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Senate Deal Raises Hopes for a Reduction in Gun Suicides

A bipartisan U.S. Senate agreement negotiated after high-profile mass shootings in Texas, New York, and Oklahoma lacks gun access restrictions that advocates say are needed to prevent such attacks. But the deal’s focus on mental health has raised hopes — and doubts — that it will help reduce gun suicides, particularly in rural Western states […]

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The Blackfeet Nation’s Plight Underscores the Fentanyl Crisis on Reservations

BROWNING, Mont. — As the pandemic was setting in during summer 2020, Justin Lee Littledog called his mom to tell her he was moving from Texas back home to the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana with his girlfriend, stepson, and son. They moved in with his mom, Marla Ollinger, on a 300-acre ranch on the […]

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This Rural, Red Southern County Was a Vaccine Success Story. Not Anymore.

MEIGS COUNTY, Tenn. — At a glance, it seemed like a Southern pandemic success story in a most unlikely place. A small county northeast of Chattanooga, along the twisting banks of Chickamauga Lake, for much of the past year has reported the highest covid-19 vaccination rate in Tennessee and one of the highest in the […]

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Shopping for Space, Health Systems Make Over Malls

The hulking Hickory Hollow Mall — a full 1.1 million square feet of retail space in southeastern Nashville — was once the largest shopping center in Tennessee. But like many malls, it’s been in a downward death spiral for more than a decade. Now the mammoth complex surrounded by acres of parking is on track […]

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As Eating Disorders Spike During Pandemic, Rural Treatment Options Lag

Erin Reynolds had battled bulimia since childhood, but the weeks before she entered treatment were among her worst. At 22, she was preparing to leave her home in Helena, Montana, for an inpatient program in New Jersey with round-the-clock medical care. Looking back six years later, Reynolds said seeking help was one of the most […]

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The Pandemic Exacerbates the ‘Paramedic Paradox’ in Rural America

Even after she’s clocked out, Sarah Lewin keeps a Ford Explorer outfitted with medical gear parked outside her house. As one of just four paramedics covering five counties across vast, sprawling eastern Montana, she knows a call that someone had a heart attack, was in a serious car crash, or needs life support and is […]

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Journalists Recap Coverage of the Ongoing Pandemic and Lead Risks in Schools’ Drinking Water

KHN Midwest correspondent Lauren Weber discussed how the covid-19 pandemic has affected home health care and those with disabilities on WBEZ’s “Reset With Sasha-Ann Simons” on March 21. KHN Montana correspondent Katheryn Houghton discussed the high levels of lead in drinking water across Montana schools on WBUR’s “Here and Now” on March 18. Dr. Céline […]

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Cuidado con este cóctel, puede ser peligroso para la salud

El popular cóctel conocido como Moscow Mule (“Mula de Moscú”) supuestamente debe parte de su sabor a la jarra de cobre helada en la que se sirve, porque el metal brillante se oxida ligeramente, mejorando el aroma y la efervescencia de la bebida. Pero el sabor no es lo único que aporta la jarra de […]

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State Laws Aim to Regulate ‘Troubled Teen Industry,’ but Loopholes Remain

Five days after Utah Gov. Spencer Cox signed a law meant to provide stronger oversight of the more than 100 residential youth treatment programs operating in the state, a 12-year-old boy arrived at one of them, Provo Canyon School. Before long, he was forced into seclusion, denied communication with his family and given antipsychotic medication […]

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Montana Tribes Want to Stop Jailing People for Suicide Attempts but Lack a Safer Alternative

POPLAR, Mont. — When Maria Vega was a senior in high school in 2015, she found the body of one of her closest friends, who had died by suicide. A few days later, devastated by the loss, Vega tried to take her own life. After the attempt failed, she was arrested and taken to juvenile […]