December 7, 2014 |
There were many times during Khasiem Carr's tumultuous journey through Pennsylvania's mental health and prison systems when it seemed things couldn't get worse. Then, they generally did. For instance, after two months in solitary confinement at the Bucks County prison, Carr was refusing food and water, and was rushed to the hospital to be treated for dehydration and malnutrition. After more than a year in solitary, he entered a guilty plea in hope of getting out of the hole and into mental-health care in a state prison.
July 26, 2014 |
His mother sells empanadas from their home in Honduras. He shines shoes - $5 a day. Add to their woes the constant threats: Join or be killed by deadly gangs. Now, gap-toothed Kevin, 14, is atop a speeding Mexican train called "the Beast," aiming to cross the U.S. border illegally, to face new uncertainties amid the "big towers" and "great cities" he sees on TV. Officials say tens of thousands of children like him are fleeing Central America, primarily Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.
June 22, 2014 |
Six months into the Affordable Care Act, local mental-health and substance-abuse professionals have yet to see an uptick in clients using their new benefits. The seeming lack of interest has been disappointing for caregivers, but is not completely unexpected. "It's very early," said Patricia Kleven, director of outpatient mental health services at the Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment. "I don't know what it will look like in six months or a year. But at the moment, not so much.
June 19, 2014 |
Marvae Dunn had no business being in prison. He is severely mentally ill. At age 64, he can barely speak or follow simple instructions. How could he stand trial on first-degree murder charges of shooting his sister-in-law? He never did, yet Dunn's home for seven years was a Philadelphia prison infirmary, until advocates intervened. He was transferred Monday to a state nursing home in Franklin County. "We're subsidizing failure," said his prison chaplain, Phyllis Taylor. The legal system failed Dunn and the taxpayers who bore the cost of his imprisonment.
February 24, 2014 |
Everyone has ups and downs, but there are times when parents may notice their college-age children are showing signs of real trouble and need a therapist. It might be as obvious as a drop in school performance, or as subtle as a sudden and consistent mood change. But unlike a physical ailment, in which parents could consult a doctor, mental health issues often carry a stigma, and parents may be reluctant to send an overstressed or depressed child to a therapist. They may not know where to look for one. Or money may be an issue.
August 2, 2013 |
Philadelphia children on Medical Assistance are waiting twice as long as they are supposed to for behavioral-health appointments, according to a report released Thursday by Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY). The youth-advocacy organization surveyed nearly 60 agencies that provide mental-health services to children on Medical Assistance, the state health insurance program for low-income people. It found that the average wait for an initial appointment was 15 days. The report said the agencies' contract with Community Behavioral Health, which administers mental-health services for the city, required agencies to make such appointments within seven days.
May 27, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - A number of Pennsylvania state legislators are opposing a Department of Corrections plan to outsource mental health services at 27 state prisons, saying it could put prison workers and communities at risk. The state could contract out as many as 187 positions now filled by Department of Corrections employees to save money and improve services, according to corrections spokeswoman Susan McNaughton. The positions include licensed psychologist managers, licensed psychologists, and psychological services specialists.
February 11, 2013
Residents of Southeastern Pennsylvania can now dial a special phone number, 211, for help navigating social services. Kudos are due to the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey and the city of Philadelphia, which made the nearly $1 million investment needed to launch and operate the system. Too many people seeking government or charity help, especially for the first time, aren't sure where to turn, and many go without the help they need as a result. With its formal launch set for today - this being 2/11 - the new number is designed to serve as a clearinghouse for assistance, helping those in need make their way through the maze of health and human-services agencies.
January 24, 2013 |
Gov. Christie vowed last week to review New Jersey's mental-health services as part of a "violence control" plan following the Sandy Hook school shooting. Mental-health-care advocates say Christie could improve services by expanding programs that already exist, including Medicaid, and broadening the mental-health disorders covered under health insurance for state workers and public-school teachers. New Jersey is one of only eight states that do not offer workers equal benefits for mental and physical ailments, said Paul Lubitz, associate director of the New Jersey chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
January 12, 2013 |
Every year, 1.7 million Americans suffer traumatic brain injuries, the result of car accidents, sports, gunshots, and mishaps as seemingly minor as a slip and fall. The rehabilitative path on which many embark was paved in part by Dr. Irwin W. Pollack. A professor of psychiatry and neurology at New Jersey's Robert Wood Johnson Medical School from 1968 to 1998, Dr. Pollack was among the pioneers of an integrated therapy now standard in the field. Where disabilities once were treated piecemeal, he marshaled myriad specialties in a team effort to give head-injury patients if not their old lives back, then new lives.