Public Health

As 988 Crisis Line Sees More Use, States Debate How to Pay for It

Five states have approved a monthly phone fee to support the crisis hotline.

A Spill Outside Philadelphia Adds to the Growing List of Chemical Accidents This Year

There have already been 50 chemical spills or fires in the U.S. this year, and it's only March.

Extra Food Assistance Cushioned the Early Pandemic’s Blow on Kids’ Mental Health

COMMENTARY | Expanding SNAP helped shield low-income children from some of the harm caused by economic upheaval when the Covid-19 pandemic began.

Prescription for Housing? California Wants Medicaid to Cover 6 Months of Rent

Gov. Gavin Newsom is making a bold push for Medicaid health plans to provide more housing support. He argues it’s cheaper to pay for rent than to allow homeless people to fall into crisis, which requires costly care in hospitals, nursing homes and jails.

As Opioid Deaths Keep Rising, Report Urges Lawmakers to Develop New Approaches

Drug overdose rates in the U.S. have risen fivefold in the past two decades. A new report argues state lawmakers should view America’s staggering opioid crisis through an "ecosystems" approach.

To Prevent Gun Suicide, States Consider Allowing People to Deny Themselves a Gun

“We can’t stop all suicide, but if we make the means less lethal, we can save lives.”

Schools Struggle With Lead in Water While Awaiting Federal Relief

President Joe Biden said in his State of the Union address that federal funds will pay to replace lead pipes in hundreds of thousands of schools and child care centers. In the meantime, schools are dealing with high lead levels now.

States Strive to Help SNAP Recipients Cope With Lower Benefits

More than 41 million people bought food with SNAP benefits last year.

Which State You Live in Matters for How Well Environmental Laws Protect Your Health

COMMENTARY | An environmental health lawyer explains why some states have weaker rules than others, and how you can make your concerns heard.

VR Map Tracks ‘Silent Killer’ of Extreme Heat

A 3-D map of Washington, D.C., overlaid with temperature data illustrates urban heat islands and shows neighborhoods that are most at risk.

Amid Dire Suicide Rates in Montana, Governor Expands Student Mental Health Screening

Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte announced a $2.1 million grant using federal aid after state lawmakers rejected a bill that would have essentially addressed the same needs of young people at risk of suicide.

Neighborhood 'Walkability' May Boost Exercise, Lower BMI

People who live in walkable neighborhoods are more likely to exercise and have lower BMIs. But the finding differs by race and ethnicity.

Urban Heat Map Reveals Priority Spots for Cooling Efforts

Citizen scientists in Milwaukee collected air temperature and humidity data to help state officials focus where heat prevention efforts are most needed.

Dollar Stores Are the Fastest Growing Food Stores in the U.S.

Dollar stores are now the fastest-growing food retailers in the contiguous United States—and have doubled their share in rural areas, according to a new study.

States at Center of Battle Over Gas Furnaces and Stoves

Moved by environmental and health concerns, action by state officials to ban natural gas in buildings is heating up. But the plans are also sparking opposition.

After Years of Legal Action from States, 3M Will Stop Making ‘Forever Chemicals’

Legal experts estimate future PFAS litigation could cost the company more than $30 billion.

New York City Agencies to Involuntarily Admit More Severely Mentally Ill People for Evaluations

Mayor Eric Adams clarified that people do not have to be a danger to themselves or others to receive help.

America’s Massive Gap Providing Mental Health Services

Counties are pushing Congress to help fix the problem, which is especially bad in rural communities. But whether lawmakers will do so as part of upcoming budget legislation is unclear.