Three Things To Know for BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month

Judith J. Mercado

BIPOC populations can face significant differences in the accessibility of quality mental health care. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reported that racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. are more likely to be uninsured, more likely to use emergency departments, less likely to have access to mental health services, less likely to use community mental health services, and more likely to receive lower quality care.

July marks BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month to shine a light on the distinct struggles that underrepresented groups face with mental illness in the United States. BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month is a chance to destigmatize talking about mental health and substance use disorders. Some feel embarrassed to seek treatment or fear being shamed by their community. By focusing on these issues in July and all year round, we can help change the inequality and stereotypes stopping marginalized communities from

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Build a better health care budget

Avoiding visits to the doctor because of the expense can end up costing more in the long run if you leave serious symptoms untreated or fail to properly manage a chronic condition. Valley News/Courtesy photo

Family Features

Special to Valley News

Managing a chronic disease takes plenty of special planning and attention, and in many cases, a lot of money. In some cases, the expenses associated with disease management are overwhelming, forcing patients to skip essential treatments or medication and risk serious health complications.

One example is diabetes. A study published in the “Journal of American Medicine” found that one in four individuals with diabetes had rationed their insulin, which can impact short- and long-term health. Since 2002, the list price of insulin has risen, often costing customers without health insurance or on high-deductible insurance plans upward of $1,000 for a one-month supply.

Consider these ideas to help manage the

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New Study Highlights Mental Health Impact of Autistic Masking

Judith J. Mercado
Stylish young woman standing near a plant with shadow light
Stylish young woman standing near a plant with shadow light

What happened: A new study, published in the journal Autism, shines new light on the relationship between camouflaging as an autistic woman and mental health concerns, as well as the importance of earlier screening and better support for autistic women across the lifespan.

  • Researchers at Brigham Young University recruited 58 female participants who reported difficulty in social situations and met board criteria for autism

  • Most of the participants reported masking their autistic characteristics often, which was associated with higher mental health difficulties

  • Of those included in the study, 62% reported depression, 66% stress, 67% anxiety and 62% suicidal thoughts

At the end of the day, we want [autistic women] to find inclusive communities who will help meet their social needs and support their ability to function as they’d like to day-to-day. — Dr. Jonathan Beck, study author

The Frontlines

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England’s under-fire public health agency plays key role, PM’s spokesman says

Judith J. Mercado

LONDON (Reuters) – Public Health England is playing a key role in Britain’s response to the coronavirus crisis, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday, responding to criticism of the body for slowness in tackling the pandemic.

But he also pointed to new structures formed since the crisis began, such as a test and trace system and the Joint Biosecurity Centre, which brings together data analysis and epidemiological expertise to try to combat outbreaks.

In a Reuters special report, several scientists criticised Public Health England (PHE) for not helping Britain move quickly enough to implement a widespread testing regime by deciding, among other things, a narrower definition of COVID-19 than the World Health Organization and other countries.

In turn, public health officials told Reuters that the government initially ordered the agency not to share with local councils its surveillance reports.

Asked whether PHE was under threat, the

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