Gov. Wolf: Mental Health Support is Vital and Available Amid Strain of COVID-19 Pandemic

first_imgGov. Wolf: Mental Health Support is Vital and Available Amid Strain of COVID-19 Pandemic SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Healthcare,  Human Services,  Press Release,  Public Health Governor Tom Wolf has made mental health access a priority during his tenure, in January introducing Reach Out PA: Your Mental Health Matters, an initiative to remove barriers to mental health care and reduce stigma. Today at a daily briefing on the commonwealth’s work to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the governor highlighted that the need for accessible mental health services is greater than ever.“We’re all in this fight against COVID-19 together and, as I’ve said many times, we all have a part to play,” Gov. Wolf said. “To be the strongest we can be in our efforts to ward off COVID-19, we need to ensure we are taking care of our mental health. So, please, if you need assistance, reach out.”It’s not unusual for people to feel anxious, alone and frightened, and for some, those feelings may be surfacing for the first time during this pandemic. The Wolf Administration today conveyed that it’s imperative for people to know where to turn for mental health needs.A 2017 study from the University of Southern California indicated that approximately 1 million adult Pennsylvanians struggled with serious psychological distress at least once in 2015. Of those adults, more than 27 percent had an unmet need for mental health care. That population includes 42 percent who did not receive mental health care because they could not afford it.According to a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly half (45%) of adults in the United States reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over COVID-19 with the burden likely to continue even as the pandemic’s threat diminishes.Mitigation efforts are necessary to saves lives, but are accompanied by difficulties that strain mental health, among them, job loss, social isolation, and a general sense of uncertainty.As unemployment compensation claims surpass 1.6 million, the commonwealth has taken steps to help to improve customer service and push out nearly $2.5 billion in claim payments to date. Additional staff from other agencies, new hires and the help of an automated virtual phone assistant have all been deployed to get people answers more quickly, process claims, and work to lessen one significant contributor to stress.Where lack of access to food is also a major stress point, Pennsylvanians can apply for SNAP and other helpful programs online at www.compass.state.pa.us or for immediate food assistance, Feeding Pennsylvania at www.feedingpa.org and Hunger-Free Pennsylvania at www.hungerfreepa.org are hubs of information for where people can get assistance in their communities. Also, Pennsylvanians who have found themselves food insecure as a result of COVID-19 can apply here for state and federal food assistance programs.With plans for statewide, regional Reach Out PA roundtables on hold due to social distancing and stay-at-home orders, the governor is reminding people that there are myriad resources, many free, and some focused specifically on COVID-related mental health needs.Available online resources:Pennsylvania’s comprehensive mental health resources, Mental Health in PA.Mental Health America for general information and COVID-19-specific resources.Get Help Now for substance use disorder and alcohol treatment.Helpful phone numbers:National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)(As Dr. Levine provides in her daily briefings): The Crisis Text Line: Text “PA” to 741-741Veteran Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990Get Help Now for substance use disorder and alcohol treatment: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)For the latest information for individuals, families, businesses and schools, visit “Responding to COVID-19” on pa.gov.View this information in Spanish.center_img April 24, 2020last_img read more

