By William JA Pinnock
This week’s Link Round Up is, to be honest, a bit of a bummer, but we do end on a positive note so that’s something! This week we are going to (take a deep breath for this list) look at the mental health crisis in rural America, then look at mental health care in Oregon, next we take a dive into what is in the American Health Care Act (AKA Republican health care bill), and finally, congratulate Virginia Garcia on their new clinic! This one is an emotional rollercoaster.
Here’s a statistic: 60% of rural Americans live in areas where there is a mental health professional shortage. Want another? 65% of rural Americans seek mental health care from their primary care physician. I know you are craving another, so here is one more: “90% of all psychologists and psychiatrists work exclusively in metropolitan areas.” The issue with mental healthcare in rural America is a complex one that Compass Behavioral Health in Garden City has broken down into three key areas: Availability, Accessibility, and Acceptability. Read more about mental healthcare in rural America and the steps that Compass and the Iroquois Center for Human Development are taking to improve this situation.
In Oregon, 624,000 people live with a mental illness. To put in perspective: 1 in 5 Oregonians has a mental illness and one of those people was Jason Peterson who was shot and killed in February. Jason’s story is a tragic tale of how a person with a mental illness can get lost to society. Though Oregon is said to have “average access to mental healthcare” it is not enough if situations like Jason’s are happening. This is why State Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer introduced legislation that would increase the amount of mental health facilities and housing in Oregon. This legislation hopes to prevent tragedies like the one that befell Jason. Read more about healthcare in Oregon and the bill here.
Last week the Republicans narrowly pushed their new healthcare legislation through the House of Representatives, this resulted in a myriad of reactions, and maybe you are wondering why. Well, OPB published a succinct synopsis of what is in the American Health Care Act and you can see what the frustration is about.
Community Research Laboratory would like to give a shout out AND congratulations to Virginia Garcia Memorial Health who is opening up a new women’s clinic next week! Read about the clinic here.