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  • How The Eastern Cherokee Took Control Of Their Health Care
    CHEROKEE, N.C. — Light pours through large windows and glass ceilings of the Cherokee Indian Hospital onto a fireplace, a waterfall and murals. Rattlesnake Mountain, which the Cherokee elders say holds ancient healing powers, is visible from most angles. The hospital’s motto — “Ni hi tsa tse li” or “It belongs to you” — is written in Cherokee syllabary on the wall at the main entrance. “It doesn’t look like a hospital, and it doesn’t feel like a hospital,” Kristy Nations said on a recent visit to pick up medications at the pharmacy. “It actually feels good to be here.” Profits from... Read more »
  • Employers Urged To Find New Ways To Address Workers’ Mental Health
    In the middle of a work project at a global corporate consulting firm, Katherine Switz was gripped with a debilitating bout of anxiety. Her body froze, her heart raced, her chest tightened, and her mind went blank, which made it nearly impossible for her to concentrate on a computer screen and do her work. The anxiety lasted three months, likely related to her bipolar disorder. During that time, she felt unable to ask for help from her employers or co-workers, afraid that her poor performance would get her fired or passed over for promotion. “I didn’t know how to ask for help.... Read more »
  • KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Biden Doubles Down On Obamacare
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  • ‘Climate Grief’: Fears About The Planet’s Future Weigh On Americans’ Mental Health
    [UPDATED on July 22] Therapist Andrew Bryant says the landmark United Nations climate report last October brought a new mental health concern to his patients. “I remember being in sessions with folks the next day. They had never mentioned climate change before, and they were like, ‘I keep hearing about this report,’” Bryant said. “Some of them expressed anxious feelings, and we kept talking about it over our next sessions.” The study, conducted by the world’s leading climate scientists, said that if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate, by 2040 the Earth will have warmed by 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees... Read more »
  • Biden Calling ACA A ‘Breakthrough’ For Mental Health Parity Only Highlights Gaps
    “We made parity between mental health and physical health. It was a fundamental breakthrough in how we thought about how things should work.” Joe Biden, former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful, in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo on July 8, 2019 In a sit-down interview with CNN, 2020 Democratic presidential primary candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden touted the Obama administration’s passage of the Affordable Care Act, asserting that this law evened out the playing field when it came to insurance coverage of mental and physical health. This fact check was produced in partnership with PolitiFact. This story can be republished... Read more »
  • Sobering Up: In An Alcohol-Soaked Nation, More Seek Booze-Free Social Spaces
    [UPDATED on July 9] ST. LOUIS — Not far from the Anheuser-Busch brewery, Joshua Grigaitis fills a cooler with bottles and cans in one of the city’s oldest bars. It’s Saturday night, and the lights are low. Frank Sinatra’s crooning voice fills the air, along with the aroma of incense. The place has all the makings of a swank boozy hangout. Except for the booze. Pop’s Blue Moon bar, a fixture of this beer-loving city since 1908, has joined an emerging national trend: alcohol-free spaces offering social connections without peer pressure to drink, hangovers or DUIs. From boozeless bars to substance-free zones at... Read more »
  • Florida Is The Latest Republican-Led State To Adopt Clean Needle Exchanges
    A green van was parked on the edge of downtown Miami, on a corner shadowed by overpasses. The vehicle serves as a mobile health clinic and syringe exchange, where people who inject drugs like heroin and fentanyl could swap dirty needles for fresh ones. One of the clinic’s regular visitors, a man with heavy black arrows tattooed on his arms, waited on the sidewalk to get clean needles. “I’m Arrow,” he said, introducing himself. “Pleasure.” This mobile unit in Miami-Dade County is part of the IDEA Exchange, the only legal needle exchange program operating in the state. But Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis,... Read more »
  • State Lawmakers Eye Federal Dollars To Boost Mental Health Counseling By Peers
    It’s 1 p.m. on a balmy Oakland afternoon as residents of Great Expectations Residential Care, a home for people with mental illness, gather in an activity room for a game of bingo. Lee Frierson, an unpaid volunteer, introduces himself as he and his team leader, Charlie Jones, unpack chips, soda, batteries and shampoo that they will hand out as prizes. “I’m Lee with Reach Out,” Frierson says. “I’m a peer. I suffer from depression. It helps me to help you guys.” “And I’m Charlie the angel,” Jones says. “We go to board-and-cares and psychiatric and wellness facilities to inspire hope and model recovery.” A... Read more »
  • In Secret, Seniors Discuss ‘Rational Suicide’
    Ten residents slipped away from their retirement community one Sunday afternoon for a covert meeting in a grocery store cafe. They aimed to answer a taboo question: When they feel they have lived long enough, how can they carry out their own swift and peaceful death? The seniors, who live in independent apartments at a high-end senior community near Philadelphia, showed no obvious signs of depression. They’re in their 70s and 80s and say they don’t intend to end their lives soon. But they say they want the option to take “preemptive action” before their health declines in their later years,... Read more »
  • Meth In The Morning, Heroin At Night: Inside The Seesaw Struggle of Dual Addiction
    In the 25 years since she snorted her first line of meth at a club in San Francisco, Kim has redefined “normal” so many times. At first, she said, it seemed like meth brought her back to her true self — the person she was before her parents divorced, and before her stepfather moved in. “I felt normal when I first did it, like, ‘Oh! There I am,’” she said. Kim is 47 now, and she has been chasing normal her entire adult life. That chase has brought her to some dark places, so she asked us not to use her last... Read more »