Between Racial Lines

“Racial health disparities are not new but most of us don’t really know the specifics, possibly because there is relatively little discussion of this both in the media and among health care providers. The data in race-conscious societies are bleak. Not only in the United States, but also in Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, South Africa, and the U.K., non-dominant racial groups have significantly worse health outcomes than the dominant racial group.”

Healthcare professionals and mental healthcare workers always try to avoid looking at race when helping clients. In my experience it is almost impossible to talk to a client about biopsychosocial factors and mental/physical illnesses without also discussing identity, economics and genealogy. How can we help heal a client without looking at the whole person??? With African-Americans for example, their identity at some point will most often countenance part of a shared and very common black experience on some level. Ask yourself, “what motivates a caregiver to avoid this?” Check out this recent conference.

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Detox rooms could decrease ER visits

“Certain very inebriated patients may be safely transported by emergency medical service (EMS) ambulance crews to a detoxification center rather than the ER, with minimal adverse events. A study of a protocol for pre-hospital evaluation and disposition of uncomplicated inebriates was published online Wednesday in Annals of Emergency Medicine (“EMS Triage and Transport of Intoxicated Individuals to a Detoxification Facility Instead of an Emergency Department”).” Read more here

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Twenty-percent of adults report mental illness in 2012

Though this number is holding steady, one has to wonder how many mental health concerns and illnesses go unreported and untreated due to stigmas and lack of access to services. There is hope for those who are silently suffering.

“Although mental illness remains a serious public health issue, increasingly we know that people who experience it can be successfully treated and can live full, productive lives,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde.”

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Children of the Chemically Dependent Left Behind?

Texas is currently wrestling with new laws to administer drug screening for potential welfare recipients. For many, this just sounds like a grand plan. Presumably for those who feel welfare is a free handout this may come as welcome news; cause for celebration as Texas renews the “good ol'” American way (whatever that is). For those on the other side of the fence, even the slight thought of a child or children going without because of the illness of a parent or parents seems barbaric. You can see the line of demarcation here. But here are some questions: should Texas neglect a child because the addict neglected the child? And what are we to make of the child’s development thereafter? Will the child experience increased risk for unstable and dangerous behavior as a result of more trauma? There must be a middle way here.

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Realistic dating & marriage

“Men and women must become enlightened to the fact that the central conflict in the war between the sexes is not about sexual attraction and charm but compatibility. Their mission as they date should be to determine if they possess enough similar interests, values and goals to share a life together. They must also decide if their personalities are compatible. Finally, they must ascertain if they can they flesh out complementary and supporting roles as a couple. This is a judgement that must be made with minds cleared from the intoxicating fumes of infatuation. A disciplined decision can spare men and women from a future flawed relationship.”
J. R. Bruns, M.D. in Repairing Relationships

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Snapping the Chain

Ending Mental Health Stigma in the African American Community

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Lost in the System

ScienceDaily has an article about a study that further puts forth the claim that African-Americans get lost in a penal system that ignores the role substance abuse plays in criminality and highlights the need for better, more tailored educational programs and mentoring which steers potential offenders in new directions.

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