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Mental Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The rate of suicide in Connecticut has risen more than 19 percent over the last 17 years, but the state still compares well to others - a recent federal study found the national rate of suicide has risen almost 30 percent in the same period. 

Centers for Disease Control And Prevention (CDC)

Amid the high-profile deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain came news of a new CDC report outlining a rise in U.S. suicide rates. This hour, we take an in-depth look at the numbers with Dr. Jill Harkavy-Friedman of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Plus: On the heels of last month’s violent storms, we hear about efforts underway to restore one of the state’s most damaged -- and beloved -- outdoor areas: Sleeping Giant State Park.

And finally: In search of a good ol' non-fiction murder mystery? Or, better yet, one with a Connecticut twist? Look no further than New London’s The Day. A little later, reporter Karen Florin and digital news director Carlos Virgen take us behind the scenes of the newspaper's new crime podcast, Case Unsolved. Have you been listening?

Suicide rates have increased in nearly every state over the past two decades, and half of the states have seen suicide rates go up more than 30 percent.

Suicide is a major public health issue, accounting for nearly 45,000 deaths in 2016 alone. That is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta decided to take a comprehensive look at suicides from 1999 to 2016.

Carl Jordan Castro / C-Hit.org

Once a week, every week, the health center at Stamford High School offers sophomore Roger Sanchez an oasis—someplace he can talk to a trusted adult about life’s pressures and problems, a place he feels free and unjudged.

School work, sports commitments, family and social obligations: life as a teenager can be stressful, he says. If it weren’t for the health center, conveniently located where he spends most of his days, he would have a much harder time accessing counseling sessions that help him cope with anxiety.

Seeing Things Differently: Where To Turn For Help Before And After Autism Diagnosis?

May 2, 2018
Lisa Wilson (top right) with her family in Hartford, Connecticut. Her son was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Parent Lisa Wilson wasn’t sure if her son was developing the skills he should for his age. “He wasn't talking as a typical two-year-old would've been talking,” she said.

Chelsea Southard / Creative Commons

Old asylums give us the creeps. The reality of asylums may pale in comparison to the horrors we conjure in our minds. Yet, they were awful. They were dark and dirty and overcrowded. Diseases were rampant and deadly. Staff was abusive. Food was scarce and inedible. Death and suicide were common.

So, why does President Trump want to bring them back? 

Jennifer Pharr Davis

This spring, thousands of hikers will embark on the 2186-mile trek from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine on the Appalachian Trail. It takes a skilled hiker to complete the trail in 5-7 months, but Jennifer Pharr Davis completed the hike faster than any man or woman.

In 2011, Davis achieved the fastest known time to complete the trail in forty-six days, eleven hours and twenty minutes. 

Will Clayton / Creative Commons

Joe Biden is seriously thinking about running for president in 2020. He's got a wealth of political experience and institutional knowledge. He's vibrant and in good health.  He's also seventy-five-years-old. Many of us are quietly wondering if he's too old for the job.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

When it comes to the nation’s opioid crisis, substance abuse affects more than the addict. More and more children are entering the foster care system every year at an unprecedented rate.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

In light of mismanaged abuse allegations involving two former staffers, U.S. Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty announced Monday she will not seek re-election in November.

This hour, we discuss the significance of Esty's decision -- including what it means for Connecticut's Fifth Congressional District race this year.

Plus: With former VA Secretary David Shulkin out, what lies head for U.S. Veterans Affairs? Is the federal agency on track to become privatized? We find out.

And finally: We sit down with a local Army veteran who recently received a discharge upgrade. Could his story help other Connecticut veterans with less than honorable discharges? 

Shaheen Lakhan / Creative Commons

H.M. is one of the most important and studied human research subjects of all time. He revolutionized what we know about memory today because of the amnesia he developed after a lobotomy in 1953 to treat the severe epilepsy he developed after a head injury sustained earlier in life. 

Quinnipiac University's NAMI chapter handed out materials on mental health services.
Quinnipiac NAMI Chapter Photo

As anxiety and depression among college students soars, universities in Connecticut and nationally are expanding their mental health counseling, even offering courses that address mental well-being.

Dying In Prison

Mar 27, 2018
Rennett Stowe / Creative Commons

"Compassionate release" of our sickest and oldest prisoners is a way to reduce the federal prison population. It's also meant to save on the high cost of health care for aging inmates, and show some -  well, compassion, to prisoners closing in on the end of their lives. 

Photo by Jacqueline Serna/Americares

Six months on from Hurricane Maria, Stamford-based nonprofit Americares still has staff in Puerto Rico, helping the island’s health services recover from the storm and provide much-needed care to residents.

A phone with social media apps
Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Are you constantly pulling out your phone to check that notification from Instagram or Facebook? If so, you’re not alone—nearly seven in ten American adults are on social media, according to a recent Pew survey.

This hour: social media has made our world smaller, but do virtual networks make us feel more connected? A recent study found that those who spend more time on social media actually tend to feel more socially isolated. We ask researchers and a psychiatrist why.

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