Focus on ‘practice-based evidence’ could better address disparities in mental health care

About Katti Gray

Katti Gray (@kattigray) is AHCJ's core topic leader for behavioral and mental health. A former Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellow, Gray is providing resources to help AHCJ members expand their coverage of mental health amid ongoing efforts to de-stigmatize mental illness and to place mental health care on par with all health care.

Warriors Against Trauma poster from a past National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day campaign

Photo: Alane Golden via FlickrWarriors Against Trauma poster from a past National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day campaign

The American Psychological Association’s Psychological Services journal is preparing to announce its first call for papers in the field of “practice-based evidence,” a body of research about mental health treatments primarily derived from analyses of evidence-based practice but enlarged by what clinicians of color, in particular, are seeing in community-based and -informed clinical practice.

Greater attention to this area of study would be a significant shift from the “evidence-based research” and practices derived from clinical trials that now strongly influence everything from the types of mental health care that health insurers will pay for to the areas of mental health research that get funded. According to critics, over-reliance on more rigidly designed and conducted studies, which often end up recruiting a disproportionate number of white and middle-class trial participants, results in standards of care that don’t address the lived experience of communities of color, particularly in rural areas. Continue reading

Covering HIV angles and updated HIV and AIDS resources tip sheet

About Bara Vaida

Bara Vaida (@barav) is AHCJ's core topic leader on infectious diseases. An independent journalist, she has written extensively about health policy and infectious diseases. Her work has appeared in the National Journal, Agence France-Presse, Bloomberg News, McClatchy News Service, MSNBC, NPR, Politico, The Washington Post and other outlets.

National HIV Testing Day, June 27Most of our attention over the past year has been on the COVID-19 pandemic, but AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) and HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) remain global threats.

June marks the 40th anniversary of the first cases of what would later be known as AIDS being reported by the CDC. Since then, 32 million people have died around the world.

Public health leaders have made a lot of progress in slowing the spread of HIV, but there are still thousands of Americans infected with the virus annually. Many of them aren’t aware they’re infected. The CDC reported that in 2019, there were 34,800 newly diagnosed HIV infections, down from 37,800 in 2015. About 1.2 million people are living with HIV in the U.S. Continue reading

Welcome AHCJ’s newest members

About Andrew Smiley

Andrew Smiley is the executive director of AHCJ and its Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, and an assistant professor at the Missouri School of Journalism. Smiley comes to AHCJ from a sports broadcasting background, including nearly a decade at the Golf Channel/NBC Sports and a decade at ESPN, where he won an Emmy.

Welcome new membersPlease welcome our newest members of AHCJ.

All new members are welcome to stop by this post’s comment section to introduce themselves. Continue reading

Freelance writer finds wearable technology can boost health

About Karen Blum

Karen Blum is AHCJ’s core topic leader on health IT. An independent journalist in the Baltimore area, she has written health IT stories for publications such as Pharmacy Practice News, Clinical Oncology News, Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News, General Surgery News and Infectious Disease Special Edition.

Andrea King Collier

Andrea King Collier

Can you use wearable devices to improve your fitness and health? AHCJ member Andrea King Collier, an independent journalist in Michigan, was determined to find out.

In an article for AARP The Magazine, Collier detailed her experience trying several portable technologies for a 30-day period. She not only had an interesting experience but lost 10 pounds in the process and received positive feedback from family and friends. As an added bonus, Collier’s story won a gold award for AARP from the National Mature Media Awards. Continue reading

ACA hits new high and survives in court, but journalists still have some explaining to do

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at

With just over a week to go in June, the Affordable Care Act has already had a very successful month in two important ways.

First, the ACA hit a record for enrollment, topping 31 million Americans since the law went into effect in 2014, according to a report the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued earlier this month. And, second, the ACA survived a challenge at the U.S. Supreme Court, as we reported last week.

To reach that figure of 31 million, the HHS report included the 20 million who have gained insurance through the marketplaces under the ACA itself and through other ACA insurance programs. Continue reading