Opinion

Opinion: How to Ensure Medical Members Can Access Their Mental Health Benefits

Medi-Cal members might have mental health coverage in theory, but using it is a different story. People of color are less likely than white people to use mental health benefits, partially due to systemic inequities in the system. The same is true of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) youth.

Our communities care greatly about their mental health and the mental health of their loved ones, yet California’s promises to provide care fall short.

Opinion: An Urgent Call to Address the Housing Crisis in Black Communities

We are calling on the region’s leaders and residents to support a historic $500 million Bay Area Regional Black Housing Fund.

Black communities face multiple systemic barriers that lead to massive displacement in the Bay Area. Black people have been disadvantaged in the state’s housing market for decades because of discrimination, including redlining, unequal access to wealth and good jobs, and other systemic problems.

I Survived Teen Dating Violence. Here’s How We Can Prevent It

Because no one had talked with me as a teen about what a real, healthy relationship looks like, I didn’t know what to do when my boyfriend became abusive.

I eventually escaped and have spent the last several years healing. But I want to help others avoid what I went through, including preteens and teens who are just beginning to explore relationships.

My Animals Saved My Life, But I Almost Lost Them to Domestic Violence

My life changed when I moved away from my hometown in urban Southern California, when I was 27. It was difficult to see it then but being away from my support system meant I had no one close by to turn to when my relationship became abusive.

An even bigger barrier to escaping the abuse was the fact that I couldn’t find anywhere to take my pets. Survivors with pets like myself learn very quickly that most shelters cannot accommodate animals.

Doctor’s Notes: What I’m Seeing in Young Children Who Get COVID

AG is a 2-month-old, healthy chubby baby with “Michelin man” rolls and pinchable cheeks, and he’s my patient. I’m a pediatric intern at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, a safety-net hospital in Los Angeles. When AG missed his checkup in late December, I was worried.

My colleague told me that AG recently had been in our emergency room. He tested positive for COVID-19.

Analysis: Why California Needs an Oversight Office for Durable Medical Equipment

California’s system for providing durable medical equipment and supplies at home is complicated and difficult to manage, even in normal times. During the COVID-19 pandemic, rationing and supply chain disruptions have made things impossible for families of children with special health care needs.

I believe California needs a state oversight office for durable medical equipment to give families and patients a way to resolve problems before they cause harm.

Opinion: New Medi-Cal Rx Is Riddled With Problems, Hurting Those Who Need it Most

Despite warnings that the health of the state’s 14 million Medi-Cal beneficiaries would be threatened, on Jan. 1, California implemented Medi-Cal Rx, a program that stripped pharmacy benefits from health plans and handed them to a private, for-profit company.

Now, a month into the new program, there are reports that thousands of Medi-Cal patients have been left without their medications.

Analysis: It’s Time to Rethink Our Response to Intimate Partner Violence

Intimate partner violence has escalated over the past two years. Research points to economic distress, increased time indoors with abusive partners, and worsening mental health as exacerbating factors.

I wanted to better understand this crisis, which often flies under the radar. So I reached out to several advocates and practitioners to find out more about intimate partner violence and how some organizations are leveraging community healing practices to address the problem.

Opinion: We Need Sustainable Funding to End Domestic Violence

California’s education system needs more social, emotional and sexual health education that recognizes the racial and gender identities of young people. Prevention programs can meet this need.

California’s legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom should include $15 million in ongoing funding in the state budget. By combining prevention and intervention funding, we can address the needs of survivors of violence and also prevent future violence.

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