5 New England Organizations Helping People Access Quality Healthcare
Affordable, high-quality, and easily accessible healthcare should be guaranteed, but this is unfortunately not the case in the US. Striving to address this inequity as it manifests in New England, the organizations listed here provide advocacy, education, and a range of essential health services to bolster the wellbeing of citizens throughout the region. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.
5 Vital Groups Improving Healthcare in New England
|Harrington HealthCare System||Southbridge, Massachusetts||Deliver optimal healthcare to the residents and communities of South Central Massachusetts and Northeastern Connecticut|
|Maine Family Planning||Augusta, Maine||Ensure that all Maine people have access to high-quality, affordable reproductive health care, comprehensive sexual health education, and the right to control their reproductive lives|
|Families First Health & Support Center||Portsmouth, New Hampshire||Deliver innovative, compassionate, integrated health services and support that are accessible to all in the community, regardless of ability to pay|
|Groton Wellness||Groton, Massachusetts||Hold a space where practitioners of many modalities come together, collaborate, and actualize the process of understanding, educating, empowering, and healing patients|
|NAMI Connecticut||West Hartford, Connecticut||Provide support, education, and advocacy for Connecticut's citizens affected by mental illness|
The Pediatric and Primary Care of Families First
Groups Working Toward Reproductive Justice
|SPARK||Build new leadership, change culture, and advance knowledge in Georgia and the South to ensure individuals and communities have resources and power to make sustainable and liberatory decisions about their bodies, gender, sexualities, and lives|
|Reproductive Health Access Project||Work directly with primary care providers, helping them integrate abortion, contraception, and miscarriage care into their practices so that everyone can receive this essential health care from their own primary care clinicians|
|NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri||Protect every person's right to access the full range of reproductive health options, including but not limited to preventive care, family planning, sexuality education, prenatal and postnatal health care, and accessible, legal abortion|
|Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice||Elevate the moral power of faith communities to ensure that all people can access the reproductive health care they need|
|Feminist Women's Health Center||Provide safe, accessible, and compassionate abortion and gynecological care to all those who need it without judgment|
U.S. Mental Health Facts
- 1 in 5 U.S. adults experiences mental illness each year
- 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24
- Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34
- The average delay between onset of mental illness symptoms and treatment is 11 years
- People with depression have a 40% higher risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases than the general population
- 19.3% of U.S. adults with mental illness also experienced a substance use disorder in 2018
- The rate of unemployment is higher among U.S. adults who have mental illness (5.8%) compared to those who do not (3.6%)
- 41% of the people with mental disorders receive professional health care or other services
- Mental illness is associated with lower use of medical care, reduced adherence to treatment therapies for chronic diseases and higher risks of adverse health outcomes
- Up to 25% of primary care patients suffer from depression, but primary care doctors identify only 31% of these patients
- 4% of young adults reported forgoing mental health care in the past year, despite self-reported mental health needs
- Major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15-44
- Women are nearly twice as likely to suffer from major depression than men
- Four times as many men than women commit suicide
- Suicidal ideation among adults increased from 3.77% in 2012 to 4.19% in 2017
- The proportion of youth with private insurance that did not cover mental or emotional difficulties went from 4.6% in 2012 to 8.1% in 2017
- 8.4% of children aged 6 to 17 have been diagnosed with anxiety and/or depression
The Importance of Trust in Healthcare
The communities of New England range from busy metropolises to small rural towns, and with that variety comes a broad range of public health needs. Committed local organizations address this demand by providing care, educating the public, and advocating for broader access to key resources. The groups listed here, in no particular order, work to support wellness throughout the region.
Kicking off the rundown at #1 is Harrington HealthCare System, a network of nonprofit medical facilities throughout South Central Massachusetts and Northeastern Connecticut. It offers a broad spectrum of care, with services including cardiology, diagnostic imaging, and pain management assistance, among many others. Harrington encompasses numerous specialist programs such as pediatric and family medicine, occupational health, gynecology, and urology.
Harrington's UrgentCare Express and Emergency Care Center locations offer assistance with issues that must be addressed immediately, and its Behavioral Health facilities offer psychological treatment. The organization provides patient resources such as financial counseling, and those pursuing long-term health goals can seek support for nutrition, sleep, and physical rehabilitation.
The organization provides patient resources such as financial counseling, and those pursuing long-term health goals can seek support for nutrition, sleep, and physical rehabilitation.
Next up at #2 is Maine Family Planning, which promotes statewide access to reproductive health services. The organization provides birth control and counseling on contraceptive options at its clinics; it also performs primary care and wellness visits, testing for sexually transmitted infections, and cancer screening. Virtual visits are available for those who cannot easily reach one of MFP's physical locations.
MFP's Prevention Program works to ensure that young people can receive adequate sexual health education. It provides resources for parents, teachers, and teens, and organizes the annual Comprehensive Sexuality Education Conference to share knowledge and promote best practices. MFP also organizes political action to support reproductive choice rights, including canvassing, demonstrations, and digital advocacy.
Our #3 entry is Families First Health & Support Center, a not-for-profit community resource in New Hampshire's Seacoast region and southern Maine. This clinic, which began as a prenatal care center, has expanded to offer services from pediatric health to senior care. Families First accepts all patients, regardless of ability to pay, offering assistance including a sliding fee scale and advice on insurance registration.
This clinic, which began as a prenatal care center, has expanded to offer services from pediatric health to senior care.
Families First brings care directly to those in need, with options like mobile clinics for those without secure housing, or home visits for education on accessing vital services and meeting basic needs. Its Partners in Health program supports parents with chronically ill children, and its Family Center offers play groups, classes on parenting strategies, and daycare. Other offerings include behavioral health, preventative screening, and socializing opportunities for seniors.
For #4 we'll look at Groton Wellness, a Massachusetts-based center for Functional Medicine and Biological Dentistry, focused on addressing the full spectrum of each patient's needs. Its integrative medicine approach views illness and health from a systems approach, offering a range of diagnostic services including thermographic imaging for cancer, or the online Living Matrix tool for personalized holistic assessment.
Groton Wellness provides treatments including acupuncture, herbal medicine, and nutrition coaching. Its Detoxification Spa experience incorporates services such as massage therapy and relaxing salt baths, and its Women's Health Center addresses issues like hormonal imbalance and fertility. Groton Wellness also offers counseling on healthy aging and managing chronic disease, and its Farm To Table Cafe serves locally sourced organic food to support therapeutic diets.
Groton Wellness provides treatments including acupuncture, herbal medicine, and nutrition coaching.
Closing out our list at #5 is NAMI Connecticut, an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. This organization works to improve understanding of psychological difficulties, and access to treatment for those affected. Programs like the NAMI Basics family education course share information about managing the day-to-day difficulties of mental health problems.
NAMI Connecticut shares a variety of resources for individuals and families struggling with mental illness, including information on specific disorders and assistance finding support groups. The organization advocates for better support services for people impacted by these conditions, and promotes initiatives like the Stigma is Curable Campaign to dispel misconceptions about mental health. NAMI's Outreach Partnership Program also helps interested individuals find and participate in research efforts.