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Izquierdo, Pérez to represent Colombia as Mississippi State’s first soccer Olympians

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Izquierdo, Pérez to represent Colombia as Mississippi State’s first soccer Olympians


At this time last year, Ilana Izquierdo was simply getting adjusted to her new environment, preparing for her first season at Mississippi State after playing for two years at Southern Miss.

Now, Izquierdo is getting ready to represent her home country on one of her sport’s biggest stages. Just five months after making her debut with the Colombian senior national team in the inaugural CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup, the midfielder has made Colombia’s roster for the Olympic Games in Paris, where she will be joined by former Bulldogs goalkeeper Catalina Pérez.

“I’ve grown a lot in every single aspect, not just as a soccer player but personally,” Izquierdo said. “It’s been a lot of development, a lot of growth and improvement. Being at Mississippi State has been amazing. I’ve grown so much and I’ve learned so much. That’s basically the reason I can be here now.”

The 2021 Conference USA Freshman of the Year earned Second-Team All-Sun Belt honors a year later after Southern Miss switched conferences, and her game translated quite well to the Southeastern Conference — she started all 23 matches and set the program record for minutes played by a junior in a single season with 2,097.

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Izquierdo scored the only two goals in an early-season win over Florida International, and converted a penalty kick for the lone goal in MSU’s Magnolia Cup win over rival Ole Miss. She then started every match for Colombia in the Women’s Gold Cup and is now one of 11 Bulldogs in school history to compete in the Olympics as an active student-athlete.

“When she was at Southern Miss, she played against a number of different SEC programs, and we weren’t the only ones who struggled to contain her when we were playing against her,” MSU head coach James Armstrong said. “We knew her qualities. They were clear for everybody to see. But the thing that impressed us the most was her professionalism when she came into the program. She literally takes everything seriously — her sleep, her nutrition, her hydration.”

Pérez, unlike Izquierdo, is no stranger to the Olympic stage. She played for Colombia at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, just before her senior season with Miami. After joining the Bulldogs as a graduate transfer, Pérez recorded nine wins and six shutouts in her lone year at MSU in 2017, becoming an All-American and a First-Team All-SEC honoree.

In 2019, she won a gold medal for Colombia at the Pan-American Games, pitching two shutouts in the tournament and making eight saves in the final to become the first Bulldog soccer player to win an international medal.

Three years later, she helped Colombia qualify for Paris with a second-place finish at the 2022 Copa America, and last year she was Colombia’s starting keeper at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Pérez made 15 saves and allowed just four goals in that competition as Colombia reached the quarterfinals before falling to England. She now plays professionally in Germany, having previously played for top-flight clubs in Italy and Spain.

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“We’re on this great adventure, this great mission, great challenge together,” Pérez said. “Only we know all the things we’ve gone through as a team. It’s about really appreciating everyone who’s here. We’re going to go out on the field and compete for our country with our hearts.”

MSU

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Mississippi

How many people are receiving mental health treatment in Mississippi

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How many people are receiving mental health treatment in Mississippi


More than 5 million American adults were receiving mental health treatment at a state-monitored mental health facility in 2022, according to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services released in April, an increase from last year.

However, access to treatment can largely depend on where someone lives or what kind of insurance they have. More than half of adults receiving treatment lived in just 10 states, as many Americans lack access to mental health care.

This year, as the Biden administration works to combat the mental health crisis spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services expanded Medicare access to behavioral health services.

Wysa analyzed data compiled by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to find which states had the highest rates of adults receiving mental health treatment. Each state’s mental health administration reports the data individually. Maine did not report sufficient data and was excluded from this report.

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Wysa

States and communities take a patchwork approach to treatment

Nationwide, 15 out of every 1,000 people were receiving mental health treatment in 2022. However, disparities between states vary widely. In Mississippi, 26 out of every 1,000 residents are receiving mental health treatment, totaling 75,825 people. They make up 1.5% of all people receiving mental health treatment in the United States. Read the national analysis to see which states had the highest rates of people receiving mental health treatment.

People who live in rural states have high rates of people receiving mental health services at state-monitored facilities. Isolation, diminishing economic prospects, and the stigmatization of mental health conditions can lead to higher rates of depression in rural communities. In Iowa, where about one-third of its population lives in rural areas, an estimated 473,000 people have a mental health condition. However, the state ranked last in terms of psychiatric bed availability, with only 2 available beds per 100,000 residents.

Beyond access to care, each state runs its own mental health administration differently, including the types of facilities each state monitors. In Wisconsin, for instance, private facilities and individual practitioners are regulated, while Connecticut only regulates mental health treatments at what are known as private intermediate treatment facilities, or dedicated institutions for mental health treatments that don’t require hospital-level care. Vast differences in the quality of treatment, with some facilities receiving more oversight than others, further stratify mental health care across the nation.

No matter how you measure it, the mental health crisis is impacting millions of Americans. Along with federal grants and initiatives, states and community organizations are taking individual steps to increase access to treatment.

In Montana, where 5 out of every 100 residents are receiving mental health treatments, Gov. Greg Gianforte signed a bill last year allocating $300 million to improve and expand access to behavioral care. Last month, the state’s behavioral health commission presented recommendations to divide the funds, including improving case management, expanding services, and recruiting and retaining mental health care specialists.

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This story features data reporting and writing by Elena Cox and is part of a series utilizing data automation across 49 states and Washington D.C.

 

This story originally appeared on Wysa and was produced and
distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.



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Mississippi governor says policies are hindering Democrats

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Mississippi governor says policies are hindering Democrats


HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) – Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves said it doesn’t matter whether Joe Biden stays in the presidential race or not.

Reeves said Friday the real problem with the Democratic Party is its policies, not its presidential candidate.

“The reality is, their challenges in this election are not unique to any one person,” Reeves said while in Hattiesburg for an Area Development Partnership luncheon. “Their challenges in this election are the policies that they’ve implemented for the last four years, which have led to massive inflation, that has led to gas prices being higher than they’ve ever been, the fact that we’ve got prices at the grocery store for milk and bread and all these other essentials higher than people saw four years ago.”

Reeves delivered the keynote speech during the ADP’s Partnership Membership appreciation luncheon.

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Riverboat cruises resume through downtown St. Louis as Mississippi River drops

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Riverboat cruises resume through downtown St. Louis as Mississippi River drops


ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The riverboat cruises at the St. Louis Arch returned to the water Friday morning, clear to navigate the Mississippi River for the first time this week.

The boats have been docked for several days following flooding on the river, which crested earlier in the week. The flooded waterway carried chunks of debris, with dangerously swift currents in the segment that runs through downtown St. Louis.

But Amber Barbeau, the director of the cruises, said that the river has since dropped below the dangerous threshold and much of the debris has been flushed out of the area.

“We’re excited to be cruising again,” Barbeau said. “The river conditions were finally met for us to cruise. It fell below thirty feet and the debris has gone down.”

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The pool near downtown is still closed off to smaller recreational boats, as are several others in the area.

Lt. Eric Kiehlmeier with the US Coast Guard said that officials would likely reopen those sections in the next few days, depending on water conditions.

Kiehlmeier cautioned, however, that parts of the river would still require caution with high water and fast-moving currents.

“Just because we’re not in a high water phase doesn’t mean there’s no debris or the current isn’t strong. We recommend using the buddy system out on the river,” he said.

He said the Coast Guard would continue updating conditions over the next few days.

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