August 27, 2021

Why Many Americans Don’t Receive Mental Health Support

For many Americans, the cost of mental healthcare is still a burden. More than half of the respondents to a recent survey (focusing on people living with chronic mood disorders) said that the cost of mental illness treatments is what is preventing them from trying something they think will help them. About a third of survey participants said that cost was the reason for discontinuing existing support. And more than 40 percent of participants stated that they weren't sure how to even find the proper care in the first place. However, the same survey also found that when people were able to receive treatment, at least 70 percent found that it improved their situation. The challenge now is making treatment information and eligibility more accessible while also making costs more affordable. Read more

ERs and opioid addiction: a new approach? —

A new report from the Legal Action Center and the Bloomberg American Health Initiative came to the conclusion that many hospitals fail their ER patients in a major way: they don't always screen for substance abuse, offer medications to treat opioid addiction, or do enough to connect patients to follow-up care related to their drug addictions. While there is certainly consensus around the too-familiar threat of opioid addiction, especially in ERs across the country, it appears to many that not enough is yet being done. But there's hope. A growing number of ERs are trying to change this by developing novel approaches to address the above missed opportunities, from hiring advocates for patients, to removing some of the obstacles for patients and doctors when it comes to these conversations, and to training entire healthcare teams about these common addictions as well as how to address them. There is hope that these initiatives can spread nationally and provide a useful arsenal of strategies to deal with opioid and other addictions in the country. Read more

US Army nurse helps deliver baby on board evacuation plane —

On Monday, US Army Capt. and registered nurse, Erin Brymer helped successfully deliver a baby on board a C-17 transport plane that was evacuating hundreds out of Afghanistan. Brymer and her team were notified of the pregnant woman's condition just minutes before the plane touched down. Upon evaluating the situation, her team decided there wasn't time to move the mother; she would give birth while at the head of the aircraft. The baby was safely delivered within minutes of the plane touching down. Brymer recounted the scene: "[it looked] exactly like the photos you see [of evacuation flights]," packed with hundreds of people. She said she'd helped deliver many babies in hospital settings, but this was her first "in the wild." Read more

Coronavirus Updates

FDA grants full approval to Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine —

This week, the FDA granted full approval to the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for people ages 16 and older. This makes the vaccine the first coronavirus vaccine approved by the FDA, which is expected to open the door to more national vaccine mandates. Thus far, of the 170 million people in the US who are fully vaccinated, more than 92 million have received this version of the vaccine. And while it has received FDA approval, it will still be available for individuals ages 12 through 15 under emergency-use authorization. A big hope of health officials is that this approval will offset some of the hesitancy held by remaining unvaccinated individuals. Read more

The 2021 school year and breakthrough infections —

Epidemiologists are seeing breakthrough COVID-19 infections across the country right now, especially as the 2021-22 school year begins. While estimates of the cases differ pending the degree of masking in respective communities, as well as levels of available testing, experts agree that this is not the trend we want to see right now. Nationally, between August 5 and August 12, more than 120,000 children tested positive for COVID-19. This is a 23% increase from the prior week. Nicole Braxley, an emergency medicine physician at Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Sacramento says, "Time and time again we're seeing kids return to school and then come home — either after an exposure or sick themselves [...] Entire families are suddenly exposed." Despite the increase in positive cases, many parents and teachers are trying to sincerely weigh the risks. For example, is it more damaging in the long run to deprive young students of normal, in-person interactions? In this sense, the ongoing isolation of remote learning has been incredibly difficult on students and families alike (highlighted by the increase in pediatric ER visits for mental health issues last year). As of right now, many are having a hard time coming to any kind of consensus on which path is the correct one moving forward. Read more

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, September 1, 12pm PDT: Let's Get Legal - Nursing & COVID-19 on IG Live —

Join experienced nurse and attorney Irnise Williams, JD, RN, and Casey Smith, RN, for an IG live that you won’t want to miss. Irnise and Casey will chat through what you, as a nurse, need to know when it comes to the legal issues that surround nursing and COVID-19. Join us on Instagram (@trustedhealth) at 12pm PDT for this chat or view the recorded version after the fact on our IGTV page.

Clockin' Out ✌️

"I LOVE being a nurse. Celebrating 23 yrs this month. Caring for people in their most vulnerable moments, during all stages of my career, is an honor. Be it making a bed, giving a bath, holding a hand, or intubating you to save your life. Caregiving is what 👏🏽 we 👏🏽 do." - T'Anya Carter, PhD(c)