Displaying results 1 - 25 of 1251 for mental health. Subscribe to this search
PHOENIX (AP) — Authorities say a belligerent passenger who caused an airplane to be diverted to a Phoenix airport suffers from mental issues.
Last Tuesday night’s fatal shooting of an unarmed black man by a Phoenix police officer has once again shined the light on policing. An officer investigating a report of drug dealing shot and killed Rumain Brisbon when the officer believed he was pulling a gun from his pocket.
Centuries ago, those who suffered mental illness were often committed to “madhouses.” These so-called treatment centers were about as brutal, barbaric and inhumane inventions as could be humanly conceived. Patients were subjected to various shock therapies, exorcisms, bloodlettings, ice baths, and gyration wheels. When not directly enduring these interventions, patients were generally kept in dark dungeons, chained to walls or the floor.
PHOENIX (AP) — Outgoing Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said Monday she is preparing a budget proposal that protects her top priorities but that she acknowledges can be ignored by governor-elect Doug Ducey.
Brewer said her budget will spare education, child welfare and mental health services from big cuts that will be needed as she seeks to fill a projected $1 billion deficit for the budget year that begins July 1. But she said it will difficult to avoid including big spending cuts in other areas.
"There are several things that are very protected in that budget, that I'll be guarding very carefully," Brewer said, ticking off the three top priorities. "So I've got those priorities, they've always been my priorities and they will continue to be my priorities."
But the Republican governor said it will be "probably be very, very difficult," to avoid major cuts in other programs, especially since Ducey has promised not to raise taxes. And she acknowledge that Ducey can take her proposal and change it however he likes, even if that means cuts to the new Department of Child Safety or behavioral health services.
"I think they will probably take my budget that's been drafted by my staff and then go in there and address the issues that they feel are important or not so important," Brewer said. "He'll be governor, he can do whatever he wants to do."
Ducey, also a Republican, takes office Jan. 5 and will roll out his budget on Jan. 16, meaning Brewer's efforts will save him time. Brewer budget director John Arnold is leading the effort to craft her new budget, and he also is part of Ducey's transition team. That means he'll likely leave plenty of options available for Ducey as he takes charge.
The budget proposal won't be made public, Brewer spokesman Andrew Wilder said.
Ducey spokesman Daniel Scarpinato said Ducey welcomes the governor's input, but he did not give any additional comment.
Brewer called the looming budget crisis — a revenue shortfall of more than 10 percent of this budget year's $9.3 billion in spending — a challenge that Ducey can overcome. She herself faced a much bigger shortfall when she became governor after Janet Napolitano resigned in 2009 to take a job in the Obama Administration.
"Coming from where I came from it doesn't seem like such an enormous task — we were faced with a $3 billion deficit," Brewer said. "You just have to get a plan and you have to decide what it is and what your priorities are and move forward and then stick to your guns and get it done."
Brewer didn't have the chance to work with Napolitano on a budget proposal when she took office. Napolitano had stayed in office and presented her own budget proposal after accepting Barack Obama's offer to become his Homeland Security secretary, then resigned.
The state, mired in the throes of the Great recession, made massive spending cuts in Brewer's first years in office, including cuts to those top priorities Brewer is now trying to protect.
Arizonans are painfully aware of the skyrocketing costs of health care. Both federal and state governments continue to ask for more tax dollars to pay for Medicaid expansion and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Taxpayers are contributing more than ever for health care for the less fortunate. Those below 133 percent of the federal poverty level now qualify for Medicaid and those using an ACA exchange receive a heavy subsidy. These programs will be inordinately expensive. Proposition 480 fails to acknowledge these massive changes and the sacrifices taxpayers are already making by asking for a 27-year, $1.6 billion bond and tax increase for the old way of doing health care business. At this point, the county hospital is only a true safety net for illegal immigrants because they do not qualify for AHCCCS or ACA, which begs the question why only Maricopa County property taxpayers should pay for a federal responsibility.
Facing a lawsuit they appeared to be losing, state prison officials have agreed to improve health care for the more than 34,000 inmates in their custody.
PHOENIX -- Facing a lawsuit they appeared to be losing, state prison officials have agreed to improve health care for the more than 34,000 inmates in their custody.
The stipulation filed Tuesday in federal court here requires the Department of Corrections to live up to more than 80 specific performance standards for how it handles medical issues. These range from staffing requirements and emergency response times to ensuring that inmates get their medications in a timely fashion.
