Health

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

Jessica Paterson

The Mental Health Services Act has long supplied the bulk of funding for California counties to prevent and treat mental illness among Medi-Cal patients. But some counties aren’t using the money. San Luis Obispo County had a $14.7 million fund balance at the end of the 2015-2016 fiscal year. 

Governor's budget earmarks funding for mental, inmate and rural health issues

May 14, 2018
Andrew Nixon/Capital Public Radio

Governor Jerry Brown has proposed some one-time budget allotments that could improve health services for inmates, the mentally ill and rural residents going forward; all currently key issues in San Luis Obispo County.

Sandra Foyt/Flickr

San Luis Obispo County’s Oceano Dunes is a complex of coastal sand dunes with a 5.5-mile stretch of drivable beach, the only place in California where it’s legal to drive off-highway vehicles along the water's edge. In an effort to control air pollution in the area, there will soon be about 100 fewer acres on which to go four-wheeling at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area.

In a society obsessed with youth and beauty - how far should we go in an attempt to meet social standards for appearance? Enhancing our appearance might be good for our soul and mental health. But we may need to redefine our beauty ideal. Tune in Tuesday at 2 for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist about the often precarious quest for our best self.

There has been a lot of activity, writing, and discussion lately around the topic of Depression and how we think about this most distressing and prevalent of mood disorders. What if everything we believe is wrong and that everything we are doing to make it better is actually making it worse? And what if feeling depressed is actually our new normal - and feelings of joy, hope and happiness have become just fleeting experiences that we enjoy through certain times in our life?

Tyler Pratt/KCBX

April 1 marks the opening of a new facility in San Luis Obispo County aimed at providing mental health services. The county’s Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) is designed to provide urgent treatment to those with psychiatric emergencies. 

Alex E. Proimos /Flickr

Members of a special California Assembly health committee say a controversial health care plan is still on the table, but it could take years to flesh out. The group discussed single payer and other models this week in Sacramento.

Revisiting the life and death of Andrew Holland

Feb 22, 2018
Bree Zender/KCBX

There are nearly ten times as many mentally ill persons in jails and prisons as there are in mental hospitals presently in the U.S., according to a recent Marin County Civil Grand Jury report. And California's county jails have a "particularly severe burden" due to the closing of most of the state's mental hospitals. 

We are reexamining the 2017 death of Andrew Holland at the San Luis Obispo County Jail, with a special segment produced by former KCBX News reporter Bree Zender. 

A Conversation with the Reluctant Therapist... When faced with profound loss it is natural to want to retreat from the inevitable pain and despair that are sure to follow. But when we attempt to bury and avoid our grief, we also push away our capacity to feel love. Accepting loss doesn't mean forgetting and moving on: it is really an opportunity for transformation and growth. Tune in for a conversation with the reluctant therapist, Elizabeth Barrett about how love and grief can co-exist in our lives.

Monterey County declares hepatitis A outbreak among homeless

Feb 7, 2018
Flickr/Steven Depolo

Monterey County is the latest county in California to declare a hepatitis A outbreak among its homeless population. 

Turn Worry to Trust. In an age when we are more connected than ever, why is it that we still feel so insecure, vulnerable and afraid? It might be that we've give into worry and lost our ability to trust. Tune in Tuesday at 2 for a conversation with the reluctant therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, about serendipity, kismet and an actual godsend. Your calls will be welcomed and encouraged.

How far have we traveled down the road to equality for all? In honor of Black History month and the contributions of African Americans in shaping the United States, listen for a conversation with host Elizabeth Barrett and her guests—a social activist in high school and a retired military veteran with ties to the civil rights movement—about their generational perspectives regarding the state of freedom and justice in America. They consider how we got here and where we’re going.

Jennifer Storm is the ultimate survivor, turned thriver, overcoming addiction, trauma and adversity to become an author and appointed Pennsylvania Victim Advocate fighting for other's rights. She offers insights and firsthand experiences about the complexities of biological and emotional responses to trauma and sexual assault. Tune in for a conversation with host Elizabeth Barrett and her guest about key components that can help a person turn their lives around in even the darkest of circumstances.

What is your family story? Every family has one, whether it's about a long-held family business, a home passed down through generations, or annual holiday gatherings that bring everyone together. Having a family legacy—a shared sense of purpose and belonging—is a cornerstone to our mental health and well-being. This is a conversation with host Elizabeth Barrett about creating your own family mission statement and why knowing your history matters, warts and all.

Television has struggled with a long complex and often misunderstood relationship with viewers. But although some studies may indicate some negatives associated with passive viewing, since the 1960s television has also been the driver of many social changes and introduced the American public to new issues, ideas, challenges, and triumphs. Some say television is in a platinum age of excellence. How do we harness this old school form of communication in a way that actually improves our social connections and well-being?

Influenza cases spiking on Central Coast

Jan 4, 2018
Greta Mart

Hospitals around the Central Coast are seeing a huge influx of patients suffering from flu symptoms

The are the four essential tools for mental health and well-being. The question is, how to we put them all together in challenging times? And how do you know if we're on the right path? Listen as Elizabeth Barrett discusses the paths to healing that are within our reach if we are willing to own our power and take responsibility for our lives.

New year brings expanded services for Denti-Cal

Dec 27, 2017
evanrudemi/Flickr Creative Commons

Low-income dental patients in California will have new access to important procedures, such as crowns and root canals, starting January 1.

An encore presentation, originally broadcast 9/16/2014.

A conversation with Author, Activist, and Inspiration, Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolen. Our planet is at a tipping point socially, politically and environmentally. So, where can we find the guidance and inspiration we need to collectively save the world? It’s a conversation about how we can find the role models and messages we need in the stories of the Gods and Goddesses of ancient Greece. 

Boil order in effect for Shandon

Dec 19, 2017
http://bit.ly/2knen2t

Residents in the San Luis Obispo County community of Shandon are being asked to boil their water before drinking or cooking. 

There is much joy in giving. There are also many mental health benefits in being of service to others. But too many selfless acts without rejuvenation can lead to fatigue, disappointment, and depression. How can we find the zest for celebrating when our reserves have been depleted? Host Elizabeth Barrett talks with Michelle Gordon about the role of self care in making possible a happier holiday for all.

California unexpectedly releases guidelines on cell phones and health risks

Dec 18, 2017
Greta Mart

The California Department of Public Health released a new set of guidelines on cell phone use and radiation risk — revisiting a years-long debate about whether the pocket-sized gadgets we can’t live without are slowly giving us cancer. 

California lawmakers look to other states for single-payer model

Dec 11, 2017

A committee of California lawmakers is working toward a universal health care plan that would cover all state residents. This week they’ll hear from policymakers in other states who’ve attempted to launch similar models. 

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.

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