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Latest Kaiser Health News Stories

Taking The Cops Out Of Mental Health-Related 911 Rescues

KHN Original

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.

‘We Have Allowed This To Fester For Too Long’: NYC Police Force Lags Behind Peers In Addressing Mental Health Issues

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

One Of Trickiest Factors In Treating Vets’ PTSD Is Diagnosing It. But A Promising Blood Test Could Change That.

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

‘Every Heartbeat Hurts’: Inspector General Report Details Amplified Trauma For Immigrant Kids Separated From Families

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

Judge Blasts Mississippi’s Mental Health System Saying State Violated Federal Civil Rights Laws

KHN Morning Briefing

“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.

Suicide Prevention Movement Is Often Driven By Family, Friends. But More And More Survivors Are Talking About Their Pasts.

KHN Morning Briefing

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.