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Mental Health

July 17, 2013 | By Chad Terhune
A disjointed financing system for mental health services in California has led to gaps in care, but the national healthcare law is expected to help close some of those holes, according to new research by the California HealthCare Foundation. Half of the state's adults and two-thirds of the adolescents with mental health issues aren't receiving treatment, according to the study . Private insurance has historically lacked mental health services, so patients often seek care through the public system.
July 16, 2013 | By Seema Mehta and Abby Sewell
Concerned that federal authorities could soon intervene in the operation of Los Angeles County's outdated jail system, the Board of Supervisors took a significant step Tuesday toward replacing the Men's Central Jail and renovating other facilities to reduce crowding and increase mental health services for prisoners. The board voted unanimously to accept a report from consultants who outlined five jail renovation options. All options included tearing down and replacing the cornerstone of the nation's largest jail system - the Men's Central Jail - and reconfiguring other existing facilities.
July 12, 2013 | By Lee Romney and Paige St. John
SACRAMENTO - Citing evidence of doctor shortages, treatment delays and "denial of basic necessities, including clean underwear," a federal judge on Thursday ordered an in-depth probe of conditions at prison-based mental health facilities run by the California Department of State Hospitals. U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton has been overseeing mandated improvements of care for mentally ill prisoners throughout California, treatment that the courts 18 years ago deemed so substandard as to be unconstitutional.
July 5, 2013 | By Mark Magnier
NEW DELHI - In rural areas of India, many villagers still believe mental illness is caused by evil spirits angry that the sick person had killed a cow during a past life. So-called therapy, conducted by witch doctors or family members, can include chaining up the mentally ill, chanting spells, poking them with pins, or beating them "to force the spirits out. " "There's little awareness that it's a real illness," said Dr. Indira Sharma, Varanasi-based president of the Indian Psychiatric Society.
June 25, 2013 | By Richard Winton, Andrew Blankstein and Marisa Gerber
This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details. A homeless man accused of killing a woman visiting one of Hollywood's most famous tourist destinations was well known to authorities. Over the last eight years, Dustin James Kinnear, 26, was arrested at least 46 times, including seven arrests for assault with a deadly weapon, according to court records and interviews. Along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, he had a reputation as an aggressive panhandler and troublemaker.
June 19, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
Has anyone with a sibling not been in the back seat of a car, someone hitting someone and parents threatening to pull over “right this minute”? Just seems like part of growing up, right? Well some researchers say not necessarily. Parents, doctors and schools should not dismiss sibling bullying, they said. Sibling aggression can be as damaging as other sorts of bullying, and it can be linked to poorer mental health, according to a study published this week in the journal Pediatrics.
June 9, 2013 | By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times
Many days, the sheer weight of Iszurette Hunter's clinical depression becomes more than she can lift. She clings to her bed in her South Los Angeles home. Important obligations slide away, including keeping appointments with doctors who are trying to control her asthma and high blood pressure. "I don't have no desire," she explains. As the nation seeks to extend healthcare coverage to millions of new and in many cases chronically ill patients, one of the great parallel challenges to controlling costs and improving delivery of care will be managing the mental health problems of people like Hunter.
May 28, 2013 | By Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - Now that Gov. Jerry Brown has rolled out his revised budget proposal, both houses of the Legislature are outlining their own ideas for how the state's money should be spent in the next year. The Senate wants more funding for mental health programs, dental care for poor adults and career training for high school students. The Assembly wants to increase welfare grants, expand child-care programs and reduce university costs. Neither wish list matches Brown's $96.4-billion budget proposal, which is almost $2 billion smaller and relies on a more pessimistic view of California's economy.
May 12, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
At probation camps and juvenile halls, where delinquent minors are often held, officials sometimes have no choice but to temporarily isolate disruptive juveniles for the safety of other youths and camp personnel. But as an hour turns into a day or more - and reports from some camps and halls suggest it can turn into a week or a month - temporary isolation turns into solitary confinement, a brutal practice when employed against anyone, and an especially cruel way to treat a juvenile who is still developing and does not yet have the emotional skills to bounce back from such treatment.
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