Christine Vestal covers mental health and drug addiction for Stateline. Before joining Pew she covered health care, the environment, energy, information technology and telecommunications for a variety of news outlets, including McGraw-Hill, the Financial Times and Post-Newsweek Business Information. At Stateline, she has covered the legal and political battles over the Affordable Care Act and expansion of Medicaid to more low-income adults. She has also written about children’s health, Medicaid, mental health, wellness, and a wide variety of public health issues. Currently, Vestal is focusing on the prescription painkiller and heroin epidemic, including efforts to stem overdose deaths by making addiction treatment with medications more widely available.
Teen mental health already was deteriorating before the coronavirus pandemic. In the two years since, the isolation, grief and anxiety created by school closures, deaths and loss of family income have led to even steeper declines in children’s mental health, experts say. Awash in federal pandemic relief money— roughly $190 billion in education and health grants […]