Headshots, baby teeth, basketball, and rocks
What more could you possibly want? Ambiguous statistics? GOT THOSE TOO.
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Here are some people coming up on our show:
I know how to read. Not sure how to read this.
According to a recent study, one in five Americans has received mental health care during the pandemic. So if you’re in a room with four other people and none of them have received mental health care? That’s right. YOU have received mental health care.
The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data seem to confirm it. The survey found that the percentage of adults who had received any mental treatment in the past 12 months “significantly increased from 19.2% in 2019 to 20.3% in 2020,” Emily Terlizzi, MPH, a researcher with the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), tells Verywell via email. The results were published in October.
So just over a percentage point but that’s millions of people. And that’s just up to 2020, no data yet for this year.
On the one hand, it’s great that more people are seeking mental health care. More people need it than get it. And if they found available providers that they could afford, that’s terrific.
Over on hand number two, HMM WHAT HAPPENED IN 2020? It’s an indicator that our heads are mucked up with a pandemic, massive amount of death, huge disruptions, you know the whole thing.
And staying on hand number two, the more appointments fill up, the more scarcity there is among available providers and appointments.
Then there’s this:
Non-Hispanic White adults were most likely to have received any mental health treatment (24.4%), followed by:
Non-Hispanic Black people (15.3%)
Hispanic people (12.6%)
Non-Hispanic Asian people (7.7%)
Although the reasons for these differences were not discussed in the report, past research has linked lower rates of mental health treatment among marginalized groups to systemic racism, increased difficulty accessing health insurance, and long-entrenched financial barriers.4
A 2018 study concluded that “racial/ethnic minorities in the United States are more likely than Whites to have severe and persistent mental disorders and less likely to access mental health care.”
Why, here’s someone getting help right now. It’s Ben Simmons.
I don’t listen to sports radio anymore. Used to. Then podcasting came along and I pretty much ditched terrestrial radio. Because it’s better to listen to things that you want than endure a lot of what you don’t. It’s very simple.
So I haven’t heard a lot of the aggravation that I’m sure is on the AM dial about Philadelphia 76er Ben Simmons, who started meeting with mental health professionals this week.
Simmons and the Sixers have had a four-plus-month standoff that started after the team's Eastern Conference semifinals loss to Atlanta. Simmons, 25, has asked for a trade, and previously told the team that he had no interest in playing again for the Sixers. The Sixers have discussed trades but aren't close to making one and want Simmons to play until a deal can be found. In fining Simmons last week, officials believed they had been supportive of Simmons' stated need to seek mental health assistance and were left no choice but to take those actions in response to the three-time All-Star's previous refusal to provide basic details of his course of mental health meetings, evaluations or treatments, nor to accept consultation with any specialists arranged by the team, sources said.
I think all the macho bullshit about being tough is really toxic and if someone needs time for their mental health, they should take it. But in that time, that person should be in some kind of treatment.
At the same time, it must suck really bad to have the whole world watch you fall apart, as occurred in the playoffs last year to Simmons, and then have everyone know whether or not you’re going to your dang therapist appointments.
I hope he gets the help he needs. Throwing a basketball through a hoop is an entertainment. He owes us nothing. But it’s awesome that he’s getting help.
LOOK CLOSELY AT BABY TEETH! LOOK AT THEM!!!
Because maybe they’re an indicator of mental health. What? Yeah! No wait what?! YEAH.
“Teeth create a permanent record of different kinds of life experiences,” she says. Exposure to sources of physical stress, such as poor nutrition or disease, can affect the formation of dental enamel and result in pronounced growth lines within teeth, called stress lines, which are similar to the rings in a tree that mark its age. Just as the thickness of tree growth rings can vary based on the climate surrounding the tree as it forms, tooth growth lines can also vary based on the environment and experiences a child has in utero and shortly thereafter, the time when teeth are forming. Thicker stress lines are thought to indicate more stressful life conditions.
In the future, mental health screening for kids can be placed in the hands of the dentists. I’m sure they won’t mind.