Posts Tagged: mental
A hiker takes a break during the pandemic. (Photo: Leah-Anne Thompson, via Shutterstock.
OPINION: The coronavirus pandemic is taking a toll on public health, a toll that extends well beyond those who have been infected by the virus. Nearly all of us have experienced or witnessed the effects: increased stress, heightened anxiety, at least a bit of depression. These conditions are to be expected given the isolation and disruption of our daily lives.
The state Capitol in Sacramento, the seat of California government. (Photo: Always Wanderlust, via Shutterstock)
Landmark legislation to improve California’s notoriously fractured mental-health system has been passed and sent to the governor in the waning days of a chaotic legislative session disrupted by the COVID pandemic. “This package of legislation is a game-changer,” said Maggie Merritt, executive director of the Steinberg Institute.
Three happy fathers walking in the park with thier children. (Photo: Olesia Bilkei, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: The Talk. Read. Sing.® campaign’s singing birds have been coaching us on one key note: the first years of each child’s life are a game changer. That’s because 90% of a child’s brain development happens before the age of five. However, there’s also a narrow window in a newborn baby’s life when bonding with a parent has a profound impact on their development and future success — making those first few months matter, too.
Kaiser Permanente workers picketing during a five-day strike in December. (Photo: National Union of Healthcare Workers) United Healthcare Workers
Mental health workers at Kaiser Permanente have overwhelmingly rejected a contract offer — a move that followed months of negotiations between Kaiser and the National Union of Healthcare Workers. Negotiations between Kaiser and NUHW are continuing.
A depressed man alone at sunset, saddened by life. (Photo: songpholt, via Shutterstock)
Behavioral health is a touchy subject for many. For some, there is a stigma attached to receiving mental health care. Sometimes, help is hard to find. Understanding the roots of a behavioral problem can be difficult, and there are additional barriers of cost, insurance coverage and the amount of time that must be invested to visit a mental health specialist.
A depressed man sits alone on a park bench. (Photo: Mikael Damkier)
OPINION: Nearly two decades ago, California raised the bar for our state’s wellness by requiring insurers to equally cover services for both physical and mental health conditions. Now a national standard, California’s groundbreaking Mental Health Parity law was among the first to recognize how grave inequities in the form of higher co-pays or fewer allowable visits diminish wellness and productivity.
Close to 1.2 million adults in California live with serious mental illnesses. Each one of these cases is an individual—a parent or sibling or child—and no two people battling the same condition respond to the same treatment alike. Treating mental conditions—and in fact, treating all illnesses—has to be based on the fact that every person is unique and each patient requires therapies that suit him or her best.
A child getting vaccinated. (Photo: Thinkstock, Dimitry Naumov)
The Kaiser study found that, on an individual level, under-immunization—where a child misses one or more of the required doses before age 3—was higher in neighborhoods with more families in poverty as well as those with more graduate degrees. But even after adjusting for factors such as race and income, the study still found statistically significant geographic clusters of under-immunization.
OPINION: During his 14 years in the Legislature, Darrell Steinberg has been an exemplary public servant and, arguably, the state’s greatest legislative champion of this marginalized and, oftentimes, stigmatized population. He achieved unprecedented success in expanding mental health services.
Irene Gomez, manager of a domestic violence and mental health outreach program for indigenous farmworkers in Oxnard, helps a client. (Photo: Scott Erickson.)
Although many counties have programs that provide at least some medical care to this population, access to mental health services is extremely limited in most parts of the state. This is despite the fact that indigenous farmworkers are believed to face higher amounts of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder than the general population.