skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Sunday, March 3, 2024

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

Democracy Trailblazers ignite enthusiasm among teen voters; CA monster blizzard batters Tahoe, Mammoth, Sierra amid avalanche warnings; MN transportation sector could be next in line for carbon-free standard; IN teachers 'stunned' by lawmakers' bid to bypass collective bargaining.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Nikki Haley says she may not endorse the GOP nominee, President Biden says the U-S will continue air-dropping aid into Gaza and more states look at ditching the electoral college for a national popular vote.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

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
House Bill passed with an overwhelming vote of 94-6, with three abstentions. Its companion, Senate Bill 159, passed unanimously with a vote of 34-0. (Chad Robertson/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

The Alabama House and Senate both passed bills this week that would help people resume in vitro fertilization and provide legal protections for provid…


Environment

play sound

It's early in the season for wildfires in Nebraska, but dozens of firefighters have already been battling a large wildfire near North Platte for …

Social Issues

play sound

A new report finds some Missouri laws and prospective laws are perceived as discriminatory regardless of their actual intent - and it outlines some bi…


Many transmission projects already follow highway corridors, but depending on the state, policy experts say laws can make it harder to add new power lines along federal interstates. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

By Frank Jossi for Energy News Network.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the Joyce Foundation-Public News Ser…

Environment

play sound

By Claire Carlson, John Upton and Kaitlyn Trudeau for The Daily Yonder.Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Oregon News Service for the Public …

From book bans to teacher qualifications, a new national report from the Network of Public Education examines the laws and policies that support or undermine each state's public schools and the students who attend them. (Pixabay)

Social Issues

play sound

A new Network for Public Education report grades Florida an "F" for its public school funding. As Florida lawmakers negotiate the state budget in …

Social Issues

play sound

As members of Congress and presidential candidates battle it out over immigration, a group of Nevada leaders and experts dedicated to advancing …

Social Issues

play sound

A bill in Olympia would open access to unemployment while workers are on strike, but time is running out for lawmakers to pass the legislation…

 

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