That night, she and her husband slept in their cellar. The commander curled up next to the wounded soldier on the kitchen floor.

When Ms. Kozyr stepped outside the next morning, to check on her calf and pigs, she passed by the kitchen and peered through the window.

The soldier’s hands were curled, his body stiff. He was dead.

She started crying at the memory of it, pulling a small rag out of her pocket and wiping her eyes. But she did not question the counteroffensive.

“It needed to be done,” she said. And then she repeated herself, a little more softly. “It needed to be done.”

Oleksandra Mykolyshyn and Oleksandr Chubko contributed reporting from Mykolaiv, Ukraine, and Thomas Gibbons-Neff from Pokrovsk, Ukraine.

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U.S. Schools Will Now Carry Overdose Medication

Los Angeles public schools will stock campuses with the overdose reversal drug naloxone in the aftermath of a student’s death.

The nation’s second-largest school district will now start carrying a medication to reverse opioid overdoses.

It’s a terrifying sign of the times after seven teens overdosed, one of them dying on campus. 

“Our system has been deeply impacted by the injury to some students and the death of at least one student as a result of an unacceptable level of availability of narcotics and opioids in our community,” said Alberto Carvalho, the superintendent of Los Angeles Unified School District.  

The LA Unified School District isn’t alone. Hartford, Connecticut schools started carrying naloxone after a seventh-grader died in January.  

Schools near Vail, Colorado have also been carrying the medication as of this school year. The same goes for schools in parts of Oregon and Texas. 

All over the country, there’s a rush to stock schools with a life-saver as more young high schoolers die taking fentanyl-laced drugs. 

“They’re even packaging it in colored pills, presumably to make it attractive to a younger and younger group,” said Chief Greg Dull, at Excelsior Springs, Miss. Police Department. 

In Kansas City Sarah Manser put up a billboard trying to get parents’ attention after her son died from fentanyl poisoning. 

“He was kind, he called me mama. I miss that, you know,” said Manser. “If I can even stop one person from overdosing, I will definitely.”

In nearby Clay County, Missouri, detectives are trying desperately to stop the flow of pills into teen groups and schools. 

“I’ve never seen anything like it in my 24 years. Ever. So that’s the hard part. You know, I hate to say it but it’s almost triage, that’s the way we’re dealing with it right now,” said Michael Nelson, a detective at Clay County, Miss. Sheriffs’ Office.

The DEA is trying to raise awareness among parents and kids about dealers hawking pills on social media. 

What might just seem like illegal painkillers, are laced with fentanyl — a synthetic opioid 80 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. 

“Your kid could be on social media or in their bedroom, where you think they’re safe, ordering an illicit pill that’s ultimately gonna lead to an overdose and to them being killed,” said Orville Greene, a special agent in charge at the Detroit Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Agency.

In schools the education is paying off. 

Heather Guilkey is a Missouri school district administrator. 

“We would have lost one of our students,” said Guilkey.  

At a school near Kansas City, a nurse treated a students’ overdose only because a teacher knew what to look for. 

“You hear about these things; you just don’t think it will happen in your school,” said Guilkey. 

It’s proof that education works. It’s just a matter of stopping the drug’s flow. 

That’s something that’s taxing law enforcement at the southern border.

“We’re finding packages floating in gas tanks and in drive shafts, we’re getting people carrying strapped to their body. Even inside human bodies,” said Michael Humphries, the Nogales Port director for U.S. Customs And Border Protection. 

It’s frustrating law enforcement from California to Florida and everywhere in between. It’s coming down hard on the country’s kids and students who should be getting textbooks, not overdose treatments. 

Source: newsy.com

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Hurricane Fiona Roaring By Bermuda, Then To Canada

By Associated Press

and Newsy Staff
September 23, 2022

“It’s going to be a storm that everyone remembers when it is all said and done,” said a Canadian Hurricane Centre meteorologist.

Fiona, a Category 4 hurricane, pounded Bermuda with heavy rains and winds early Friday as it swept by the island on a route forecast to have it approaching northeastern Canada late in the day as a still-powerful storm.

Authorities in Bermuda opened shelters and closed schools and offices ahead of Fiona. Premier David Burt sent a tweet urging residents to “take care of yourself and your family. Let’s all remember to check on as well as look out for your seniors, family and neighbors.”

The Canadian Hurricane Centre issued a hurricane watch over extensive coastal expanses of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Fiona should reach the area as a “large and powerful post-tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds.

“It’s going to be a storm that everyone remembers when it is all said and done,” said Bob Robichaud, warning preparedness meteorologist for the Canadian Hurricane Centre.

The U.S. center said Fiona had maximum sustained winds of 130 mph late Thursday. It was centered about 195 miles west of Bermuda, heading north-northeast at 21 mph.

Hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 115 miles from the center and tropical storm-force winds extended outward up to 275 miles.

Fiona so far has been blamed for at least five deaths — two in Puerto Rico, two in the Dominican Republic and one in the French island of Guadeloupe.

Hurricanes in Canada are somewhat rare, in part because once the storms reach colder waters, they lose their main source of energy and become extratropical. But those cyclones still can have hurricane-strength winds, though with a cold instead of a warm core and no visible eye. Their shape can be different, too. They lose their symmetric form and can more resemble a comma.

Robichaud said at a news conference that modeling projected “all-time” low pressure across the region, which would bring storm surges and rainfall of between 4 and 8 inches.

Amanda McDougall, mayor of Cape Breton Regional Municipality, said officials were preparing a shelter for people to enter before the storm arrived.

“We have been through these types of events before, but my fear is, not to this extent,” she said. “The impacts are going to be large, real and immediate.”

