Kaiser Permanente: Stephen Curry On Raising Healthy Kids, Handling Life's Challenges

Kaiser Permanente caught up with Curry ahead of the third annual Total Health Forum.


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(Originally published on KaiserPermanente.org)

With two National Basketball Association MVP titles and two league championship rings to match, Stephen Curry has become an international star on and off the court since his rookie year with the Golden State Warriors in 2009. Even amid his fame — not to mention that of his celebrity-chef wife, Ayesha Curry, and their daughters Riley, 5 and Ryan, 2 — Curry stays grounded in the values he grew up with, and turns to healthy coping strategies to manage the inevitable stresses of modern life.

Kaiser Permanente caught up with Curry ahead of the third annual Total Health Forum to talk about total health — mind, body and spirit — raising healthy kids, and the importance of resilience in weathering life's ups and downs.

What does total health mean to you?

Total health means controlling, as best I can, how I feel on a day-to-day basis. Obviously, there are many stresses and variables in life that you can't control, but you can find ways to cope with stress related to finding peace and happiness as best you can, whatever that means in your daily life. Having a full awareness of how those stresses can manifest themselves in your life, while being able to try to get in front of them as best as possible, is key. This includes your physical health and making sure you're eating right, sleeping right, drinking water — all that good stuff — but also taking care of the mind, which is an extremely powerful thing. There are a lot of different ways that can help you stay grounded and stay positive and stay moving in the right direction.

How do you nurture resilience in kids, especially in today's chaotic environment filled with social media, peer pressure and other realities of life?

Staying consistent with encouragement is key for how my wife and I parent our two daughters. We want to make sure that they are able to experience a lot of different things and be able to deal with failure and success, and to have confidence in themselves in anything they put their minds to. As parents, we have to stay consistent with our encouragement and our support and really try to promote open communication. We want our kids to feel like, if they have anything going on, anything they're dealing with, that we can meet them halfway and help them through it while also allowing their personality and identity to shine throughout it all. You have to stay consistent with that presence.

Is that what your parents did for you? Is that how you maintained your resiliency as a kid?

One-hundred percent, yes. My parents made sure that I was exposed to a lot of different things and was able to test myself as I was growing up. They also helped me understand that everything wasn't always going to be perfect and that I had to be able, through successes and failures, to keep confidence in myself. That was huge for me. They didn't pressure me in any kind of way, shape or form. It was always that I knew I could talk to them about anything.

If you had a friend or family member who you think could be suffering from a mental health condition, how would you talk to them, or what would you do to help them?

I would try to be available and help them understand they are not alone in their situation. As lonely as they might feel in that moment, I'd try to help them see that there are plenty of other people going through similar things, and that there are people who can help them through it. I might not have all the answers, but if they have the willingness to open up and be honest about the situation and seek that help, I would hope that there would be somebody I knew or somebody I could connect with, or even somebody I could reach out to on their behalf to bridge that gap.

Of all the organizations that you can partner with, why partner with Kaiser Permanente?

I have been in the Bay Area for nine years now and have seen how impactful Kaiser Permanente is in the Bay Area community. My vantage point has specifically been around reaching out to the community about access to health care, on education and other beneficial programs, which are extremely important. I have learned a lot myself, having been closely connected to Kaiser Permanente in the last three years that we have been partnering together, including about mental health and ways to train the body, mind and spirit to help me with the things I am going through. I know the work Kaiser Permanente is doing to reach the community is huge, and that's something I believe in 100 percent. They're the best of the best.

What is the one thing you want kids to know about being focused and having a strong mental perspective in life?

No matter what you want to do in life, the key is having confidence in yourself and the belief that you can accomplish anything that you want to, no matter what anybody says about you, or no matter what your friends are doing next to you. You control your path, your destiny and how you want to impact yourself, your family and your community. And nobody can get in the way of that if you really are dedicated to doing it.

Learn about career opportunities at Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente: It's Men's Health Month

A look at the top health threats that face men, prevention tips and how to get additional help.

Originally Published by Kaiser Permanente.

As we celebrate Men's Health Month, it's important to stay aware of the most pressing health problems the men close to you may face, and to encourage early detection of these problems.

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Golden State Warriors center Zaza Pachulia (27) celebrates with Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in game four of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena. / REUTERS

President Donald Trump refused to invite the Golden State Warriors to a customary White House visit for NBA champions. So, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee invited the players and their families to the Capitol instead.

