News & Announcements
A New Way to Fight Health Disparities?
Posted: July 22, 2014
There’s a big question behind pretty much every health care debate in the U.S.: Why, despite all the money spent on health care (we’re the world’s top spender), are our health outcomes so bad? The U.S. ranks at the bottom of other developed nations. When you look at these outcomes by race, though, you start to get a hint of what might be behind these stark differences.
We see incredible disparities in health outcomes for people of color. In maternal health, for example, black women are four times more likely than white women to die during childbirth, and these disparities persist even for middle class black women. To a lesser but still to a significant degree, other women of color (Latinas, Native Americans, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders) experience these disparities as well. It’s not limited to maternal health either—in many other arenas people of color face worse health outcomes than whites.
This is not a new problem, and it’s been the focus of public health efforts for decades. But because of the Affordable Care Act and alarm about the high cost of health care in the wake of a major recession, the topic is receiving renewed attention. Somewhat surprisingly, there is some consensus on what is causing these disparities. Researchers, academics and providers across sectors have been pointing to what they call “social determinants of health” as the cause. Social determinants of health are things like poverty, housing, employment, stress, access to clean water and fresh food. What researchers have found, particularly by doing international comparisons, is that countries that invest more in these social services see improved health outcomes.
Read more on ColorLines.com.
4 Black Church Resources that Can Help People Living with Depression
Posted: July 21, 2014
Most churches could do a lot more to support people who live with mental illnesses. Many Christian teachings link health, wealth and faith in ways that can make anyone having a bad day feel like God has abandoned them. This feels all the more injurious to someone living with a mental-health challenge.
This becomes particularly acute in African-American communities. For emotional support, African Americans tend to rely on family and social and religious communities rather than healthcare professionals. In addition, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) notes that African Americans are less likely than their white counterparts to receive accurate diagnoses.
July is Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. During this season, mental-health advocates shine a spotlight on the way that depression and other mental illnesses are experienced among people of color in the United States. Mental-health professionals are increasingly competent in various cultural experiences and should be consulted.
As black churches explore ways that they can be supportive of people living with mental illnesses, they can draw upon various resources within tradition resources that can be helpful to people living with depression. These historic practices can create a contemporary climate that is welcoming and supportive for faithful people living with depression.
Read the full article on HuffingtonPost.com.
BHbusiness is Now BHbusiness Plus – Helping You Make Business Change
Posted: July 21, 2014
BHbusiness Plus now offers expanded topics and even more customized technical support, in learning networks with shorter timeframes. You are invited to apply and gain these benefits:
Topic areas include billing, third-party contract negotiations, new business planning, mergers and acquisitions, enrollment and eligibility, and much more! If you’re not sure what business area to focus on, try the strategic business decision-making learning network.
There are two ways to apply to join a learning network:
BHbusiness Plus will offer two additional rounds of learning networks, in Winter and Spring of 2015. The deadline for applications is August 15 for Round 1 learning networks starting in October 2014.
BHbusiness Plus is funded by Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration and provided to participants at no cost. Behavioral health leaders and experts in business develop and teach the BHbusiness courses. State Associations of Addiction Services (SAAS) leads the project in partnership with NIATx, the National Council for Behavioral Health, and Advocates for Human Potential (AHP).
El Paso Forum Focuses on Minority Mental Health Needs
Posted: July 18, 2014
The following is an excerpt from a news article written by Patti Fernandez on ElPasoTimes.com:
Read more ElPasoTimes.com.
Govt. Report Finds 2.3% of Americans Gay or Bisexual: Report Serious Anxiety More Often than Others
Posted: July 17, 2014
U.S. government data released on Tuesday showed that 2.3 percent of American adults are either gay or bisexual and that these men and women more often reported serious anxiety and having self-destructive habits than their straight peers.
This year's National Health Interview Survey was the first to ask about sexual orientation in addition to health habits in its 57-year history, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
Bisexual women were twice as likely to experience serious anxiety while bisexual men were more likely to indulge in binge drinking than others, according to the survey.
In the survey of more than 34,500 Americans age 18 and above, 1.6 percent reported that they were gay and 0.7 percent reported that they were bisexual. A total of 96.6 percent reported being straight and 1.1 percent either said they were "something else," did not know or declined to answer.
Roughly twice as many women than men identified as bisexual, with 0.9 percent of female respondents saying they were attracted to both sexes. Bisexual women were twice as likely to report having serious anxiety than any other group, with almost 11 percent saying they had been distressed in the past month.
Among bisexual men, almost 52 percent said they had five drinks or more in a night during the past year compared with only 31 percent of straight men.
Gays and bisexuals fared as well or better than their straight peers in some areas, like exercising, taking HIV tests and receiving flu vaccines.
Read more on News.MSN.com.