Mental Health

Latest Kaiser Health News Stories

States Opting Out of a Federal Program That Tracks Teen Behavior as Youth Mental Health Worsens

KHN Original

Colorado, Florida, and Idaho are the latest states to opt out of a survey that tracks concerning behaviors in high school students. Officials cite low participation and state laws that require parental permission. But some advocates say dwindling state participation is an “enormous loss” that will make it harder to track signs of poor mental health — like drug and alcohol misuse and suicidal ideation — among teens.

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.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Biden Hits the Road to Sell Democrats’ Record

KHN Original

With the midterm elections rapidly approaching, President Joe Biden has taken to the road to convince voters that he and congressional Democrats have delivered for them during two years in power. Among the health issues highlighted by the administration this week are pandemic preparedness and the availability of over-the-counter hearing aids. The president also promised to sign a bill codifying the abortion protections of Roe v. Wade if Democrats maintain control of the House and Senate — even though it’s a long shot that there will be enough votes for that. Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call, and Mary Agnes Carey of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these topics and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Looking Ahead to the Lame-Duck Session

KHN Original

Congress won’t be back in Washington until after Election Day, but lawmakers have left themselves a long list of items to finish up in November and December, including unfinished health care policies. Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call; Jessie Hellmann, also of CQ Roll Call; and Mary Agnes Carey of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these topics and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Sam Whitehead, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about a family who tried to use urgent care to save money, but ended up with a big emergency room bill anyway.

At This Recovery Center, Police Cope With the Mental Health Costs of the Job

KHN Original

Burnout, PTSD, depression, and substance misuse are rampant among first responders, partly fueled by the anti-police sentiments after the killing of George Floyd. Combined with low morale, the poor state of officers’ mental health has pushed many out of the profession, leaving those who remain exhausted. A handful of specialized treatment facilities are trying to meet demand, but more resiliency training is needed, experts said.