Dave Pickles, chief operating officer of Nova Scotia Power, said it expected widespread power outages.

More than 60% of power customers in Puerto Rico remained without energy Thursday and a third of customers were without water, while local officials said they could not say when service would be fully restored.

As of Friday, hundreds of people in Puerto Rico remained isolated by blocked roads five days after the hurricane ripped into the island. Frustration was mounting for people like Nancy Galarza, who tried to signal for help from work crews she spotted in the distance.

“Everyone goes over there,” she said pointing toward crews at the bottom of the mountain who were helping others also cut off by the storm. “No one comes here to see us. I am worried for all the elderly people in this community.”

At least five landslides covered the narrow road to her community in the steep mountains around the northern town of Caguas. The only way to reach the settlement was to climb over thick mounds of mud, rock and debris left by Fiona, whose floodwaters shook the foundations of nearby homes with earthquake-like force.

At least eight of the 11 communities in Caguas were completely isolated, said Luis González, municipal inspector of recovery and reconstruction.

It was one of at least six municipalities where crews had yet to reach some areas. People there often depend on help from neighbors, as they did following Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm in 2017 that killed nearly 3,000 people.

Danciel Rivera arrived in rural Caguas with a church group and tried to bring a little cheer by dressing as a clown.

“That’s very important in these moments,” he said, noting that people had never fully recovered from Hurricane Maria. “A lot of PTSD has reared its head these days.”

His huge clown shoes squelched through the mud as he greeted people, whose faces lit up as they smiled at him.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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Mental Health America: Texas Ranks Last In Mental Health Care Access

Canutillo Independent School District and Kingsville Independent School District try to get a handle on mental health care for students in need.

The old saying is “everything is bigger in Texas” — including its problems. 

Mental health ranks atop.  

In the wake of the Uvalde massacre, conservative politicians are waving away talk of gun control and stressing that mental health is the real culprit. And in boastful Texas, mental health is a big problem.  

Mental Health America ranks Texas dead last in access to mental health care. The Kaiser Family Health Foundation found that Texans suffer depression at higher-than-average rates. 

In data released by the Texas Education Agency, more than half of Lone Star schools don’t have a psychologist or access to telehealth.

Texas has also opted out of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. In various studies, that amounts to tens of billions of dollars in federal funding, which could insure more than a million Texans and provide reimbursements for mental health professionals.  

Canutillo Independent School District is north of El Paso, Texas. It’s like Uvalde, with a supermajority Hispanic population and a mental health desert. It’s chief concern is access for those services for its 6,200 students 

“So, one of the things that is most important is social workers, counselors and prevention specialists working together,” social worker Rosario Olivera said.

The school district is Title I funded, meaning more than 40% of its students fall below the poverty line.

Administrators grappled with various problems across 10 schools, like how to get students access to medical care and in a pandemic, access to mental health and more counselors.

“We do the best we can do to service children of highest need,” Olivera continued. “However, it’s the same thing as with counselors. The ratio is very high.”

In Canutillo, it meant a pilot program of bringing in social workers and social work interns from the University of Texas El Paso.

“For every campus that has 350 students, you need one counselor. The majority of our campuses have 500 and above,” Canutillo Independent School District Director of Student Support Services Monica Reyes said.

Another glaring indicator in mental health access is poverty.

“This is typically what you’ll see: A mobile home with six or seven family members in it,” said Francisco Mendez with Familia Triunfadores.

In the colonias of San Elizario, access to mental health is a question of whether there are any therapists close by. But oftentimes, the answer is no. 

“It’s really difficult for them,” Mendez said. “They’ll have to drive at least 35 miles to El Paso.”  

In Kingsville, Texas, the schools have one mental health professional for more than 2,800  students.

Tracy Warren is a licensed school specialist psychologist, or LSSP. She’s an intern completing her doctorate. The challenge for Kingsville Independent School District is holding on to her and getting more people like her.

“We are trying to let everybody know how important mental health is and that if we don’t have the mental health foundation, the education is not going to take place,” Warren said. 

She is the front line. The school district leans on nonprofits to help kids outside of class. 

“There are a lot more anxious students this year than I’ve ever seen,” Warren continued. “We actually had a student that was at one of our campuses — he’s 4, going into Pre-K. First day of school, he stopped outside to count the police cars that he can see to ensure that he was safe before he came into school.”

The small school district’s leader, Superintendent Cissy Reynolds-Perez, says more mental health professionals and counselors need to be trained to work in rural schools.

“It’s very difficult because not everybody wants to come out to this area,” she said. “You know, you have your metropolitan areas, which I’m not saying it’s easier, but there are more resources there.”

At nearby Texas A&M Kingsville, the school has opened an institute for rural mental health.

Steve Bain is the director of the Rural Mental Health Institute. His goal is to create a mental health graduate student counselor pipeline direct to public schools.

“We have an opportunity now to reverse this trend of being last, or toward the last, in terms of accessibility of mental health services,” he said. “Only about 25% of students in K-12 who suffer from depression are getting mental health services. And depression has increased among our student population in the last five to eight years, significantly so.”

In Texas, licensed school specialty psychologists and social workers can be mental health caregivers to emotionally fraught kids, but there is a catch.

“Texas Education Agency has not recognized social workers as TEA employees yet, per se. We don’t have a specific job description, like teachers or counselors do,” Olivera said. 

That means school districts miss out on funding and insurance reimbursements when social workers provide mental health care for kids.

Newsy’s mental health initiative “America’s Breakdown: Confronting Our Mental Health Crisis” brings you deeply personal and thoughtfully told stories on the state of mental health care in the U.S. Click here to learn more.

Source: newsy.com

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