Perspectives in Primary Care features writing from practitioners, activists, and community members representing organizations, practices, and institutions across the United States and around the world.

An Intersectional Approach to Understanding the Mental Health Challenges of America’s Essential Workers

In an effort to flatten the curve and promote containment of the novel coronavirus, many safety precautions have been enacted, including shelter-in-place ordinances. However, several members of the workforce, such as healthcare workers, bus drivers, sanitation workers, cashiers, and fast-food employees, collectively referred to as “essential workers,” have been deemed exempt from such policies. While there is general consensus around the importance of essential workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been less attention towards the interplay of identity and ...

Here’s Why Mental Healthcare Is So Unaffordable & How COVID-19 Might Help Change This

If you ask a patient to describe their experience finding a therapist or psychiatrist in the community, don’t be surprised if ‘expensive,’ ‘difficult,’ and ‘discouraging’ are some of the first words that come to mind. The decades-long separation of mental healthcare from physical health has left patients and clinicians alike with serious challenges navigating options for care. And the cost has been much more than just inconvenience—our poorly integrated system is responsible for

The COVID-19 Pandemic: Now is the Time for Primary Care to Address Loneliness

With more than 6 million diagnosed cases and nearly 200,000 deaths in the United States, the novel coronavirus is our nation’s most pressing public health crisis. And further, physical distancing measures have resulted in significant

COVID-19 Magnifies Existing Inequities Faced by Transgender and Gender-Expansive Communities

As COVID-19 devastates lives throughout the world, the inequities experienced by transgender and gender-diverse individuals have become further illuminated. The ...

LGBTQ Youth Face Unique Challenges Amidst COVID-19

The physical toll of the COVID-19 pandemic is tangible, though its impact on mental health is just starting to be understood—and this includes the mental health impact on LGBTQ youth. At baseline, LGBTQ youth are more than four times as likely to attempt suicide compared ...

The Impacts of Racism on the Health of our Nation

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has a legacy of being outspoken on issues that matter to our patients and the communities in which our members serve. We advocate loudly for our most marginalized patients, including those who are transgender, those with limited English proficiency, those with disabilities and, of course, people of color. It is in that spirit we issued a

Pandemic-Related Psychological Distress & Tools to Help

A mental health pandemic has developed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and the increasing number of COVID cases in the United States and resulting shelter-in-place mandates will continue to result in deterioration of mental health. A recent

Primary Care and COVID-19

Primary care is the foundation for population health and well-being. Unfortunately, our efforts to address the coronavirus pandemic have exposed many critical structural deficiencies in our country’s health care system, most notably the lack of investment in primary care. Equal access and equitable care While the disparate impact of the coronavirus on

Mindfulness Can Improve Mental Health During & After the COVID-19 Crisis

Although there was no shortage of suffering before coronavirus, this global pandemic, compounded by tragic events involving the loss of Black lives, has brought rising levels of stress and uncertainty. Growing unemployment and physical separation from loved ones have led to increased substance ...
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