Renuka Rayasam

Texas Revamps ‘Active-Shooter’ Drills at K-12 Schools to Minimize Trauma

KHN Original

School lockdown drills are designed to prepare students for violent threats. But for some students, especially those with special needs, the drills can trigger or exacerbate mental health problems. Texas is taking a step toward balancing safety and mental health with new regulations around how the drills are conducted. “If some kids are coming away traumatized or we’re magnifying existing trauma, we’re not moving in the right direction,” one expert says.

In Jackson, the Water Is Back, but the Crisis Remains

KHN Original

Unsafe water and all that comes with it — constant vigilance, extra expenses, and hassle — complicate every aspect of daily life for residents of Jackson, Mississippi. Health advocates say stress exacerbates underlying health problems. That is why a free clinic in one of Jackson’s poorest neighborhoods has been organizing water giveaways for the past year and a half.

‘Still a Lot of Pain’: Four Years After Mass Shooting, Texas Community Grapples With Fallout

KHN Original

Santa Fe, Texas, was a mental health care desert until a 17-year-old gunman killed 10 people at the local high school in 2018. Now the city, which sits in a rural stretch between Houston and Galveston, has a resiliency center, where anyone affected by the shooting can get free counseling. But even with an influx of mental health care, the community struggles with the aftermath.

Crowdsourced Data on Overdoses Pinpoints Where to Help

KHN Original

University of Texas researchers are testing a program that would allow harm reduction groups to crowdsource data on fatal and nonfatal drug overdoses statewide. While the data relies on word of mouth, they say, it is more comprehensive than anything that exists now and can be used immediately to prevent overdoses.