Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
New research reveals that Americans’ fear about the dangers of those suffering with mental health problems is increasing as leaders and politicians continue to emphasize those myths. On World Mental Health Day, media outlets examined this and other topics relevant to the global conversation.
Denver is considering adopting a new 911 alternative used in Eugene, Ore., that allows mental health and medical professionals, not police officers, to respond to some emergency calls, saving money and de-escalating situations with mentally ill people.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is out with new guidelines on ADHD that some hoped would boost the role of behavioral interventions before medications. But the AAP stuck by its recommendation that children 6 and older should be given medicine combined with therapy after diagnosis.
Other major cities have lowered the number of suicides in their police forces with aggressive mental health initiatives, including efforts to remove the stigma of seeking counseling by making therapists visible and readily available. But an uptick in suicides this year has shined a light on where the department is falling short when it comes to addressing its mental health crisis. In other mental health news: a 3-digit suicide line, suicides in prisons, and mental health care on college campuses.
Opinion writers weigh in on these health topics and others.
Oftentimes soldiers and veterans with PTSD will try to hide the symptoms. But an accurate blood test would mean all troops who return from combat would get an objective screening. The blood test couldn’t definitively diagnose PTSD, but it would alert doctors to the need for further screening. Meanwhile, some veterans are taking up beekeeping to relieve anxiety.
Mental health takes center stage on World Suicide Prevention Day.
The trials, done by the drug’s maker Johnson & Johnson, might yield important treatment information for severely depressed patients because other treatments can take weeks to go into effect. Mental health news looks at suicide rates, telemedicine, positive relationships early in life, and first responders, as well.
The report from HHS’ internal watchdog found that children separated from their families under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy did not receive adequate mental health care while in U.S. custody. Some children refused to eat or participate in shelter activities. Some cried inconsolably. Many believed their parents abandoned them or were killed, the report states. The report made six recommendations to improve conditions, including limiting the amount of time children are held.
“Despite the state’s episodic improvement, it operates a system that unlawfully discriminates against persons with serious mental illness,” said U.S. District Judge Carlton W. Reeves in his 61-page report. Reeves ordered both the U.S. Department of Justice, which brought the lawsuit in 2016, and the state of Mississippi to submit names of potential special masters to oversee improvements within 30 days.
Opinion writers weigh in on these public health issues and others.
The new law, a response to escalating suicide rates among teens, is intended to ensure students know that immediate help is available if they need it.
Thomas Insel, who ran the National Institute of Mental Health for 13 years before casting his lot with Silicon Valley, is taking a temporary break from his senior position at a health care startup to advise Gov. Gavin Newsom on how to remake mental health care in the Golden State.
Talking about your mental health on social media is a thing, and it could actually help.
MDMA, the psychoactive ingredient in the club drug known as molly or ecstasy, is being tested in combination with therapy as a treatment for severe trauma.
Opinion writers weigh in on health care topics impacting children.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) accused Big Tech of embracing “a business model of addiction.” His bill doesn’t go as far as outright banning social media platforms, but it proposes regulatory measures that would force users to actively choose to engage for prolonged periods rather than being mindlessly sucked into the void.
The emergence of suicide survivor-driven advocacy has changed the prevention landscape, where too often talking about past attempts changed how survivors thought they were perceived. “Survivors were seen as people to be studied, rather than partnered with,” said Ursula Whiteside, a researcher with the University of Washington. Now, the lived experience survivors bring to the table is being recognized as beneficial to the movement.
Seven officers have died by suicide so far this year, including five since June. After one of those deaths last month, Commissioner James O’Neill referred to the deaths as a “mental health crisis” that the NYPD and “the law enforcement profession as a whole must take action.”
News from across the country focuses on young people’s mental health issues, the psychological toll of racism, bed shortages, prison care, and more.