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“When Psychiatric Patients Need Medical Treatment”

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This February 8, 2015 Healthy Place article talks about the reality often faced by people with mental illnesses when they seek medical care.

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“Parity for mental health care is still lagging, study says”

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This January 11, 2015 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article talks about the ways that mental health parity is still lagging behind physical health care in terms of access to and the availability of services.  Some of the factors the study uncovered include but were not limited to…. people with mental disorders tend to be at a high risk for being uninsured, and the fact that there is a shortage of mental health professionals (the article indicates there is roughly 1 professional for every 790 people with mental disorders.

One thought I had as I read this particular article was to wonder if there was a connection between the lack of health insurance in the mental health community, and other data that shows a person with a serious mental illness is likely to die 25 years earlier then someone without a mental illness.  Or how about the fact that the majority of the people currently smoking either have a mental illness or are mental health professionals and that the number of smokers in this population isn’t decreasing at the same rate as the decrease in the number of smokers who do not have a mental illness.  The overall health of people in the mental health community seems to be poorer than is seen in the overall population of non-mentally ill people.  I had often wondered what the reason behind these pieces of data were, but after reading this particular article I have to wonder if something as simple as getting people in the mental health community health insurance might be a way to begin to combat this imbalance in the comparison of the overall health of people with and without mental illnesses.  I know that insurance won’t solve every issue, but could it be a starting point?  I’m thinking that if people without mental disorders are more likely to be insured, then that would explain why they tend to be healthier. They would have better or at least more consistent access to health care evaluations, treatment and education then someone who is uninsured would have.

Mental Health Awareness Ribbon

Mental Health Awareness Ribbon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Getting mental health services can be hard, despite law requiring parity”

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This January 5, 2015 Washington Post article talks about the struggles people have with getting mental health care despite the fact there are parity laws that say mental health and physical health should be equal in terms of services provided and insurance coverage of those services

Mental Health Awareness Ribbon

Mental Health Awareness Ribbon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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“As Gov. Corbett transforms Medicaid on Jan. 1, fears, glitches, and now a lawsuit”

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This December 26, 2014 PennLive – The Patriot-News, article talks about the problems occurring with the transition from Medicaid to Gov. Corbett’s Healthy PA which is his Medicaid expansion alternative plan.

“Rebecca Onie: What if our healthcare system kept us healthy?”

This April 2012 TED Talk video talks about what the health care system could look like if a focus is placed on what keeps people healthy as opposed to our current “Sick-care system” as described in the video.

“Pennsylvania becomes 27th state to expand Medicaid”

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This August 29, 2014 article found on GoErie.com talks about Pennsylvania’s adoption of medicaid expansion due in part to pressure from advocacy groups for the poor in the state pressuring the Governor to expand coverage.

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and ...

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and roads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Women vets have a friend in Pennsylvania”

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This August 7, 2014 Pocono Record article talks about efforts being made to better meet the needs of female Veterans in the VA.  Women are advocating for more female specific services in an administration that has been setup with a focus on the medical needs of men.  The article suggests there may be a lack of OB/GYN services in the VA and the not all of them offer this which means women either don’t receive basic care or have to travel further for basic gender based care then their brothers-in-arms would for their gender specific care.

Veterans Memorial

Veterans Memorial (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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