Mental Health

WNPR/David DesRoches

Dyslexia affects one out of every five people on the planet, but there's still very few state or federal policies that address the disability.

woodleywonderworks/flickr creative commons

Dr. Mel Pohl, a medical specialist who works with chronic pain sufferers, says pain is REAL. That's his key point, and that there are ways to reclaim your life by avoiding addiction to opioids that often INCREASE pain without patients being aware of it. 

Dannel Malloy flickr.com/photos/governordanmalloy/5354974717 / Creative Commons

The spotlight has been on Connecticut's Department of Children and Families in recent weeks after troubling video showed DCF staff improperly restraining youths at the state's two juvenile detention facilities. Despite the latest controversy,  Governor Dannel Malloy remains supportive of the agency's commissioner.

Geoffrey Fairchild / Creative Commons

Violent crime in America has been dropping for years, reaching a point in 2012 that was roughly half of what it was in 1993. But that may be changing.

The New York Times reported that violent crime was rising sharply in cities like Milwaukee and St. Louis. In Hartford, there were 19 homicides in all of 2014. That number was matched in late July this year.

Andy Wagstaffe flickr.com/photos/forcedrhubarb/5389053867 / Creative Commons

Connecticut has made strides in identifying and helping children who have experienced trauma – with more than 50,000 undergoing trauma screenings since 2007 – but more must be done to ensure all children’s needs are met, according to a report released today.

GollyGforce/flickr creative commons

There’s no doubt, being a parent is challenging. Some of those challenges have always existed, some are new to the 21st century. We worry about the health of our children. And if we’re lucky enough to have healthy children, we worry about their successes in life. Today, the pressure on parents and children to succeed has escalated dramatically. 

After the 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Conn., advocates for children in the state put a renewed focus on special education and children who need help.

One challenge? Getting parents and school districts to agree on what to do.

At a house in West Hartford, a young man and his grandfather are watching movies. First, it's The Love Bug. Now, it's Aliens.

"There's a lot of action scenes in it," says the young man. He's still a teenager, actually, a big 19-year-old who loves comic books and martial arts.

There’s a proposal to build a 16-bed mental health care facility in Essex County. A non-profit agency serving the Northeast Kingdom wants to partner with the state to add more psychiatric beds.

Supporters say such services are sorely needed, but not everyone agrees on where and how they should be provided.

TASER International

A lot of scientific research has focused on what police Tasers physically do to the body, but little has looked at how they impact the way people think. Now, results from a new study out of Arizona State University suggest police officers should look more carefully at how quickly they question a suspect after a Taser deployment. 

Ben Stanfield/flickr creative commons

The ability to perform under pressure is one of the differences between good athletes and extraordinary athletes. We find the same thing in everyday life as we take exams, give speeches, or perform solos: For some, these pressures can be daunting, while others take them in stride. Imagine having to pilot a damaged plane, or make life-and-death decisions in an emergency room, or fight in combat. Why do some people seem to perform well under pressure while others choke? According to psychologist and author Hendrie Weisinger, nobody performs better under pressure. Regardless of the task, pressure diminishes our judgment, decision-making, and performance.

Nearly three years after Superstorm Sandy, some Rhode Island residents are still dealing with the aftermath. And it’s not just damage to buildings and property. These Rhode Islanders are struggling with mental illness related to stress. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Violet Thomas came out as a transgender woman three months before high school graduation in 2013. She found some respite in her guidance counselor’s office, but things went from bad to worse at home.

So Thomas left, and began moving from couch to couch among friends. But she stayed nowhere very long.

Edward flickr.com/photos/glasgows / Creative Commons

As homicide rates in Hartford and other cities across the country spike, some are asking whether one high-profile shooting can breed another. 

Geoffrey Fairchild / Creative Commons

Violent crime in America has been dropping for years, reaching a point in 2012 that was roughly half of what it was in 1993. But that may be changing.

The New York Times reported last week that violent crime was rising sharply in cities like Milwaukee and St. Louis. In Hartford, homicides jumped to 25 so far this year, up from 19 in 2014.

