Sunday, June 26, 2022

Play

Pregnancy could now be the only option in Florida, more landmark privacy-related cases are now in the balance, and just how pro-LGBTQ are your local businesses?

Play

Protests erupt after the Supreme Court overturns Roe versus Wade, conservative lawmakers applaud, but a poll finds more than half of Americans call it a step backward, and President Biden signs a gun control measure.

Play

COVID funding kept rural hospitals open, cryptocurrency companies make inroads on the backroads of America, and rural communities' efforts to escape long-term poverty have unintended side effects.

During Mental Health Awareness Month, 'Be There' for Military Vets

Play

Wednesday, May 25, 2022   

May marks both Mental Health Awareness Month and Military Appreciation Month. In Pennsylvania, officials want to ensure that veterans know mental-health and substance-use resources are available.

Pennsylvania is home to nearly 800,000 military veterans, the fourth-largest veteran population in the country.

Rick Hamp, special assistant to the deputy adjutant general for veteran affairs at the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, leads military suicide-prevention efforts in the state. He said veterans sometimes can face stigma if they speak openly about struggles with anxiety or depression. Knowing a loved one supports them can help, Hamp said.

"Always be there for your family members and for those around you," he said. "You know what's normal for a person, and if they don't look normal, don't be afraid to ask the question, 'Are you OK?' That is the start of helping a person. And be ready when they reply, 'No, I'm not.'"

The state recently launched PA VETConnect, a community-based outreach program for veterans to find behavioral and mental-health services and employment opportunities. Veterans in crisis or those who know one can call the Veterans Crisis Line at 800-273-8255 and press 1.

Dr. Rhonda Randall, executive vice president and chief medical officer at United Healthcare, agreed it's important to look out for signs of mental-health challenges in loved ones. That may mean an uncharacteristic disinterest in activities they usually enjoy, a change in sleep patterns or mentioning feelings of hopelessness. She added that it's important for people to seek help from a trusted health professional.

"Mental health is part of our health," she said. "It's a conversation you should be having with your primary-care physician when you go get your annual checkups, especially if you already have an established relationship. And it can be a really good place to start, and also take into context your other medical conditions."

According to the 2022 America's Health Rankings Senior Report from United Health Foundation, drug-related deaths increased by 149% for older adults in Pennsylvania over a 10-year period. Seventy-six percent of Pennsylvania's veterans are age 55 or older.

Disclosure: United Healthcare contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Gov. Kathy Hochul signed Alyssa's Law Thursday, saying it is one of many new safety measures she plans to adopt, to keep New Yorkers safe from gun violence. (Office of the Governor)

Social Issues

Gov. Kathy Hochul has approved a new law, requiring schools to consider installing a silent, panic-alarm system. Approval of what's known as …


Social Issues

Democrats, Republicans and other political parties in Utah hold primary elections Tuesday, and advocates for older voters are promoting the …

Environment

A report from leaders in Washington state lays out how the services of four dams on the lower Snake River could be replaced in order to save ailing sa…


The new AARP Pennsylvania poll finds 87% of voters age 50 years and older say they're "extremely motivated" to vote in the November election. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

There are fewer than five months to go until the November General Election, in which Pennsylvania voters will select a new governor and U.S. Senator…

Health and Wellness

The State of Indiana wants to learn more about Hoosiers' experiences with substance-use disorder and addiction-recovery services. Administered by …

The price of meat has gone up 12.3% in the last year. (Fxquadro/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Seven in 10 Americans view inflation as the most pressing issue facing the nation right now, and in Maine, a new report seeks to explore the causes…

Social Issues

Iowa is getting more than $9 million to improve its system of care for stroke patients, and to address staffing issues among public-health workers in …

Health and Wellness

The Food and Drug Administration could soon ban the manufacture and sale of menthol cigarettes, a move advocates in Ohio said could have a positive …

 

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