Potentially more significant for those affected, the stipulation also requires the state to revamp its rules on solitary confinement of inmates -- the department calls it "isolation'' -- with serious mental illness.
Where current regulations keep those prisoners in their cells all but six hours a week, they will now have at least 19 hours a week elsewhere. And that time also must include mental health treatment and other programs.
And the Department has also agreed to use chemical agents like pepper spray on inmates classified as seriously mentally ill "only in case of imminent threat.''
That is defined as situations that jeopardize safety or security like an attempt to escape or active physical resistance. But it specifically precludes pepper spray for things like "passive resistance to placement in restraints or refusal to follow orders.''
Don Specter, an attorney with the Prison Law Office, said this deal, which must be approved by U.S. District Court Judge Diane Humetewa, is more than just his organization and the American Civil Liberties Union accepting on faith that things will get better.
"We will be able to tour the prisons to check ourselves to see whether they're providing adequate care,'' he said. "And we will also get a lot of documentation.''
The deal comes four months after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gave the go-ahead for the case, alleging inadequate health care, to be handled as a class-action lawsuit.
Judge Stephen Reinhardt, writing for the appellate court, said the attorneys for the inmates provided detailed allegations of everything from "outright denials of health care'' to improper isolation policies. And they also had information on how spending on certain services dropped by more than a third over a two-year period even as inmate population did not.
But Reinhardt, in refusing to require each inmate to prove his or her rights were violated, said the claims alleged "systemic failures'' in the prison's health care system "that expose all inmates to a substantial risk of serious harm.'' And if that is the case, Reinhardt said that would require a wholesale revamp of the agency's policies -- and not simply correcting the problems of the 13 inmates who filed the original 2012 lawsuit.
That paved the way for a trial to begin Monday.
No one from the Department of Corrections would agree to be interviewed about the decision to settle after two years of disputing the allegations. Instead, the agency issued a prepared statement from Director Charles Ryan calling the deal "positive news'' for his agency -- and essentially claiming victory.
"On the eve of trial, the plaintiffs in this case have essentially agreed that the department's current policies and practices, along with recent enhancements to programming opportunities, adequately addresses the plaintiffs' concerns relating to constitutional healthcare and conditions of confinement for maximum custody mentally ill inmates,'' the statement read.
But agency spokesman Doug Nick refused to detail what changes the department has made since the lawsuit was filed and why, if there were no problems, it took two years to settle.
The department's statement, however, suggests that money was a consideration in opting not to go to trial where a judge might have ordered some more extensive -- and expensive -- changes in inmate health care.
It says that California is spending nearly $18,000 per inmate for health care following two decades of litigation brought by the same organizations who are representing inmates here. "By contrast, Arizona spends nearly $3,800 per inmate in health care costs,'' the statement says.
The allegations made -- ones that Nick will not address -- were serious.
They include "lengthy and dangerous delays'' and "outright denials of health care,'' failure to provide necessary medication, a practice of "`employing insufficient health care staff,'' substandard dental care and denial of basic mental health care to suicidal and self-harming prisoners. The lawsuit also said that inmates in isolation units were denied adequate recreation and nutrition, constant cell illumination and inadequate mental health care staffing and treatment.
To prove their case, the inmates presented evidence of the agency's policies, internal communications and reports from four experts in prison medical care and conditions of confinement. And they provided specific incidents.
One involves an inmate who collapsed in his cell from a heart attack but where the lawsuit says officers told prisoners who asked for help to "wait and see what happens.'' While the inmate was taken, eventually, to the medical unit, he was told he had a medical appointment in a few days.
But the inmate, according to the lawsuit, had another heart attack the next day and died.
The legal papers also cite a prisoner, four months pregnant who experienced painful contractions and spotting blood. But a staffer at the medical unit told her it was nothing serious and "all in her head,'' refusing to allow her to see someone for evaluation.
She eventually miscarried.
One six-letter word. One three-word sentence. One thought, “Why?”
How would you like to have more energy? Sounds like a dream, right? It’s possible to make that dream come true if you’re willing to make a few dietary changes. It helps to understand the foods that naturally give your body more energy and which foods drain your energy.
Few people can say they’ve qualified for the Olympic Trials, and even less can say they’ve done so twice.
PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona prison teacher has blamed state officials over an attack in which she says she was stabbed and raped by a convicted sex offender she was left alone with in a penitentiary classroom.
