Deaths of Despair: Two Georgia counties show stark contrast
By Ray Suarez You might assume that states wrestling with premature death from suicide and substance abuse were places of failure and decline, where the human toll of disappointment illustrates bigger problems about life. But America is more complicated than that. Understanding the evolving human condition can require both... Read more
‘Perfect storm’: An opioid menace like never before
There’s no real profile for the victims. They don’t appear to fit into any particular economic, racial or ethnic grouping. The rising numbers of opioid overdoses “seem to hit everyone,’’ says Dr. Dan McCollum, an emergency medicine physician at Augusta University Medical Center. “It hits all economic strata.’’ Even age... Read more
Violence, stress, scrutiny weigh on police mental health
By Katja Ridderbusch Every once in a while, after working long and sometimes grueling shifts, after getting yelled at and spat on and occasionally having plastic cups thrown at him, Officer Brian Vaughan feels so worn down that he wonders if being a cop is still worth it. “I... Read more
Commentary: Risking crisis in mental health
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to higher rates of anxiety and depression among adults, according to a recent study. But for children and older adults in Georgia, there were fewer mental health diagnoses last year, perhaps because of less in-person contact with schools and medical providers. In a new... Read more
Post-pandemic, we must refocus on mental health
By Dr. Timothy Kennedy “How are you?” is taking on a new meaning in this lingering pandemic state. We know many people aren’t doing well — beyond the physical impact of COVID-19 — because they’ve shared that. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation study showed that during the pandemic, one in four... Read more

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