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Finding mental health care where traditional healers still thrive

Before the sun rises, psychiatric nurse Immaculate Owembabazi makes her way to a small district hospital in the rural village of Kisoro, Uganda. Sister Immaculate, as everyone calls her, lives up to her namesake. Each morning, she greets patients in her uniform -– a tailored dress, hair combed neatly into a tight bun, and a radiant smile. Despite her cheerful demeanor, Sister Immaculate struggles with depression, the leading cause of disability worldwide, which affects one out of every six adults in the United States. While caring for patients as a…

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Trump plan: Less health insurance for lower premiums

The Trump administration spelled out a plan on Tuesday to lower the cost of health insurance: give consumers the option of buying less coverage in exchange for reduced premiums. The proposed regulations would expand an alternative to the comprehensive medical plans required under former President Barack Obama’s health law. Individuals could buy so-called “short-term” policies for up to 12 months. But the coverage would omit key consumer protections and offer fewer benefits, making it unattractive for people with health problems. The plans would come with a disclaimer that they don’t…

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'Black Panther' and mental health in the Black community

Black Panther signals a revolutionary moment –- not only in its implications for Black culture, but also for Black mental health. “At a very basic level, representation affects people’s identity,” said Dr. Ruth Shim, Director of Cultural Psychiatry and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at University of California, Davis. “Having positive representations and people reflecting the diversity of what they can be and experience can be protective against depression and anxiety stemming from negative images.” Indeed, Black representation in pop culture has expanded in recent years. Television shows…

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Oregon House OKs health care as a right, funding questioned

Oregon’s Legislature took a step Tuesday toward enshrining the right to health care in the state Constitution, a move that would be unprecedented in the United States but raises serious funding questions. The House of Representatives’ 35-25 endorsement of the bill sends it to the state Senate, whose approval would put the proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot for Oregon voters in the November election. The move comes as the Trump administration has tried to dismantle former President Barack Obama’s health care law. If the Senate passes the bill, voters…

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Queensland Health 'too slow' to act on suicide prevention guidelines

Queensland Health is taking too long to turn recommendations to prevent suicide into practical health treatment, according to the state’s new Mental Health Commissioner. Coroner Kevin Priestly this week revealed it took Queensland Health two years to turn recommendations from an investigation in Townsville into statewide guidelines. Queensland Health is too slow is changing hospital care to tackle suicides: new Mental Health Commissioner Photo: supplied Mental Health Commissioner Ivan Frkovic said Queensland Health was too slow, in “some cases”, in taking recommendations from coroners and using them reduce suicide into practical…

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Schools struggle to get mental health help, says survey

A survey of UK head teachers has found that nearly half are struggling to get mental health support for their pupils. A total of 45% of 655 of school leaders quizzed by children’s mental health charity Place2Be said it was a problem. One mother, who did receive support from her local school after a friend suggested she should ask for help, told the BBC how a violent incident with her son at home was a tipping point. “The final straw came when he tried to push me down the stairs,”…

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AP count: Nearly 11.8M enroll for Obama health law in 2018

Call it the political equivalent of a death-defying escape: former President Barack Obama’s health care law pulled in nearly 11.8 million customers for 2018, despite the Republican campaign to erase it from the books. An Associated Press count found that nationwide enrollment was about 3 percent lower than last year. California, with more than 1.5 million sign-ups, was the last state to report, announcing its numbers on Wednesday. Sixteen states increased their enrollment from last year, according to AP’s analysis. Six of those were carried by President Donald Trump in…

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