In March, Anthony Hill, an Air Force veteran who served in Afghanistan, was shot and killed by a police officer in suburban Atlanta. Neighbors called police when an unarmed Hill was seen wandering around his apartment complex naked. He had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Hill’s death is one example of a recent deadly encounter between police and people living with mental illness. Shootings in Dallas and Milwaukee also have made national news and sparked calls for better police training.
When residents of some of the city’s most violent neighborhoods need mental health treatment, they often seek help from social service and community organizations in their neighborhoods — help that can be hard to find.
Unaccompanied minors face temporary displacement, language barriers and other challenges that can lead to anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and other serious mental health problems, according to research. Advocates say more services, such as talk therapy and support groups, are needed to help them deal with the stress and trauma they have experienced.
On the eve of the second enrollment period for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, there is good news, bad news and still many unknowns about the federal law’s impact. In 2010, President Obama signed legislation, widely known as “Obamacare,” into law with the goal of improving access to health care for millions of Americans. State and federal officials began working toward that goal in earnest in October 2013, when Americans could begin signing up for health insurance, for the first time, on the marketplaces created by the law. But one year later, we don’t know exactly how many uninsured Americans signed up for health insurance and, more importantly, who is still without coverage. The good news: Rates of uninsured people have dropped in every state.
With the Supreme Court set to rule on Harris v. Quinn, a case that could limit the collective bargaining rights of 20,000 home care workers in Illinois, we wondered what difference union representation has made in their lives. It comes down to much better wages, health insurance, and professional training, longtime homecare workers told us. And across the board, they say, these improvements mean a higher quality of care for their clients, thousands of seniors and people with disabilities. In many cases it means people are able to stay in their own homes and live independently, rather than being forced in to nursing homes. That translates into huge savings for the state.