February 25, 2024
Will curbing social media help kids' mental health? Florida may try.

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Will curbing social media help kids' mental health? Florida may try.

| 1/16/2024

Will curbing social media help kids’ mental health? Florida may try.

Amid rising teen anxiety and suicides, Florida lawmakers are moving ahead with a solution: Stop them from using social media. To top legislators and other advocates, social media is akin to opioids and tobacco. But while the rate of teen anxiety and depression has risen along with the prevalence of social media, there is little data indicating that one is causing the other, researchers say. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

The ACA enrollment period ends Tuesday, and Florida again leads the nation in sign-ups

With more than 4 million enrollees and the deadline on Tuesday, Florida is again leading the country in the number of people who have signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Florida’s total of 4,034,546 is ahead of last year’s count by about 800,000, according to the federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. That was the second-largest increase in the nation, behind Texas which recorded 880,000 new plans. More from Health News Florida and the Miami Herald.

Florida counties score well in children's well-being, but obesity is a concern

Overall, the state saw many improvements across the board in the Florida Policy Institute's 2023 Child Well-Being Index. The index ranks each county on factors including economic well-being, education, health and community. Reductions in child poverty, high school students using alcohol and drugs, and graduation rates improved. All but one factor stayed the same or got better. The top issue found in the index was childhood obesity, said Kids Count director Norin Dollard. [Source: WUSF]

Florida Senate in position to pass sweeping health care bill

The Florida Senate is poised to pass a wide-ranging health care plan that includes trying to boost the number of doctors in the state, shift patients away from emergency rooms and seed innovation efforts. The Senate Fiscal Policy Committee on Thursday unanimously passed two bills that make up the plan, setting the stage for the full Senate to vote as early as next week. Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, has made the issue one of her top priorities. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

See also:
» Florida House panel backs health care plan; Medicare expansion unlikely

Florida TaxWatch spotlights ‘alarming shortage’ of physicians, offers solutions

With more than 800 new residents arriving every day, Florida is the fastest growing state in the nation. It also has one of the largest shares of senior citizens in the country. Demand for health care is only going to increase. Which is why the Sunshine State should act now to address its existing physician shortage so that it doesn’t grow unmanageable in the coming years, research shows. [Source: Florida Politics]


› Central Florida group offers free mental health care for uninsured kids
Amid a growing youth mental health crisis, the Mental Health Association of Central Florida has begun offering free mental health services to uninsured, low-income children, teens and their families at its downtown Orlando Outlook Clinic. The free clinic previously offered counseling and medication management mental health services for adults, but in recent years, the need for more mental health care for young people has become impossible to ignore, said Marni Stahlman, president and CEO of the association.

› Tampa General Hospital becomes first in Florida to train staff to recognize signs of human trafficking
Tampa General Hospital has become Florida's first hospital to train all of its staff to spot signs that a patient is a victim of human trafficking. Attorney General Ashley Moody joined TGH officials on Thursday to announce the new training efforts and said it would be vital to the state's efforts to combat human trafficking, particularly as 9 out of 10 victims typically look for medical help while they are being trafficked.

› South Florida doctor speaks on 'actionable steps' for getting healthy in the new year
Getting healthy and prioritizing wellness is among the most common New Year's resolutions every year. Doctor Skirmante Sirvaitis, an internal medicine physician at Jupiter Medical Center, says getting healthy in the new year starts with taking stock of where your health currently stands. Sirvaitis says to set reasonable goals, set regular check-ins and start slow to build exercise stamina.

› Costs overwhelm UF Health in care for poor and inmates, auditor's report says
Northeast Florida’s largest hospital and central caregiver for its neediest patients is in dire straits due to a deepening hole of debt, a costly deal with Jacksonville’s jail and a worsening deficit it faces for treating poor people, according to the Jacksonville Council Auditor’s Office. UF Health Jacksonville’s grim financial results last year puts the onus on the city to decide how it will address rising health care costs for poor patients going forward. Council Auditor Kim Taylor detailed in a special report.

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