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Public Health

Compassionately and effectively responding to behavioral health crisis

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In the last video of our series, Beacon Health Options’ Crisis Solutions Leader Wendy Farmer discusses how behavioral health crises are currently addressed.

She also provides innovative solutions on how we can improve our behavioral health crisis systems.

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When substance use and pregnancy collide

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Our third video during May as Mental Health Awareness Month highlights Beacon’s VP Medical Director Dr. Sandrine Pirard.

She discusses the prevalence of substance use disorders in pregnant and postpartum women and what can be done about it.

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Inaugural report: Disconnect between increased stress and diagnoses rates

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People in America have shared that the pandemic has negatively affected their mental health.

However, in spite of the many additional stressors that they felt in 2020, including social unrest, a tumultuous election and a declining economy, there wasn’t a corresponding increase in people seeking mental health treatment, according to the inaugural State of the Nation’s Mental Health report.

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An imperfect perfect storm: The effects of deferred behavioral health care

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We’re seeing light at the end of the tunnel as Americans start to get the COVID-19 vaccine. With it comes the hope that we can return to a life we once knew – a life of engaging with people – at work, at play and beyond.

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COVID-19 and housing for people experiencing homelessness: Today’s innovations, tomorrow’s solutions

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To meet the needs of individuals experiencing homelessness as well as to help curtail COVID-19’s trajectory, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that those individuals with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases live in housing that isolates them from others.

It’s a common-sense recommendation as the number one call to action to control this pandemic is social distancing – living and working apart from one another as much as possible.

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Coronavirus anxiety: Identify, address and ease it

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Catastrophes, including public health emergencies such as COVID-19, affect mental health, both at the individual and population levels.

Indeed, people experience a wide range of mental health issues during and long after emergencies, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

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Substance use: An old problem requires new solutions

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President Donald Trump has acknowledged that overdose deaths are “a tremendous problem in our country.”

In a press briefing on Tuesday, Aug. 8, he stated that this epidemic threatens everybody, “young and old, rich and poor, urban and rural communities.”

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Ending homelessness: A year-round job

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The holiday lights have come down. The carolers have gone home.

The official “season of giving,” of volunteering and donating to our favorite causes at a rapid clip, is over.

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‘Precision medicine’: Where collaboration and competition meet

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As a professional observer of healthcare for the last 20 years, the relationship between Adam Smith economics and healthcare research and developments has always fascinated me.

In brief, does the dynamic of competition that drives profit-making innovation propel, or hinder, medical breakthroughs?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) initiative around “precision medicine” – treatment that focuses on the unique genetic code of the individual and not a one-size-fits-all treatment – begs that question.

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The Relationship: Medicine Is Both Art and Science

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The Question: Questioning the value of the annual physical exam for “healthy,” or asymptomatic, adults is nothing new, but the issue assumes greater significance in the current era of limited resources and the growing status of evidence-based care. Last month, The New England Journal of Medicine’s “Perspective” was devoted to the pros and cons of eliminating this time-honored, but poorly evidenced, practice. Before discussing these pieces, it seems only fair to tip my hand and admit I am (empirically, subjectively, limbicly) in favor of the annual check in with one’s PCP – whether one “needs” it, or not. The authors of both articles agree that the lack of standardization in the annual exam makes the epidemiological research weaker, i.e., lack…

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