Her attorneys filed a lawsuit Tuesday saying the Arizona Department of Corrections failed to provide adequate security and the prison's health care provider didn't properly evaluate the prisoner charged in the assault.
The January attack has raised questions about prison security after reports showed she was put into a room full of inmates with no guards nearby. Authorities say the 20-year-old blamed in the assault had lingered behind after others left the room, then repeatedly stabbed the victim with a pen before raping her.
Arizona's workplace safety agency launched an investigation of prison policy after The Associated Press reported the details in June. The review is ongoing, a Division of Occupational Safety and Health spokeswoman said.
Corrections Director Charles Ryan, who is named in the lawsuit, was not immediately available, but prison officials have said they cannot comment on the lawsuit.
Corrections spokesman Doug Nick has called the attack "a cowardly and despicable crime, for which the inmate is rightfully facing prosecution."
He says the safety of all staffers is the department's "paramount priority, and we have reached out to the victim to offer our full assistance and support."
The lawsuit filed in Pinal County Superior Court doesn't seek specific damages. In a precursor July legal claim, attorney Scott Zwillinger asked for $4 million and wrote that the state could lose $10 million if the case went to trial.
Nick has said previously that "the department vigorously disputes allegations made in the employee's claim against the state, and new allegations being made to the media."
The lawsuit says Corizon Health, the state prison system's health care provider, improperly assessed Harvey's mental health. The lawsuit said that led prison officials to classify him as a relatively low-risk offender, allowing him access to the classroom. A Corizon spokeswoman said she could not immediately comment Tuesday.
In an AP interview, the 34-year-old teacher said she mainly blames Ryan, who she says allowed lax training, staffing shortages and poor security at the Eyman prison in Florence, south of Phoenix. The AP does not identify those who say they are victims of sexual assault.
Jacob Harvey, 20, has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault, kidnapping and aggravated assault in the case. His lawyer has declined comment on the case.
At the time of the attack, Harvey was being held in a unit that holds about 1,300 rapists, child molesters and other sex offenders.
He was in the first year of a 30-year sentence after being convicted of raping a Glendale woman in 2011. Prosecutors said Harvey, who was 17 at the time, knocked on a woman's door asked for a drink of water, then pushed his way in and repeatedly forced himself on the victim, whose 2-year-old child was in the apartment at the time.
The prison teacher also describes a violent attack and says the department left her vulnerable and unprepared for it.
"I remember trying to fight him off," she said. "The only thing I remembered from self-defense was to tuck my head so he would not choke me."
She said she also remembers getting stabbed, screaming and being unable to activate a panic button on her two-way radio.
She said she had received only four hours of self-defense training before being placed in classrooms, which guards did not regularly monitor, despite regulations calling for three checks each hour.
During the interview, she said radios were prone to battery problems and in short supply. If one wasn't available, she'd be pressured to hold class anyway, she said.
The teacher says she feels traumatized by the attack.
"There's times where I think I'm doing good," she said. "Then I just come crashing down. I haven't been sleeping well."
Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a major architect of “Obamacare,” wrote a thought-provoking article in the Atlantic recently entitled “Why I Hope to Die at 75.” Although he graciously concedes the right of others to make different choices, this major health care policymaker insists that “families — and you — will be better off if nature takes it’s course swiftly and promptly,” with only palliative medicine provided to seniors over 75.
Q. Why are you running
Q: Why are you running?
A: Washington doesn’t get it. I’ve been there less than two years and I have watched both parties spend more time fighting each other than working to solve our country’s problems. The layers of bureaucracy are mind-numbing. The unwillingness of leadership to face our real problems and propose realistic solutions that can actually get done is frustrating.
I ran for Congress to change Washington, and I am not giving up. I voted for the No Budget No Pay Act because Congress should not get paid if they don’t do their work. I also voted against my own pay raise. Congress doesn’t need a pay raise, especially when Arizonans are struggling. I am also fighting to reform the VA and ensure that veterans get the health care they have earned and deserve. I voted to protect Social Security and Medicare for our seniors and future generations and I support efforts to make sure every woman has access to birth control.
Q: Have the issues at the VA been properly addressed? What else would you like to see done to help veterans in our area?
A: No, when I read the allegations about false record-keeping and fraudulent wait times at the Phoenix VA, I was furious. I demanded answers from the VA and called for Secretary Shinseki’s resignation. We created a Phoenix VA Information Center on our official website to keep constituents updated on our work to hold the VA accountable and get veterans the care they deserve. I co-sponsored the VA reform legislation recently signed into law and am working with the VA to implement these critical reforms. Our office convened a working group to bring the VA and community organizations together to better serve veterans in Arizona. We also hosted a Veterans First resource fair in Phoenix that served over 400 veterans in one day and we are planning another one in the East Valley now. We created a Veterans Resource Guide to help veterans find resources for medical and mental health care and services.
