Sunday, September 26, 2021

Play

New Yorkers voice concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional and state voting districts; and providers ask the Supreme Court to act on Texas' new abortion law.

Play

The January 6th committee subpoenas former Trump officials; a Senate showdown looms over the debt ceiling; the CDC okays COVID boosters for seniors; and advocates testify about scams targeting the elderly.

Play

A new Oklahoma museum honors tribal nations, while Iowa's history is back on the blacktop; mixed news on COVID-19 comes with a warning about unconventional drugs; and electric cars and buses are coming to rural America.

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
The climate resilience package includes $1.5 billion for measures to better defend the state against wildfires. (Peter Buschmann/U.S. Forest Service)

Environment

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Climate activists are praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a $15 billion climate action package Thursday, but argued he …


Social Issues

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Some New Yorkers are voicing concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional, State Senate and …

Social Issues

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan advocates for children and families are praising many of the investments in the 2022 state budget passed this week…


According to the World Health Organization, about one in six people age 60 years and older experienced some form of abuse in community settings during the past year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

DES MOINES, Iowa -- There is strong public support in Iowa to enact a state law that criminalizes elder abuse, a topic also being discussed by law …

Environment

SALT LAKE CITY -- A researcher at the University of Utah said plans for generating renewable energy should include a power source right under our feet…

Roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants reside in the United States. (JP Photography/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CHICAGO -- Advocates for immigrants and refugees in Illinois traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to push for a pathway to citizenship for up to …

Environment

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas produces more rice than any other state, and a new grant will help farmers explore ways to transition the industry to …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota lawmakers in charge of redistricting have approved a preliminary draft of new legislative boundaries, but voters' …

 

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