Teen Lifeline’s new program supports teens who have attempted suicide

PHOENIX — Teen Lifeline, a local nonprofit dedicated to preventing teen suicide, has introducted an initiative with a goal of reducing repeated suicide attempts. Modeled after the Caring Contacts program for adults, volunteer peer counselors reach out to teens who have been discharged from the hospital following a suicide attempt with supportive phone calls, texts, handwritten notes and care packages.

Counselors receive messages from teenagers who have called in to express their gratitude. Teen Lifeline keeps the messages and hangs them in their hotline room. (Photo courtesy of Teen Lifeline)

Group mentor program in Tucson teaches male youth about healthy relationships

TUCSON – A mentoring program is using talking circles, adventure outings and overnight camping trips to help young men develop positive and healthy relationships. The goal is to give every boy in middle and high school access to safe and trusted men.

Young men and their mentors gather around a campfire at a Boys to Men camping weekend. (Photo courtesy of Boys to Men Tucson)

Thousands helped, thousands more may still be in need after Medicaid scams

WASHINGTON - A state hotline has helped thousands of victims in the two months since state officials uncovered a string of fraudulent Medicaid-funded addiction care facilities in Arizona, but the exact scale of the problem is still unknown.

Healing from within: Athletes face mental health struggles during injury

PHOENIX – Leslie Hernandez, a 25-year-old fighter pursuing a UFC contract, suffered a torn labrum, causing anxiety and depression. Amid her recovery, she found solace in watching others train, reigniting her passion for the sport, and is now eager to return to combat with a fresh perspective. Still, she learned injuries can have a profound impact on an athlete's mental health.

‘Abortion-free America’: Initiative seeks more ‘sanctuary cities for the unborn’ across U.S.

PRESCOTT VALLEY – Texas pastor Mark Lee Dickson travels the country hoping to create more “sanctuary cities for the unborn” – with a goal of banishing abortion from America.

Valley food banks reimagine pantries to help seniors hit hard by inflation

Two Valley food banks are reimagining their pantries to help inflation-strapped seniors, expanding from traditional food boxes to market days, group meals, breakfast and takeout options. Their leaders know healthy meals support overall health and wellness.

Ohio special election, proposed constitutional amendment illustrate broader battles on abortion

DELAWARE, Ohio – A year after the reversal of Roe v. Wade, activists are facing off at the ballot box. In Ohio, voters are deciding whether to make it harder to amend the state constitution. That election comes just months before they consider an amendment to protect abortion rights.

People walk by the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus on June 27, 2023. Other states are watching Ohio's dueling efforts to make it harder to pass amendments to the state constitution and to enshrine abortion rights in the constitution. (Photo by Mingson Lau/News21)

Take as prescribed, if you can find it: Drug shortages hit a 10-year high

WASHINGTON - The number of drugs in short supply in the U.S. is now the highest in a decade, according to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, with one official calling the shortage of chemotherapy drugs particularly concerning.

‘We’re not the place’: Yuma County residents fight hazardous waste permit

PHOENIX – A petition to stop a local waste company from expanding into hazardous materials has reached more than 4,000 signatures as Yuma County officials prepare to vote on the special use permit.

The Colorado River weaves through the Sonoran desert near Yuma, Arizona. Photo taken in 2021. (File photo by Luke Runyon/KUNC)

Gallego touts Phoenix’s efforts during White House meeting on heat emergency

WASHINGTON - Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego told President Joe Biden Thursday that even in a town that knows who to cope with hot weather, this summer's record-breaking heat is posing a challenge.

New city comparison shows high UV exposure, sunshine hours and pollution contribute to poor skin health rating for Phoenix

PHOENIX – A new survey rates Phoenix as the worst in the country for skin health and fourth-worst in the world. Compare the Market, an Australian company that compares rates for health, auto and home insurance, evaluated 50 cities around the world for skin health. The comparisons were based on six factors including the intensity of ultraviolet radiation, sunshine hours, two types of particulates, nitrogen dioxide and ozone levels. Experts say there are ways Arizonans can protect their skin from environmental factors.

Dr. Karen Hastings, a professor of immunology and dermatology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix and a dermatologist at the Veterans’ Administration Medical Center in Phoenix, recommends applying sunscreen daily to decrease skin cancer risk and signs associated with aging. (File photo by Karina Romero/Cronkite News)

Valleywise Health expands access for young adults experiencing serious mental issues

PHOENIX – Valleywise Health is opening a second First Episode Center, an outpatient behavioral health center for young adults experiencing their first serious mental health episode. It can’t come soon enough. There is a dire need for programs that address mental health in young adults not just in Maricopa County but across the country, said Dr. Aris Mosley, a psychiatrist and medical director of the Valleywise Health First Episode Center in Avondale.

A counselor works with a patient at Valleywise Health’s First Episode Center in Avondale. (Photo courtesy of Valleywise Health)