Mental Health Care Coordination Yet Another Casualty Of Mid-Year Budget Cuts

It’s been almost a month since Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s budget office announced it was cutting about $103 million from the 2016 budget, but hospital officials still aren’t clear about how much has been cut from certain line items.

This became clear during the Behavioral Health Council meeting Wednesday at the Legislative Office Building. Charles Herrick, chief of psychiatry for Danbury and New Milford Hospitals, asked the council if part of the cut involves a $1.5 million grant to coordinate care for patients with behavioral or mental health issues. Colleen Harrington of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services told Herrick that the grant he’s referring to has been delayed until 2017 to help offset other budget cuts. To read the full ctnewsjunkie report click here.

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Jepsen Asks Drugmaker To Explain Narcan Price Spike

State Attorney General George Jepsen wants a California-based drugmaker to explain why the cost of a medication used to treat heroin overdoses has suddenly jumped, claiming the increase could jeopardize lives if Connecticut first responders can no longer afford to administer it. Jepsen wrote a letter this week to Jack Zhang, CEO of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals Inc., asking why the cost of Naxolone, a drug also known as Narcan, has “dramatically and unexpectedly” risen.

The drug is injected into patients to counter the effects of an opioid overdose, and first responders in Connecticut often use it to treat those suffering from heroin overdoses, according to Jepsen.

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Youth Gun Violence Continues To Plague Hartford

It was a frigid evening in Hartford on Feb. 7, 2007. The sun was just beginning to wink below the horizon. Deanna Pugh, 45, of Enfield, stepped out of her family’s car in front of Reyes Grocery to have a cigarette. She didn’t want to smoke in the car with Cyncere Preston, her seven-year-old granddaughter, because Cyncere had asthma.

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Spending On Native Advertising Projected To Soar Online

Online posts that blur the line between content and advertisement are proliferating across the web. According to Business Insider, native advertising, as it is called, is expected to more than quadruple from 2013 to 2018, part of a larger trend away from display ads on websites. Native advertising, which Copyblogger defines as “paid content that matches a publication’s editorial standards while meeting the audience’s expectations,” comes in the form of everything from sponsored posts on Facebook to paid articles integrated within a website or blog that often relate back to a particular brand. For example, a Buzzfeed article paid for by paint company Sherwin-Williams -“17 Paint Hacks You Absolutely Need In Your Life” - offers painting tips interwoven with animated images featuring the company’s products. The post is both content and advertisement, a hallmark of native advertising.

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Student Loan Debt Mires Millennials

Renee Traynor, 30, has been out of college for eight years and working, but she’s still struggling with debt. She is among an estimated 1.6 million 2003 college graduates who entered the workforce with hefty debt from college. Today, the average college graduate with a bachelor’s degree owes almost $30,000 in student loans, according to “When I first graduated college, I was acutely aware of how much I owed in student loans, and it made it extremely challenging in finding a job,” Traynor said. Seven months after graduation from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Traynor found a well-paying job in journalism.

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Zach, Fidelity, Kate

Is Social Media Hindering Our Face-To-Face Socialization Skills?

Many have seen it, the rows of people with eyes glued to their phones, whether they are on the train, at a restaurant or even in their own homes.  Are social media and the technology that makes it accessible hindering peoples’ socialization skills? In this new age of smartphones, millennials and even older individuals are finding themselves enveloped in the world of technology and social media. In a large survey conducted by, 90 percent of teens surveyed, ages 13 to 17, reported to have used some form of social media in their lives. Seventy-five percent of teens currently have a social networking profile, and 51 percent visit that social networking site daily. Is this fervent use of phones and social media causing a loss of social skills?

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Teen Pregnancy Rates Down Statewide, But Remain High In Cities

In Connecticut and nationally, the number of teen pregnancies has decreased dramatically. But the number of teen births remain high in the state’s largest cities. From 2006 to 2010, there were 22 pregnancies for every 1,000 teens in cities such as New Britain, New Haven, Waterbury and Bridgeport, according to figures from the state Department of Public Health. According to the New Haven Register, an average of 45.6 out of every 1,000 teen girls in New Haven gave birth between 2006 and 2010, while in New Britain, the number was 57 per 1,000, and in Hartford, 61.9 out of every 1,000. Heather Mills, co-executive director at Pathways/Senderos Center in New Britain, explains why the number of teens getting pregnant remains high in cities like New Britain.

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Suicide Rate High For Middle-Aged Men

The rate of suicide in men is four times higher than in women in the United States, and it may be because they use more lethal methods, some experts say. “Women tend to choose less effective means of suicide (e.g., overdosing with pills), while men choose more lethal means. More men actually wind up killing themselves,” said Dr. Harold Schwartz, psychiatrist-in-chief of the Institute of Living/Hartford Hospital. Fifty-one percent of men use firearms as a method of suicide, while poisoning is the most common method of suicide for women, according to information reported by Suicide Awareness Voices of Education. The highest annual suicide rate by age group in 2013 was among people 45 to 64 years old, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

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Sales Of Hair Relaxers Decline, As More Blacks Go Natural

In an emerging national trend, the African-American community is transitioning from relaxed hair to natural hair. “Relaxers represent 21 percent of the black hair care market, with expenditures at $152 million, down 15 percent since 2011 due to the natural hair trend," Antonia Opiah wrote in The Huffington Post. Some women and girls, such as Kadejah Gamble, 17, of Hartford, say they are making the switch because they are concerned about the damage the harsh relaxant chemicals were doing to their hair. “My hair was getting too thin, and my hair was falling out,” she said. “I was going to look like a rat.”

Perming hair has been prevalent since 1905 and involves the use of chemicals or heat applied to hair.

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Julia Schemmer

Data Reveals Persistent Anti-Semitic Unrest In Europe

The Holocaust ended 70 years ago, but a recent study from the Global 100 and the Anti-Defamation League found that that the Anti-Semitic attitudes behind the genocide are alarmingly alive within Europe. David Simon, the co-director of Genocide Studies at Yale University, is troubled by neo-Nazis in Europe. “I believe it stems from two main problems. The first is the rise of immigrant communities since they are receiving less exposure to Jewish communities,” Simon said in a Skype interview with C-HIT from Rwanda. “The bigger issue, however, is the nationalistic resurgence and the rejection of European ideas.”

The ADL study, conducted from July 2013 to February 2014, revealed that 58% of respondents in Europe harbored malevolent feelings towards people of Jewish descent. In addition, 69% of respondents in both Western and Eastern Europe claim to never have met a Jewish person.

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