Different Takes: Here’s How To Fix The Baby Formula Crisis; How Concerned Should We Be About Monkeypox?
Editorial writers weigh in on the baby formula shortage, monkeypox and mental health issues.
The Washington Post:
Baby Formula Supply Shortages Continue As Key Problems Remain
The baby formula crisis is still here, and the latest data shows an alarming sign that it is getting worse. The in-stock rate for powdered baby formula was 76.5 percent for the week ending June 12, according to research firm IRI. That’s down from 79 percent in early May, when the shortage became a major story. In yet another blow, Abbott Nutrition once again had to halt production at its infamous Michigan plant that produces specialty formula after severe thunderstorms caused flooding in the plant. (6/19)
We Should Heed The Warning Behind Monkeypox
Monkeypox is a viral disease, distantly related to its far more deadly cousin, smallpox. So far this year, it has been discovered in dozens of countries that are generally not familiar with monkeypox, with about 113 cases in the U.S., 15 of them in Illinois. First documented in people in Africa in 1970, monkeypox has probably been circulating in central and west Africa for decades. It gained its name because it was originally discovered in monkeys. (Cory Franklin and Robert A. Weinstein, 6/20)
The Boston Globe:
Fund Behavioral Health Clinics To Avoid The ER Boarding Crisis
Much has been said recently about the state’s behavioral health boarding crisis: Patients who arrive at a hospital emergency department in crisis can be kept there for days or even weeks waiting for a psychiatric bed to become available. Rather than addressing only the lack of pediatric and adult psychiatric inpatient beds, policy makers would be wise to strengthen the system’s front end — the behavioral health clinics where patients often first seek treatment before their illness becomes acute. These outpatient sites are beset with a number of challenges, including the most constrained workforce in decades and reimbursement rates, from both public and private health plans, that are inadequate to both retain and recruit clinical staff. (Lydia Conley, 6/20)
Pandemic Has Detrimental Effect On Children's Mental Health
As parents across Ohio know well, the COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching negative impacts on the health and well-being of children and their families. Increased isolation, economic instability, and gaps in in-person education have had detrimental effects on early childhood and school-age mental and behavioral health. The full extent of the pandemic’s impact will take time to discern. However, it is clear that our youngest Ohioans and their families have been and are in crisis. Nearly seven in 10 Ohio parents with children under age 5 said they are worried about the mental or emotional health of their children. Only two out of five Ohio children were ready for kindergarten during the 2020-21 school year. (Shannon Jones, Nick Lashutka and Lisa A. Gray, 6/18)
Guns And Mental Illnesses Don't 'Cause' Mass Shootings. Poor Access To Care Does
Once again, Americans are reeling from the shock and horror of a mass shooting at an elementary school. The tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, which left 19 children dead, is horrifying. But despite the statements of many politicians, it is not unimaginable. In fact, as of early June, there have been 33 additional mass shootings across the country since the Uvalde tragedy. Still, the scale of the violence and the youth of the victims in Uvalde has left many incredibly shaken, searching for both explanations and solutions. (Tamir Aldad, 6/20)
Why Social Media Makes People Unhappy--And Simple Ways To Fix It
Disrupted sleep, lower life satisfaction and poor self-esteem are just a few of the negative mental health consequences that research has linked to social media. Somehow the same platforms that can help people feel more connected and knowledgeable also contribute to loneliness and disinformation. What succeeds and fails, computer scientists argue, is a function of how these platforms are designed. Amanda Baughan, a graduate student specializing in human-computer interaction, a subfield of computer science, at the University of Washington, believes that interdisciplinary research could inform better social platforms and apps. At the 2022 Association for Computing Machinery Computer-Human Interaction (CHI) Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in May, she presented findings from a recent project that explored how social media triggers what psychologists call “dissociation,” or a state of reduced self-reflection and narrowed attention. Baughan spoke with Mind Matters editor Daisy Yuhas to explain how and why apps need to change to give the people who use them greater power. (Daisy Yuhas, 6/20)