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Rural Mental Health News

News stories from the past 60 days.

For One Rural Community, Fighting Addiction Started With Recruiting The Right Doctor
Dec 9, 2018 - Discusses a rural community in Wisconsin that recruited a doctor who specializes in addiction medicine and together created a program to reduce opioid and other substance abuse rates. The program offers medication-assisted treatment, counseling, group therapy for addiction and underlying mental health issues, case management, transportation to and from the clinic, daycare during appointments, and job placement.
Source: NPR
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Joint Commission Announces New National Patient Safety Goal to Prevent Suicide and Improve At-Risk Patient Care
Dec 5, 2018 - Announced changes to The Join Commission's National Patient Safety Goal requirements, which are applicable to all Joint Commission-accredited hospitals and behavioral healthcare organizations. These requirements aim to improve the quality and safety of care for patients with behavioral health conditions and those identified at high risk for suicide.
Source: The Joint Commission
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Rural Health Expert Weighs In On Latest CDC Report Of U.S. Decrease In Life Expectancy Rate
Nov 30, 2018 - Radio interview with Ted Matthews, a psychologist with Minnesota's Department of Agriculture who provides mental health services to farmers around the state. Discussion focuses on the recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) documenting a decrease in the life expectancy rate in the U.S. attributed in part to drug overdose deaths and suicides. In Minnesota, there has been a 40% increase in suicide in the last 20 years.
Source: NPR
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U.S. Life Expectancy Declines Again, a Dismal Trend Not Seen since World War I
Nov 29, 2018 - Data released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show a continued decline in life expectancy. Suicide and drug overdoses continue to be major factors in the decline, with 2017 drug overdose deaths more than quadruple the number in 1999 and suicide rates increasing by a third between 1999 and 2017. Suicide rates in rural counties are reported to be nearly double that of urban counties for 2017.
Source: The Washington Post
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How Hospitals Are Prioritizing Behavioral Health and Affordable Medication in Rural Communities
Nov 15, 2018 - Highlights two rural hospitals and the work they're doing. One integrated behavioral and physical health services in rural Montana. The other improves access to prescription medications through collaboration in rural Virginia.
Source: American Hospital Association
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Suicide Increasing Among American Workers
Nov 15, 2018 - Highlights the findings of a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) which found that the suicide rate among the US working age population increased 34% during 2000-2016. This new report replaces a retracted report that mistakenly classified farmers, which led to errors in reported suicide numbers and rates by occupational group.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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CMS Announces New Medicaid Demonstration Opportunity to Expand Mental Health Treatment Services
Nov 13, 2018 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced existing and new opportunities for states to design innovative service delivery systems for adults with serious mental illness (SMI) and children with serious emotional disturbance (SED). This includes the ability for states to receive authority to pay for short-term resident treatment services in an institution for mental disease (IMD).
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
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Should Childhood Trauma Be Treated As A Public Health Crisis?
Nov 9, 2018 - Discusses findings from a new study that suggests that it could be more effective to approach childhood trauma as a public health concern than to limit treatment to individuals. The study drew on the experiences of participants in a study that followed 1,420 children from mostly rural parts of western North Carolina, including a high number of Native American participants, over 22 years. Researchers found a clear connection between childhood trauma and adult hardships.
Source: NPR
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Too Few Doctors and Nurses for Veterans in Some Areas
Nov 7, 2018 - Discusses physician vacancies at VA facilities around the country, which can cause long wait times for care. Some of the highest vacancy rates are in highly rural states, where recruiting physicians is already difficult. There are 40,000 vacancies around the country, but the VA is prioritizing filling primary care, internist, women's health, and mental health positions first.
Source: Stateline, Pew Charitable Trusts
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How One Colorado Town Is Tackling Suicide Prevention — Starting With The Kids
Oct 23, 2018 - Features a rural Colorado community that responded to a number of teen suicides with suicide prevention efforts in the schools. Eight of the ten states with the highest rates of suicide are in the mountain west, prompting the region to be called "the suicide belt".
Source: NPR
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Culturally Appropriate Mental Health Care to Address American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Mental Health Disparities
Oct 17, 2018 - Blog post from the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities on the mental health needs of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) people as well as the importance of culturally competent assessment and care. Discusses mental health disparities, historical trauma, and discrimination.
Source: National Partnership for Action Blog
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Last Updated: 12/10/2018