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“Local Produce for Local Food Banks”

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This July 16, 2015 segment on the WNEP-16 News Station talks about how the delay in passing a state budget is impacting a program for connecting farmers with food banks to not only make fresh produce more readily available, but to decrease waste of said produce by decreasing the amount of transporting involved in getting produce to food banks.

I do realize this isn’t exactly a mental health issue, but for the people who rely on help from food banks, having reliable access to food and not worrying as much about where their next meal is coming from can have an impact on their mental health and whether they are able to have the nutrients needed to keep going despite their financial struggles as they try to overcome their situations.

“Depression Remains Important Risk Factor For Cardiovascular Disease”

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This March 7, 2015 MedicalResearch.com article talks about studies that seem to further point to depression as being a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and is beginning to show signs that taking either a statin or an anti-depressant can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease in people with varying degrees of depression.

“Michelle Obama Promotes Awareness of Mental Health Care”

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This March 4, 2015 ABC News article talks about First Lady Michelle Obama’s promotion of mental health care.

“Social Media Fuels New Psychological Insights”

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This March 2, 2015 article on the Psych Central website talks about ongoing research involving data gathered from social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter that seem to be indicating that social media might be a way to find the mental or physical health not only of an individual, but a community.

“Meet Ida May Fuller, recipient of 1st Social Security check”

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This January 30, 2015 AP news article found on the Lancaster Online Website talks about the recipient of the first Social Security check, and offers a stark reminder that without action on the part of the federal government, Social Security Disability will be out of money in 2016.  The rich seem to view the disabled as expendable and as such when costs need cut, the first cuts to occur generally impact the poor, disabled and middle class.  If those on Social Security don’t come together and rally for change, we will remain easy targets for the rich to prey on.

Seal of the United States Social Security Admi...

Seal of the United States Social Security Administration. It appears on Social Security cards. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Gov’t to overhaul Medicare payments to doctors, hospitals”

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This January 26, 2015 Herald-Standard article offers some brief and relatively vague information about changes that Obama has proposed to make to the Medicare Program which provides health care

English: Cropped version of File:Official port...

English: Cropped version of File:Official portrait of Barack Obama.jpg. The image was cropped at a 3:4 portrait ratio, it was slightly sharpened and the contrast and colors were auto-adjusted in photoshop. This crop, in contrast to the original image, centers the image on Obama’s face and also removes the flag that takes away the focus from the portrait subject. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

coverage to Seniors and people with disabilities.

I found a Fact Sheet on the CMS website that offers more information about the changes being made to Medicare

“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)

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