Health

Reports focusing on the latest health news and trends along California's Central Coast.

What if there isn't a lot to be thankful for? Should you give up your seat at the table or hide out,
so as not to bring others down? Tune in for a conversation about some of the challenges associated with this traditional family holiday and how to find hints of gratitude even when you're just not "feeling it."

Bree Zender/KCBX News

When Christie Macias' child came out as transgender at age 11, the first visit with their Santa Barbara pediatrician was not as supportive as she would have liked.

Valley Fever cases spike in Central Coast counties

Nov 16, 2017
USDA/Lance Cheung

The number of new Valley Fever cases in California is on path to make 2017 a record-breaking year. 

Getting it down on paper is one of the best ways to tend to our mental health. Whether it's journaling, sketching, list-making, brainstorming or letter writing, research supports the healing powers of self expression. Tune in for a conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, and her guest, Lucia Capacchione, about the many benefits of guided mindful journaling.

When the effects of combat and trauma  come home with them, many veterans find themselves struggling with the physical, mental and emotional fall out. Suicide claims 20 veterans each day and 20 percent of returning soldiers are suffering from PTSD. Operation Surf was created  by Van Curaza to restore hope and focus for veterans and their families. Tune in for a conversation with Van about surfing, his life and his work with Op Surf.

It has become easier to talk about dying with dignity and different ways to approach death. But we still cringe when it comes to addressing what happens once it's time to dispose of your body? Tune in for a conversation with the reluctant therapist - in honor of All Hallows' Eve, when the veil between the living and the dead is most thin- in a discussion about different funeral traditions and options.

In this complex world of rapidly changing social norms, heightened expectations and intense pressure toward perfection - the job of raising daughters to be healthy, strong and confident women is more challenging than ever. And for father's, often unsure of their role in parenting - the responsibility of guiding and nurturing their daughters can be even more daunting. Listen for a conversation with  Elizabeth Barrett about fathers, daughters and the unique influence they have on each other's lives. Guests Dr. Eric Simon and his daughter Malia will talk about their experiences and the inspiration that led to Malia to write a book at 17. Your calls will be welcomed and encouraged.

In almost every aspect of life, the current status of women in society is under assault - economically, politically, socially and personally.  With injustice and inequality so pervasive and systemically ingrained in our culture, even the most passionate of activists can feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to put their energies to make progress.  How do we connect the dots, find a common denominator, and begin to bring about true equality in an unequal world?  Tune in for a conversation about the fight for true equality. 

California sues over Trump's health care law cuts

Oct 13, 2017
Courtesy of CA Senate Democrats

California is leading a lawsuit by 18 states against the Trump administration. That’s after the President suspended a key component of the health care law this week.  

World Mental Health Day is observed on October 10th every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.

The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.

Tune in for a conversation with the reluctant therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, about making mental health a cultural priority. Your calls will be welcomed and encouraged.

Anthem’s exit leaves thousands on Central Coast with one health plan option

Oct 5, 2017

For about 60,000 Covered California customers, choosing a health plan next year will be easier, and possibly more painful, than ever: There will be only one insurer left in their communities after Anthem Blue Cross of California pulls out of much of the state’s individual market. 

James Gathany, CDC

San Luis Obispo County has confirmed one case of West Nile virus, detected in the body of a dead bird in Atascadero.

Making sense of parenting in the 21st century can be full of twists and turns, conflicting opinions and research. Unfortunately, you'll never know how you're doing as a parent until it may be too late to change course. Tune in for a conversation about making the most of your parenting years and ensuring that you've provided the best foundation for your child.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New data released Tuesday from the California Department of Public Health reveals cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and infections are on the rise on the Central Coast. The number of gonorrhea cases have doubled and syphilis cases quadrupled in Santa Barbara County since 2011. 

If we can't talk about it how can we make it better? September is Suicide Awareness and Prevention month -  so it's time to have the conversation about one of the most difficult mental health issues we face. No one is immune and suicide does not discriminate - so everyone needs to be aware of the red flags, recognize triggers and be willing to reach out for help when they need it or be there for someone who may be struggling. Join us for this important hour with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett. Your calls will be welcomed and encouraged.

Looking back over the summer of 2017 it will be the memories of time spent alone in blissful solitude, and the time spent in joyful community with those we love, along with the moments of awe and wonder, surprise and comedic disaster that will sustain our mental health and well-being. It is in the sharing and retelling of these memories and stories that we keep them alive and active in our hearts. Tune in for a conversation about those memories we've collected and how they far outlast the collecting of things.

Five years ago Hurricane Sandy slammed into New York and the Jersey shore, spreading destruction and devastation in a way the country had never experienced. It was considered the storm of a century - until Harvey and Irma came ashore. How do we recover physically, emotionally and communally when faced with the unimaginable? Tune in for a conversation with Sandy survivor, Ed Wright, about the lessons learned post this catastrophic storm.

