The New York Times: The chains of mental illness in West Africa
Every society struggles to care for people with mental illness. In parts of West Africa, where psychiatry is virtually unknown, the chain is often a last resort for desperate families who cannot control a loved one in the grip of psychosis. Religious retreats, known as prayer camps, set up makeshift psychiatric wards, usually with prayer as the only intervention. — Benedict Carey (Oct. 11)
PBS NewsHour: Vaccination rates for older adults falling short
“There is hope after addiction. I wish I knew this in college when I started using heroin. I may have also been an intern at the White House, but I was not immune to addiction. Now my mission is to make sure others understand recovery is the promise of a better future.” — Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health News (Sep. 16)
Reuters: Caring for loved one with Alzheimer’s may be most stressful for spouse
The findings suggest that spousal caregivers should receive mental health evaluations at the time that their loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. — Lisa Rapaport (Oct. 2)
Stateline: How heroin is hitting the foster care system
Numbers emerging from the states show how rising heroin use is putting pressure on child-welfare systems. In Vermont, substance use was cited in more than a third of phone calls to the state’s child-protection hotline. Last year, 1,326 Vermont children were in state custody, up 33 percent in one year. — Sophie Quinton (Oct. 9)
USA Today: Patrick Kennedy, “After Roseburg, face up to mental illness, addiction”
Let’s start talking about every problem we have in this country in terms of how it can be addressed through improving diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental illness and addiction. For more problems than you think — health care, criminal justice, employment, homelessness, even the endless cycle of tragic school shootings — it is the only reasonable, evidence-based approach we have never tried. — Former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy of Rhode Island (Oct. 7)
The Washington Post | The Fix: Obamacare mandated better mental health-care coverage. It hasn’t happened.
It turns out that people across the country are struggling to find therapists and psychiatrists who participate in their health insurance plans. They also face more frequent coverage and treatment denials from their health insurance companies for mental health care than for other services and must clear multiple hurdles to maintain a steady supply of mental health care medication. Sometimes, they pay higher out-of-pocket costs for these drugs when compared to others. — Janell Ross (Oct. 7)
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