Q: What kind of effect has the Affordable Care Act had on Arizonans?
A: The Affordable Care Act is far from perfect and I am frustrated with how the administration has handled it. Rather than spending time trying to repeal it, members from both sides should come together to improve it, so it works better. The law makes important changes that will help families. Health insurance companies are no longer in charge of people’s health care decisions, and can no longer deny people with pre-existing conditions and drop people when they get sick. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done to cover all Americans and hold down costs.
Q: What are your thoughts on the recent ruling and impending hearing about gay marriage in Arizona? And do you support the state’s ban on it?
A: I oppose the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Every committed family should be treated equally under the law and have the same rights and protections.
Q: What can Congress do to spur job growth in our area? What industries would you target?
A: Working with Arizona businesses is one of my top priorities. As a member of the Financial Services Committee, I pushed for the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, which supports hundreds of jobs across Arizona. I also supported the recent extension of the R&D tax credit to encourage innovation, job growth and research for companies in Arizona. Every month, I meet with businesses and business leaders in our community to hear their concerns and work to support the business community. I am dedicated to making sure business owners — both large and small — have what they need to succeed.
Q: Would you say your district is delivering quality services now and what, if any, changes would you make?
Q: Would you say your district is delivering quality services now and what, if any, changes would you make?
A: With the number of A+ rated schools, the Kyrene School District is delivering quality services. My goal is to work with district staff to increase the number of A+ rated schools in the district and providing as much diversity in programs at the individual schools as possible understanding the budgetary restrictions. Public schools are in direct competition with charter and private schools for enrollment and Kyrene needs to be able to provide more choices for parents. Kyrene has done that and we need to make sure we can continue to provide more competitive choices.
Q: What is a school board’s role in terms of a district’s operation?
A: The role of the district board is oversight and accountability. It is the board’s obligation to be knowledgeable about the needs of the district schools and the students who are attending those schools and to ensure that district staff is maximizing the resources available to meet those needs.
Q: With the decision to back away from the PARCC exam, what direction should the state take to monitor student achievement, and what can districts do to prepare for whatever comes from the state level?
A: It is unfortunate we are moving away from a measurement of student achievement without having a better method of monitoring in place. In order for Arizona to succeed on a national level, there needs to be a monitor of student achievement in place that compares apples to apples. In the meantime, the schools need to be able to demonstrate that the students have met or exceeded acceptable standards. While I do not advocate teaching children to take a standardized test, it is important to the district and to Arizona that an effective monitoring system is in place to establish student achievement. I am dedicated to working with district administration and state representatives on identifying an effective system of monitoring.
Q: Given the recent funding cuts for school districts, what can districts do to save money and maintain academic standards?
A: Our schools have suffered because of this Great Recession and it is an unfortunate reality that classroom sizes are on the increase. Impacts of funding necessary cuts, and only those necessitated by funding cuts, should be minimized on classrooms. Teachers and students need every resource available to insure the quality of education and resources should be funneled to the classroom wherever possible. Teachers need to be paid sufficiently to keep up with the cost of living and if we fail them, we will lose our quality educators. The board needs to take a global look at all potential areas of reduction, including energy efficiency and capital improvements, and work with district administration to make sure those reductions are maximized.
Q: As state cuts become more steep, one area that can be affected is extracurricular activities, in particular athletics. Do you foresee cuts to athletics if these budget cuts continue?
A: Studies have repeatedly shown that extracurricular activities are necessary to the health and well-being of our children. Extracurricular activities provide emotional, physical and mental health benefits to our students. Many students would not be engaged in school but for these activities. We must find ways to keep extracurricular activities successful. If funding cuts have to be made to maintain the teachers and the classrooms, then we need to consider other funding options such as schoolwide fundraisers, use of volunteers and possibly imposing small fees for participation. If fees have to be imposed, we need to look at scholarship opportunities to help those families who are financially stressed to allow all children the opportunity to participate.
KINGMAN, Ariz. (AP) — Lawyers for a Bullhead City man charged in the disappearance and death of an 8-year-old girl are asking a court for $10,000 to pay for a psychological evaluation.