Libert Schmidt / flickr creative commons

For some time, I've been interested in the thoughtful and caring work of psychologist Dr. Anthony Puliafico, who sees clients in Westchester, New York, especially children who experience anxiety and OCD.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

In the wake of the on-air shooting death earlier this week of Alison Parker and Adam Ward, two television journalists from WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy is calling on Congress to act “in any way, shape or form” to reduce gun violence in America. 

A Balanced Life for Happy, Self-Motivated Kids

Aug 27, 2015
Donnie Ray Jones/flickr creative commons

There’s no doubt, being a parent is challenging. Some of those challenges have always existed, some are new to the 21st century. We worry about the health of our children. And if we’re lucky enough to have healthy children, we worry about their successes in life. Today, the pressure on parents and children to succeed has escalated dramatically. 

Advantages of ADHD

Aug 24, 2015
mararie/flickr creative commons

ADHD is said to be the most overly diagnosed and medicated condition in mental health. In just twenty years there’s been a tripling of ADHD rates. It is now diagnosed in 11% of children ages 4 through 17, with about half of those kids on medication. 

Lee Morley / Creative Commons

Bartlomiej Palosz, 15, committed suicide in 2013, on the first day of his sophomore year in high school. Now his parents are suing the town of Greenwich and its school board, claiming that not enough was done to address the years of bullying that their son endured. 

TASER International

Connecticut state police are investigating the death of a 26-year-old man who died after a Hartford police officer used a Taser to subdue him when he allegedly became combative during a medical assistance call.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Earlier this week, the state Department of Children and Families took emergency steps to protect children incarcerated at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School and the Pueblo Girls Unit, including the phase out of face-down and mechanical restraints, expanded clinical staffing, and required counseling sessions when a youth is in isolation.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A new report by the state Office of the Child Advocate reveals dangerous safety issues for children incarcerated at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School and the Pueblo Girls Unit.

"What are we trying to accomplish for these youth, and can you really accomplish meaningful treatment, meaningful trauma-informed treatment, in a juvenile prison?" asked Connecticut's Child Advocate Sarah Eagan.

Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation, Scarlett Lewis

A woman whose young son was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting and Sen. Richard Blumenthal are cheering passage in the U.S. Senate of legislation that would boost training of teachers in social and emotional learning.

Libert Schmidt/flickr creative commons

For some time, I've been interested in the thoughtful and caring work of psychologist Dr. Anthony Puliafico, who sees clients in Westchester, New York, especially children who experience anxiety and OCD.

WNPR/David DesRoches

The report issued after the Newtown school shooting by the state's Office of the Child Advocate cites the importance of having both school psychologists and social workers on a school's mental health team.

Facebook, courtesy of Daniel Sandoval

Daniel Sandoval is a former paratrooper with the U.S. Army and Connecticut resident who recently added the title of "author" to his list of accomplishments. 

At 28, Jessica Fechtor suffered a life-threatening brain aneurysm that knocked out some of her senses. Now she has written Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals that Brought Me Home. She'll be our guest today as we talk about life, death, food, and healing.

Shan Ran / Creative Commons

Avon has decided to replace its school social workers with school psychologists. According to the district, school psychologists will better meet students' needs.

Lucy Nalpathanchil

The Department of Defense estimates nearly one in five Afghanistan and Iraq War veterans has a brain injury along with other medical problems like PTSD and chronic pain. 

Some of those veterans must rely on their wives or mothers to be their caregivers. But a nationwide study finds more than half of these 1.1 million caregivers are balancing their new roles without any support. 

Damian Gadal / Creative Commons

It took Connecticut nearly two years to start dispensing the medical marijuana  the legislature approved for conditions like Multiple Sclerosis, epilepsy and cancer.

But, the program is growing strong  since it opened nine months ago. The list of covered conditions is growing and more dispensaries will be popping up to meet the needs of the almost 4,000 enrollees. 

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