beds. The report commended the state for its system financing, accountability and large, diverse policy advisory board.

Before we had the 988 system, police often had to respond to mental health crises.

Angela Kimball, chief advocacy officer for Inseparable, said one in five fatal police shootings involve someone with mental illness.

"The consequence of not having the right response is literally people going without help, being turned out onto the streets, being in jail, being in emergency departments being hospitalized, or tragically having their life end," Kimball outlined. "There's a much better way to do this."

The report called on California to streamline the process for billing private insurance as well as Medicaid.

Disclosure: Inseparable contributes to our fund for reporting on Criminal Justice, Health Issues, Mental Health, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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