Kaiser Health News tells the stories of Georgia and the rest of the South. 

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

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.

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

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.

Texas, Battling Teen Pregnancy, Recasts Sex Education Standards

As Texas adjusts to a near-total abortion ban, Texas schools are redoubling efforts to end teen pregnancies by enacting new standards for sexual health education. Beyond focusing on abstinence, they are teaching middle schoolers about contraceptives and preventing sexually transmitted infections. But parents must opt in for their children to get the lessons.

New Abortion Laws Jeopardize Cancer Treatment for Pregnant Patients

As abortion restrictions take effect across the South in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, cancer doctors are trying to decipher the laws. They’re grappling with how to discuss options with pregnant patients, who may be forced to choose whether to proceed or forgo lifesaving cancer treatments that can prove toxic for the fetus.

Southern States’ Lackluster Monkeypox Efforts Leave LGBTQ+ Groups Going It Alone

The gay community is disproportionally affected by the monkeypox outbreak, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says public health efforts should prioritize gay and bisexual men. But in the South, some LGBTQ+ advocates fear that this is not happening consistently. They say they are having to take matters into their own hands in the absence of a coordinated response from state governments.