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Reducing Opioids Not Associated with Lower Patient Satisfaction Scores, Kaiser Permanente Study Finds

Opioid use has been a major health concern in the U.S. Opioid use increased in the United States by 300 percent from 1997 to 2010, and overdose deaths increased 200 percent from 2000 to 2014.

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A Kaiser Permanente study of nearly 2,500 patients who used high doses of opioids for at least six months showed that reducing their opioid use did not lower their satisfaction with care. The study, "Satisfaction With Care After Reducing Opioids for Chronic Pain," was published today in The American Journal of Managed Care.

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Five Questions with Dr. Ronald Copeland of Kaiser Permanente on Addressing Mental Health in the Workplace

Depression and other mental health conditions are a leading cause of workplace disability in the form of lost productivity because of how common they are–1 out of every 5 people are suffering from a mental health condition at any given time–and because they tend to occur when people are young.

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Kaiser Permanente's focus on reducing mental health stigma for consumers and members also applies to its own employees. The National Organization on Disability caught up with Ron Copeland, MD, to understand how to best create a supportive and inclusive workplace for people who are experiencing a mental health condition.

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Kaiser Permanente Researchers Develop New Models for Predicting Suicide Risk

Approach may offer value to health systems and clinicians in targeting interventions to prevent suicide

Originally Published by Kaiser Permanente.

Combining data from electronic health records with results from standardized depression questionnaires better predicts suicide risk in the 90 days following either mental health specialty or primary care outpatient visits, reports a team from the Mental Health Research Network, led by Kaiser Permanente research scientists.

The study, "Predicting Suicide Attempts and Suicide Death Following Outpatient Visits Using Electronic Health Records," conducted in five Kaiser Permanente regions (Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, California and Washington), the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, and the HealthPartners Institute in Minneapolis, was published today in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Combining a variety of information from the past five years of people's electronic health records and answers to questionnaires, the new models predicted suicide risk more accurately than before, according to the authors. The strongest predictors include prior suicide attempts, mental health and substance use diagnoses, medical diagnoses, psychiatric medications dispensed, inpatient or emergency room care, and scores on a standardized depression questionnaire.

Dr. Simon shares what inspired him to study mental health.

"We demonstrated that we can use electronic health record data in combination with other tools to accurately identify people at high risk for suicide attempt or suicide death," said first author Gregory E. Simon, MD, MPH, a Kaiser Permanente psychiatrist in Washington and a senior investigator at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute.

In the 90 days following an office visit:

  • Suicide attempts and deaths among patients whose visits were in the highest 1 percent of predicted risk were 200 times more common than among those in the bottom half of predicted risk.
  • Patients with mental health specialty visits who had risk scores in the top 5 percent accounted for 43 percent of suicide attempts and 48 percent of suicide deaths.
  • Patients with primary care visits who had scores in the top 5 percent accounted for 48 percent of suicide attempts and 43 percent of suicide deaths.

This study builds on previous models in other health systems that used fewer potential predictors from patients' records. Using those models, people in the top 5 percent of risk accounted for only a quarter to a third of subsequent suicide attempts and deaths. More traditional suicide risk assessment, which relies on questionnaires or clinical interviews only, is even less accurate.

The new study involved seven large health systems serving a combined population of 8 million people in nine states. The research team examined almost 20 million visits by nearly 3 million people age 13 or older, including about 10.3 million mental health specialty visits and about 9.7 million primary care visits with mental health diagnoses. The researchers deleted information that could help identify individuals.

"It would be fair to say that the health systems in the Mental Health Research Network, which integrate care and coverage, are the best in the country for implementing suicide prevention programs," Dr. Simon said. "But we know we could do better. So several of our health systems, including Kaiser Permanente, are working to integrate prediction models into our existing processes for identifying and addressing suicide risk."

Suicide rates are increasing, with suicide accounting for nearly 45,000 deaths in the United States in 2016; 25 percent more than in 2000, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

Other health systems can replicate this approach to risk stratification, according to Dr. Simon. Better prediction of suicide risk can inform decisions by health care providers and health systems. Such decisions include how often to follow up with patients, refer them for intensive treatment, reach out to them after missed or canceled appointments — and whether to help them create a personal safety plan and counsel them about reducing access to means of self-harm.