Wednesday, October 19, 2022 |  Kaiser Health News

Wednesday, October 19, 2022 | Kaiser Health News

White House Reveals Funds To Boost 24/7 Mental Health Care

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra revealed millions of dollars in grants, which will go toward all-hour mental health care and substance abuse care across the US Separately, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy also spoke on the issue of mental health care for young people in need.

AP: Biden Administration Seeks To Expand 24/7 Mental Health Care

The government announced plans Tuesday to award millions of dollars in grants to expand all-hours mental health and substance abuse care in more communities around the country. “Today we’re talking about providing to Americans 24/7 support for crisis care,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said. “That’s something that’s only been available to some, in some places. But depending on your income and ZIP code, you could be totally out of luck. That’s going to start to change.” (Seitz, 10/19)

Columbus Dispatch: In Columbus, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy Urges Mental Health Care

“How do we answer the question: Are we taking care of our kids?” said Murthy, a doctor and vice admiral who was the first surgeon general of Indian descent when he first served as US surgeon general under President Obama. “…Right now, our kids are telling us very clearly that they are struggling and it’s up to us to collectively respond.” (Filby, 10/18)

How pandemic lockdowns affected mental health —

The Wall Street Journal: Inmate Suicides Rose Sharply In US Prisons, Jails During Pandemic

Suicides in prisons and jails across the US have risen sharply over the past two years, data collected by The Wall Street Journal show, a trend that officials and inmate advocates say is driven in part by the increased isolation of inmates during the pandemic, more abuse of drugs including fentanyl and staff shortages. (Maher and Frosch, 10/18)

CIDRAP: Study: Early State Lockdowns Not Tied To Worse Mental Health

New research from the American Psychological Association (APA) shows that various state restrictions and lockdowns imposed during the first 6 months of the pandemic were not related to worsening mental health. The study is published in Health Psychology. (10/18)

On the high cost of mental health care —

KHN: Kids’ Mental Health Care Leaves Parents In Debt And In The Shadows

Rachel and her husband adopted Marcus out of Guatemalan foster care as a 7-month-old infant and brought him home to Lansing, Michigan. With a round face framed by a full head of dark hair, Marcus was giggly and verbal — learning names of sea animals off flashcards, impressing other adults. But in preschool, Marcus began resisting school, throwing himself on the ground, or pretending to be sick — refusals that got more intense and difficult to deal with. His parents sought therapy for him. Rachel and her husband had some savings for retirement, college, and emergencies; at first, the cost of Marcus’ therapy was not an issue. “We didn’t realize where it was going,” Rachel said. (Noguchi, 10/19)

The Boston Globe: Healey To Provide Settlement Money To Ease ER Boarding Crisis

The $2.9 million grant program will hand out awards of up to $250,000 over a two-year period to non-profits to create, expand or sustain the mental health services they provide. The goal is to ease the crisis of mental health patients boarding, sometimes for days, in hospital emergency rooms as they wait for a psychiatric inpatient bed to become available. (Bartlett, 10/18)

In related news about health insurance coverage and the ACA —

Axios: Hill Dems Frustrated With Biden Inaction On “Junk” Health Insurance

The Biden administration is catching flak from congressional Democrats upset that it hasn’t limited “short-term” health insurance plans that can erode the Affordable Care Act’s insurance markets. (Sullivan, 10/19)

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