Bonds, alternatives drive 12% return at DAX-listed company schemes

first_imgInstead, the companies are likely to invest in corporate bonds and emerging market government debt, said Carl-Heinrich Kehr, a principal at Mercer Germany.He said he also expected alternatives and equities to play a greater role in DAX companies’ portfolios in future.Kehr told IPE infrastructure and real estate exposure was set to increase via debt and equity instruments and that private debt investments would increase as banks withdrew from their role as providers of financing to smaller companies.  According to data collected by Towers Watson, allocation to investment categorised as ‘other’ has increased from 16% in 2013 to 19% last year, while exposure to real estate (2%) and bonds (55%) remained the same, and equities dropped from 24% to 21%.Meanwhile, the drop in interest rates caused a further cut in the discount rate and subsequently an increase of liabilities by 25% to €372bn, according to both consultancies.Towers Watson pointed out that the median discount rate, or Rechnungszins, now stood at 2.15% compared with 3.65% in 2013.The general funding level dropped only slightly from 65% to 61% year on year, mainly because companies put additional money into pension plans amounting to €10.6bn, the consultancy said.However, it added that the funding levels differed greatly from company to company depending on individual funding policy.The Deutsche Bank has the highest funding level at 98%, while Deutsche Telekom, with its own Pensionsfonds and CTA, only has 23% of its DBO covered by pension assets.Thomas Hagemann, chief actuary at Mercer Germany, said he expected the discount rate for German mid-sized companies reporting under the local HGB accounting standard to fall by “twice as much” in 2015 and then again in 2016 than in 2014. For more on the state of pension funding in Germany, see coverage in the upcoming April issue of IPE Investments in alternative asset classes such as infrastructure, real estate, timber, private equity and private debt have helped listed companies in Germany to increase their pensions assets, according to Mercer.Returns on pension plan assets in DAX-listed companies amounted to 11.9% for the last year, generated mainly by falling interest rates and their effects on long-duration bonds with relatively high yields, the consultancy said.But alternatives also contributed in boosting pensions assets to a “new record high” of €228bn.As old bond portfolios mature, Mercer expects re-investment to be channelled away from euro-zone government bonds.last_img read more

NASCAR at Pocono: Odds, prediction, sleepers, drivers to watch for Pocono 400

first_imgAgain, we’ll stop mentioning Alex Bowman when he stops performing. Bowman has finished in the top 10 in his last four races and was third at last year’s fall race at Pocono as well.Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch are the active leaders in wins at Pocono Raceway with three apiece. Both men have been subtly good this season as Busch has three top-5 finishes and eight top 10s in 14 races this year. Johnson has one top five and six top 10s.One sleeper for the Pocono 400William Byron might be coming into his own right now. The 21-year-old driver has finished in the top 10 in two of his last three races and won the pole at Charlotte Motor Speedway last week. He also has a decent track record at Pocono with sixth- and 18th-place finishes at the track in his short career. Taking that into account this race can very much be a crapshoot, as guys like Chris Buescher won in the fall of 2016 and Ryan Blaney took home his first-ever win there in 2017.This can be very unpredictable week to week, but what has been very predictable this season has been Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr.The two men have combined to win six of this year’s 14 races and each has factored into the top 10 as well throughout the year.Both men have two career wins at Pocono while Busch has five straight top 10s at the track and Truex has finished in the top 10 in three of his last four events.These two men will be the favorites to take home victories this week, but with the unpredictable nature of the event it’s hard to pick exactly who will find Victory Lane.As good as both Busch and Truex have been this year and at Pocono in the past, we are going to take Chase Elliott to win. He has five top 10s in six career races at Pocono and has finished in the top five in four straight events in 2019.The Pocono 400 can be seen Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on FS1.What are the betting odds for the Pocono?Kyle Busch 3/1Kevin Harvick 9/2Martin Truex Jr. 6/1Brad Keselowski 7/1Chase Elliott 10/1Joey Logano 10/1Denny Hamlin 12/1Ryan Blaney 20/1Clint Bowyer 20/1Kyle Larson 20/1Kurt Busch 20/1Erik Jones 25/1Jimmie Johnson 25/1Alex Bowman 25/1Aric Almirola 40/1Daniel Suarez 40/1William Byron 40/1Austin Dillon 50/1Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 100/1Ryan Newman 100/1Chris Buescher 100/1Paul Menard 100/1Daniel Hemric 300/1Matt DiBenedetto 500/1Ty Dillon 1000/1Ryan Preece 1000/1Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. 1000/1Michael McDowell 1000/1David Ragan 1000/1Field (all others) 1000/1Which NASCAR drivers should you watch at the Pocono 400?Erik Jones really likes Pocono Raceway and has three top-10 finishes in four career races at the track. He also has finished in the top 10 in two of his last three races and is coming off a second-place finish at a similar big flat track in Indianapolis last season. NASCAR makes its first trip to a big flat track this weekend at Pocono Raceway in Pennslyvania.The “Tricky Triangle” presents a very different challenge from recent weeks at intermediate tracks as this week horsepower will be absolute king.last_img read more