WNPR

Mental Health

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The 2016 election has been a source of significant stress for many Americans across the political spectrum. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

In a world of buzzing smartphones, endless meetings and persistent deadlines, how can we be more in-tune with ourselves and more creative in our endeavors?

This hour, we talk mindfulness and creativity in the 21st century.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families has come under fire after a child, placed with a foster parent, was found near-starvation. DCF placed the 18-month-old, known as Dylan, with a relative who’s now been charged with neglect and abuse. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A Connecticut woman who was sentenced to 18 years in prison for killing her newborn baby is speaking out about the state’s Safe Havens Law. 

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Chion Wolf / WNPR

This hour, as part of WNPR’s week-long reporting series on the opioid epidemic, we explore racial disparities within the context of America’s crack cocaine and opioid crises

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Five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease -- the sixth leading cause of death in this country. There are many caregivers who provide unpaid care for their relatives with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementias -- but it’s not an easy role to fill.

This hour, we explore caregiving and how it can impact a person’s physical and emotional health -- and their finances. 

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Zero tolerance policies send a strong message to students but at what cost?

This hour, we examine how over time, these policies have led to suspensions and expulsions for minor issues -- and can have drastic effects on a student’s future.

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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. 

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Illicit use of prescription drugs has almost tripled among high school students in southeastern Connecticut. That's according to the Southeastern Regional Action Council.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Four years ago, Connecticut became the 17th state to legalize medical marijuana. By 2014, the state officially launched its medical marijuana program, making it possible for card-holding patients to buy the drug legally. This hour, we get an update on that program from Connecticut's Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan Harris. We also hear from a Connecticut woman who saw how the program helped her husband, and we check in with doctors and dispensaries in the state. 

zeevveez / Creative Commons

Five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease -- the sixth leading cause of death in this country. There are many caregivers who provide unpaid care for their relatives with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementias -- but it’s not an easy role to fill.

This hour, we explore caregiving and how it can impact a person’s physical and emotional health -- and their finances. 

frankieleon / Creative Commons

Illicit use of prescription drugs has almost tripled among high school students in southeastern Connecticut. That's according to the Southeastern Regional Action Council.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Activists and mental health experts gathered in Hartford this week to talk about the need for more equitable access to health care services. But sometimes, health care isn't on the top of people's minds.

Days after Charles Kinsey was shot by North Miami police as the behavioral health care worker tried to help a patient, we now know more about the officer who fired the shot — and according to the head of the local police union, the officer was trying to shoot Kinsey's patient, a man with autism, not Kinsey.

"Fearing for Mr. Kinsey's life, the officer discharged his firearm, trying to save Mr. Kinsey's life," says John Rivera, president of the Dade County Police Benevolent Association. "And he missed, and accidentally struck Mr. Kinsey."

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Connecticut still ranks high among states in the use of antipsychotic drugs for elderly nursing home residents, but its rate of use has dropped 33 percent since 2011 -- a bigger decline than the national average -- new government data show.

TASER International

Connecticut recently became the first state in the nation to require its police officers to file a report after using an electronic stun-gun or “Taser.” The first year of that data is now in -- and it says Tasers are used more frequently on minority suspects. 

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Advocates say recent budget cuts will have a negative impact on those seeking mental health services in Connecticut. The state's new $19.7 billion budget -- passed by lawmakers last month -- includes significant funding cuts for statewide mental health and substance abuse treatment programs. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The State of Connecticut operates a Veterans’ Home on 92 acres in Rocky Hill. Many of its residents were once homeless or in danger of homelessness. But a lot of the buildings are outdated and in need of major improvements.

This hour, we find out what a recent consultant's report says about ways the state can better use the property to serve veterans. 

Heather Brandon illustration / WNPR

As heroin and opiate addictions continue to spread among middle class communities, families who never thought they’d face this problem are finding out one simple truth: treating someone for an addiction can be really, really costly. 

Heather Brandon illustration / WNPR

When it comes to understanding heroin and opioid deaths, data matters. But across the country, medical examiners and coroners vary widely in just how much information they provide on death certificates.

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The rate of denials by the state's largest managed care insurers of requests for mental health services rose nearly 70 percent between 2013 and 2014, with an average of about one in 12 requests for prescribed treatment initially rejected, a new state report shows.

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When people are found not guilty in a court case by reason of insanity, how often do they end up back in trouble? 

In the '80s and '90s, America's suicide trend was headed in the right direction: down.

"It had been decreasing almost steadily since 1986, and then what happened is there was a turnaround," says Sally Curtin, a statistician with the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

University of Connecticut

When Rachel Sczurek wanted to go to college, some people told her it wasn't a good idea.

"I didn't really let that get to me," she said. "It got to me a little bit, but I graduated magna cum laude and I did really well."

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