1,200 pastors will occur to Dallas to deal with psychological health, social justice and extra

Extra than 1,200 pastors and religion leaders will gather in mid-July to share ideas about how they can deal with psychological health, social justice and other concerns affecting the communities they provide.

Concord Church in southern Dallas will host the collecting July 11-13.

Psychological health and fitness has come to be an more and more severe difficulty due to the fact the coronavirus pandemic. Numerous have confined accessibility to assets irrespective of significant rates of really serious suicidal ideation in the earlier 30 days and an maximize in substance abuse in 2020.

“You have a psychological wellness disaster, of course the racial crisis, you have an financial disaster, you have all of these dynamics that carry on to impression and impact the communities in which we serve,” explained Pastor Bryan Carter, chief of Concord’s 10,000-member congregation. “Passionately, we are coming together to really discover and chat about how we share and preach in this context, but also how we do it efficiently.”

“I feel the mental wellness ingredient is an ongoing situation that we’re dealing with, each personally and for the spouse and children,” he explained. “Depression and panic, suicide among the our younger adults and young people, the past year’s grief — the grief of loved kinds missing in the midst of COVID, but also the grief of everyday living changes — is a important part of it.”

Along with mental health and fitness and social justice, workshops will deal with matters these kinds of as navigating a write-up-pandemic church and partaking youthful generations.

According to the Pew Research Center, there has been a reduce in individuals who detect with Christianity, or any specific religion. All those who discover with Christianity dropped from 78% in 2007 to 63% in 2021, the research stated.

Carter reported that though church attendance has improved over the final yr, it is not still at pre-pandemic levels. He claimed that in-person attendance is one way quite a few people can reconnect with their communities.

Carter states that Black churches are some of the richest belongings Dallas has in conditions of neighborhood and impact. Numerous have nonprofit organizations connected to them, this kind of as food pantries and economic empowerment and reentry systems for people coming out of jail.

“Dallas is exceptionally blessed to have this sort of a solid cloth of church buildings that are incredibly fully commited to serving to to dwell out and make the gospel tangible for people,” he mentioned. “And we still have a long way to go… We still have the wealth hole, and the gap between southern Dallas and North Dallas. We have some considerable problems there, but I do imagine that quite a few of the churches are doing work to uncover remedies.”

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How to avoid costly medical bills and get out of medical debt : Shots

How to get rid of medical debt — or avoid it in the first place

Patients and the consumer advocates say there are things people should do to try to avoid, or navigate, the medical debt trap. Financial assistance is available, but it all requires self-advocacy.

Lori Mangum was 32 when apple-sized tumors sprouted on her head. Now — six years and 10 surgeries later — the skin cancer is gone. But her pain lives on, in the form of medical debt.

Even with insurance, Mangum paid $36,000 out-of-pocket, charges that stemmed from the hospital, the surgeon, the anesthesiologist, the pharmacy, and follow-up care. And she still has about $7,000 more to pay.

While she was trying to manage her treatment and medical costs, Mangum remembers thinking, “I should be able to figure this out. I should be able to do this for myself.”

But medical billing and health insurance systems in the U.S. are complex, and many patients have difficulty navigating them.

“It’s incredibly humbling — and sometimes even to the point of humiliating — to feel like you have no idea what to do,” Mangum said.

If you’re worried about incurring debt during a health crisis or are struggling to deal with bills you already have, you’re not alone. Some 100 million people — including 41% of U.S. adults — have health care debt, according to a recent survey by KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation).

But you can inform and protect yourself. NPR and KHN spoke with patients, consumer advocates, and researchers to glean their hard-won insights on how to avoid or manage medical debt.

“It shouldn’t be on the patients who are experiencing the medical issues to navigate this complicated system,” said Nicolas Cordova, a health care lawyer with the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty. But consumers who inform themselves have a better chance of avoiding debt traps.

That means knowing the ins and outs of various policies — whether it’s your insurance coverage, or a hospital’s financial assistance program, or a state’s consumer protection laws. Ask a lot of questions and persist. “Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer,” said Cordova, “because sometimes you might get a ‘yes’.”

Even people with health insurance can land in debt; indeed, one of the biggest problems, consumer advocates said, is that so many people are underinsured, which means they can get hit with huge out-of-pocket costs from coinsurance and high deductibles.

Here is some practical advice about facing down medical debt, at every stage of care and after.

Before You Get Care

Get familiar with your insurance coverage and out-of-pocket costs

Get the best insurance coverage you can afford — even when you’re healthy. Make sure you know what the copays, coinsurance, and deductibles will be. Don’t hesitate to call the insurer and ask someone to walk you through all the potential out-of-pocket costs. Keep in mind that you cannot make changes to your policy except during certain windows of time, such as open enrollment (typically in the fall or early winter) or after a major life event.

Sign up for public insurance if you qualify

If you’re uninsured but need health care, you might qualify for

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