WNPR

Mental Health

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According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), roughly one in five adults in the U.S. experiences a mental illness each year -- that’s approximately 20 percent of all American adults. But even as awareness increases, the stigma associated with mental illness persists.

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Autism Spectrum Disorder is a social disability that leaves the autistic isolated and confused in a world in which they can't understand the social cues others take for granted. To compensate, some use the internet as a way to learn about sexuality that non-autistic people learn about through relationships. 

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As Connecticut lawmakers continue to try and work out a new two-year budget, the parents of children and adults with developmental disabilities worry about the services they might lose.

This hour, we hear from these families and learn what’s at stake.

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The eugenics movement of the early 20th century is a dark chapter in our nation's history. And while we may think of it as a practice we've long since abandoned, the truth is a bit more complicated.

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We spend over three trillion dollars on health care every year and we have worse outcomes than any other developed country - all of which spend on average about half of what America spends per person. 

Older, Wiser, And Out Of The Closet

May 22, 2017
Photo courtesy of Dr. Loren Olson

Coming out as gay can be difficult — even traumatizing — for young people. But what is coming out like for older men and women, some who were once married to heterosexual spouses and who have children?

This hour, we revisit our conversation with Dr. Loren Olson, author of Finally Out: Letting Go of Living Straight

Dominik Skya flickr.com/photos/dominiksyka-photography/ / Creative Commons

Under current state law, children over the age of 13 who transmit or possess child pornography could be charged with a misdemeanor. Due to a legal loophole, younger children could face a more serious felony charge. But now there’s an effort to revise the law that governs juveniles who sext. 

Francois Schnell / Creative Commons

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), roughly one in five adults in the U.S. experiences a mental illness each year -- that’s approximately 20 percent of all American adults. But even as awareness increases, the stigma associated with mental illness persists.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The health care reform bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week promises sweeping changes to the provisions of the Affordable Care Act. While a lot of attention has focused on things like pre-existing conditions, one of the less considered issues is what may happen to the treatment of mental illness and substance abuse. 

There's sort of a designated driver in Jason Stavely's circle of Iraq buddies, but he doesn't take away people's car keys. He takes the guns.

"Come toward September-October, if I get the feeling, I'm more than happy to give my guns back to my buddy again," said Stavely.

Stavely has bad memories from the war that get triggered every autumn. And last year, one of his Marine Corps friends died by suicide in October. So Stavely's therapist at the Veterans Affairs clinic suggested getting his guns out of the house.

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Sleep. We all need it. Yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly one in three U.S. adults does not get enough of it.

Coming up, we consider the impact of this and other sleep-related trends with Dr. Meir Kryger. His new book is called The Mystery of Sleep.

Following the suicide of former New England Patriot player Aaron Hernandez, who was serving a life sentence for murder at the state's maximum security prison in Shirley, Gov. Charlie Baker said he has faith in his Department of Correction commissioner.

The governor said the number of prison suicides in Massachusetts has declined over the past decade, but said, "Anytime anybody kills themselves in a prison, something clearly went wrong."

After high school, Staff Sgt. Kimi wanted to go to art school, but she didn't have the money. So she joined the military.

Intelligence analysts like Kimi work with drone pilots and others in the Air Force to guide decisions about where to deploy weapons in the fight against ISIS and al-Qaida. (The U.S. Air Force won't release her last name because of the high-security work she does).

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The American Psychological Association says the 2016 presidential election was a major source of stress for a majority of Americans regardless of political affiliation. 

Many refugees who arrive on U.S. soil finally feel safe after decades of war or torture or loss of family members. But just because they're removed from physical harm, it doesn't mean the pain is over. 

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