North to Alaska

Sep 5, 2017

Elizabeth Barrett asks “What is community?” and “What is home?” as she continues her summer adventures, traveling around the nation.  This week she takes us to Alaska, where she explores, not just the natural beauty and wide open spaces of our 49th state, but also the communities made up of people who call Alaska home.  Tune in for a show from the road in Juneau, Alaska with the Reluctant Therapist.

This show from the road features conversations with two men, of two different generations with two very different perspectives on the future of farming and meeting the needs of a growing population. Tune in to meet Farmer John from Half Moon Bay, a third generation family farmer and long time community leader, and Robin "Bloom" Liepman, musician, activist and passionate advocate of the permaculture movement.

What happens when a community comes together to hear what their neighbors have to say about their shared hometown? Tune in for a follow-up conversation with Ashlin Hatch and Kyle Berlin about their project, "Nice Town, Normal People." They will be sharing how their recent performances were received, what they learned from the 100 interviews they conducted with residents, and what they see as the next step for Arroyo Grande, and other towns around the country, grappling with change, growth and competing visions for the future.

Is it really eavesdropping, or is it simply being friendly, to chime in on the conversation of strangers? Sometimes the greatest interactions happen in the most unlikely places and circumstances, so wouldn't it be a shame to miss out on a new friendship for fear of being too bold? And in order to make any new connections in life, someone has to jump in and initiate the exchange. Tune in for a conversation about the art of striking up a conversation, and enjoying wherever that experience takes you.

In our quest to make life appear to be more simple, manageable or understandable, we have unintentionally created more challenges to getting along, getting by and maintaining our mental health and well-being. Understanding the complexities of our social world can feel overwhelming but broadening, instead of narrowing, our worldview can be liberating. Tune in for a conversation about some issues that aren't all bad, or all good, they just are.

Some of the most exciting times in our life happen in the space between feelings of utter despair, pain and suffering and feelings of mastery, joy and completion. And yet - we've been conditioned to believe that we should avoid destruction at all costs, and focus instead on maintaining balance and ease. But efforts to remain comfortable can eventually prevent us from experiencing profound growth, enlightenment and joy. Tune in Tuesday for a conversation about the importance of stepping into the liminal space and embracing the unknown.

Some of the most exciting times in our life happen in the space between feelings of utter despair, pain and suffering and feelings of mastery, joy and completion. And yet - we've been conditioned to believe that we should avoid destruction at all costs, and focus instead on maintaining balance and ease. But efforts to remain comfortable can eventually prevent us from experiencing profound growth, enlightenment and joy. Tune in for a conversation about the importance of stepping into the liminal space and embracing the unknown.

What is home?

Jul 18, 2017

Home can be defined by the place, the actual structure in which we reside or by the people we share the space with. How we identify home and our place within it has a profound impact on are mental health and well-being. Tune in Tuesday at 2 for a conversation about finding our way home and the path that leads us there. Guests Ashlin Hatch and Kyle Berlin will discuss their current project working with the community of Arroyo Grande to articulate what makes this place home.

Female Friendships - you can be besties or party pals, enjoying a "she"mance or navigating frenemey territory, whatever the status, these relationships, life long or short lived- are rarely easy, but they are incredibly necessary for our mental health and well-being. Tune in for a conversation about the world of friendships and how they shape our lives.

New law prevents out-of-network surprise billing

Jul 5, 2017

Patients who go to a hospital covered under their health insurance plan don’t have to worry about receiving surprise bills anymore, thanks to a California law that took effect July 1.

Greta Mart/KCBX

Three San Luis Obispo County libraries are serving up free lunches and snacks for kids over the next month. Children up to age 18 are welcome to the meals - with no ID, income verification or payment required. 

In order to bring greater awareness to the issue of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the United States Senate designated June 27th as National PTSD Awareness Day. PTSD is a mental health problem that can occur after someone has been exposed to a single traumatic event or multiple traumatic events, such as sexual or physical assault, natural or man-made disaster, and war-related combat stress. Symptoms of PTSD include persistent intrusive thoughts and distressing dreams about the traumatic event, triggered emotional responses to reminders of the trauma, efforts to avoid thinking or talking about the trauma, and persistent hypervigilance for cues that  indicate additional danger or trauma re-occurring. Join us for a conversation about PTSD in it's many forms and how our understanding of trauma and treatment continue to change and improve.

It's the season for travel, adventure, gathering, and the all important family vacation. How will you shake off the cobwebs and re-connect with the people, places and things that really matter? Tune in for a conversation about how the simplest of pleasures can bring us the greatest joy, and help keep our lives in perspective.

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