Dec 11, 2019

Public libraries are now mental health resource centers

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Libraries are taking on new duties as resources for people who need mental health help.

Why it works: "Most people feel very comfortable walking into a library to get information" as opposed to a clinic, New York City first lady Chirlane McCray, who helped spearhead one such initiative, tells Axios.

Details: This month, New York City's mental health initiative partnered with more than a dozen New York Public Library branches to provide free mental health first aid training, social-emotional learning and more — including, of course, relevant books.

  • The NYPL also partners with NYU's Silver School of Social Work. Several branches invite agencies to visit and provide assistance with public benefit programs.
  • The San Francisco Public Library, which sees about 1,000 homeless visitors every day, hired a library-based psychiatric social worker in 2009, the Library Journal reports.
  • Pima County Public Library in Arizona was the first library to hire a public health nurse as a permanent staff member.

Yes, but: Programming and information in libraries is not a replacement for professional treatment, a spokesperson for the New York Public Library notes.

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Medicare for All's missing mental health discussion

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

America's mental health care system is in dire need of an overhaul, but the any real specifics are largely missing from the 2020 debate about health care.

Why it matters: Suicide and drug overdose rates continue to rise, and the U.S. faces a shortage of mental health providers and a lack of access to treatment.

Go deeperArrowJan 8, 2020

Planned Parenthood to open clinics in 50 Los Angeles high schools

A California high school in 2018. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Planned Parenthood announced Wednesday it's opening 50 clinics for some 75,000 teenagers at Los Angeles County high schools that'll offer a range of reproductive services, but not abortions, the Washington Post first reported.

Why it matters: It's the latest example of California officials working with Planned Parenthood as the reproductive health care provider faces Trump administration efforts to restrict its services and cut funding. In October, California became the first state to require public colleges provide abortion medication to students on campus.

Go deeperArrowDec 12, 2019

Health Care Vitals: Washington, D.C.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb answers a question from Mike Allen. Photo: Lawrence Jackson for Axios

This Wednesday morning, Axios Co-founder Mike Allen hosted a series of one-on-one conversations on the future of comprehensive health care across urban and rural America. Topics covered included how to get affordable and accessible care, as well as news of the day items like the rise in youth addiction to nicotine.

Go deeperArrowDec 13, 2019