The Mohave County Public Defender's Office said in court papers released Friday that 26-year-old Justin James Rector "does suffer some mental health issues."
Rector has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping, child abuse and abandonment of a body in the death and disappearance of Isabella "Bella" Grogan-Cannella.
Her partially clothed body was found Sept. 3, a day after she was reported missing from her Bullhead City home.
Prosecutors say they are considering seeking the death penalty in the case.
Authorities describe Rector as a family friend who was staying at Isabella's home at the time she disappeared
PHOENIX – Arizona has had one of the nation’s highest rates of suicide in recent years, and while that rate has barely climbed for the state’s overall population one segment has seen a substantial increase: middle-aged men.
In 2002, the suicide rate for men ages 45 to 64 stood at 34.4 per 100,000. In 2012, that rate was 41.8 per 100,000, a 21.5 percent increase.
Among all Arizonans, the rate was 16.2 suicides per 100,000 in 2012, nearly the same as the 2002 rate of 15.9 per 100,000.
Christopher Kilmartin, a psychology professor at University of Mary Washington in Virginia, said that men of middle age and older experience changes like plateauing in careers and suffering from health problems. They grow up believing they shouldn’t discuss their emotions when these changes occur.
“The most common motive for suicide is to escape from your pain, so if you’ve got nowhere else to go to escape your pain or you think, ‘If I talk to my friend about it, he’ll see me as being unmanly, or if I ask for help it means I’m weak,’” Kilmartin said.
The economic recession that began in 2008 played a significant role in the increased rate of suicide among middle-aged men, who are usually lead providers in households, said Sally Spencer-Thomas, CEO & co-founder of the Carson J. Spencer Foundation in Colorado, an organization that aims to curb suicide.
“There were more acute unemployment situations,” Spencer Thomas said. “That often leads to family stress and maybe moving, or a divorce. There’s a domino effect.”
These economic factors can leave middle-aged men depressed, which is one reason a man may act on suicidal thoughts, according to Will Courtenay, author of “Dying to be Men.” He added that there’s a myth in society that men in general don’t get depressed, a notion that he said results in men not expressing their emotions.
“The myth that men don’t get depressed is so powerful that even trained, mental health clinicians are less likely to correctly diagnose depression in men than in women,” Courtenay said. “Consequently, men are less likely to receive treatment for their depression. Left untreated, a man’s depression will often worsen and can lead to suicide.”
For Arizona’s overall population, the rate of suicide among men has been several times higher than that among women.
Kilmartin said while men might have friends from activities such as sports or from work, most don’t have a friend who truly knows them.
“You’re on your own a lot more than the average person was 50 years ago, and the individual as a basis for self-esteem is a shaky foundation,” Kilmartin said. “When you feel like you’re a part of something and there’s people around you that are supportive of you, that’s very protective.”
Heather Brown, board of directors vice president for the Arizona Suicide Prevention Coalition, said the organization provides Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training that helps people identify the warning signs in others. The coalition also has a conference in early October in Phoenix that provides more information on suicide prevention training.
“Honestly, they don’t want to die,” Brown said. “They’re just looking for an end to the chronic pain.”
Ron French, adult services clinical director at Mohave Mental Health Clinic, suggests that people start reaching out to family and friends if they notice their loved ones becoming depressed or beginning to withdraw.
“We don’t want to be rude or impolite, but we need to keep an eye on them,” French said. “Let them know we’re their friend, and we care about them. If you tell me everything is OK and you’re feeling blue, I’ll honor that and I’ll pay a little bit more attention.”
I served our country on an A-Team with the U.S. Army Special Forces (the Green Berets) during the Vietnam War. After honorably completing my years of service, I returned home, only to find that veterans like me were left to rebuild and recover from the war with very little support or understanding from the community.
Recently someone asked me on my thoughts about the NFL players accused of physical abuse to their wives, children and, in one case, a fiancé that has been reported by every major news outlet around the world. I shared, “One who abuses another in any way, is a coward, period.”
While spending time in a group discussion, one person stated that they pray for pain. Everyone stared with bewilderment. This person who prays for pain must of felt all eyes on them and explained further. They said that in pain they learn the most. That they learn to appreciate all the good times in life, to trust in God’s presence in the suffering, and to have hope that all is well. While I understand how suffering or trial can teach us things in life, I would never pray for pain or will difficulty on anyone. In fact, most of humanity seeks to pursue pleasure and run from pain. Nevertheless, that group conversation has reframed my thoughts lately.