Mental Health

Mental Health Reporting on WNPR and WNPR.org is made possible by our founding sponsor, the Hartford Healthcare Behavioral Health Network.

The Institute of LivingNatchaug HospitalRushford, MidState Medical Center, Backus Hospital, and The Hospital of Central Connecticut are working together to connect children, adolescents and adults with the inpatient and outpatient mental health and substance use services they need.

Click here to subscribe to WNPR.org's monthly Mental Health Report newsletter. 

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Health Disparity
9:43 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Advocates, State Working to Expand Behavioral Health Coverage For the Poor

Pamela McGuire is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice in Hartford.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

The Affordable Care Act is all about getting people health insurance. Once they're insured, there's another hurdle: getting them access to care. That's a particular problem for people living on low incomes.

It's even more of a problem for the poor who seek behavioral health care. 

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Crisis Intervention Teams
11:45 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Training Connecticut Police in Mental Health 101

Fairfield Officer Lance Newkirchen on his way to visit the family of a man who, two days earlier, considered suicide.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

How do you tell the difference between someone who needs to be taken to jail and someone who needs to be taken to the hospital? That’s a big concern in Connecticut, where the intersection of law enforcement and mental health has been a huge issue since the Newtown shootings of 2012. 

WNPR spent time with police officers to learn about their training in mental health.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:52 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

The Boston Marathon Bombing and the Road to Resilience

Credit miz_ginevra / Flickr Creative Commons

Consider America from 1985 to 2000. You wouldn't say nothing happened in those 15 years but America was a fairly calm place to be most of the time.

Now consider the period that came next. It began with a presidential election so riddled with such uncertainties that the effort to confirm the result dragged on for days and went to the Supreme Court.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue April 8, 2014

An Honest Look at Mental Illness at The Connecticut Forum

Moderator John Dankosky, at left, with panelists Hank Schwartz, Kay Redfield Jamison, and Andrew Solomon.
Nick Caito The Connecticut Forum

For a bit more than a year, we’ve been trying to find different ways to tell the stories of mental health and mental illness in America.

The shootings at Sandy Hook presented a national narrative that was conducted at two poles. On one end, we made the conversation about guns. On the other, it was about mental illness.

It seems we conducted these different conversations the same way: too simply, with too little nuance, and too little listening to others. Many seemed content in their belief that we really knew all that we could know about that incident, and about that shooter; that just keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, and strengthening our mental health system, would solve our problems.

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Fort Hood Shooting
8:14 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Shooting Unfairly Links Violence With Mental Illness — Again

Lt. Gen. Mark Milley speaks to reporters April 2 regarding the second shooting in five years on the Fort Hood Army post in Texas.
Drew Anthony Smith Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 9:05 am

With the Army's disclosure that Army Spc. Ivan Lopez was being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder before he went on a shooting rampage Wednesday, there were once again questions about whether the Army could have prevented the violence at Fort Hood.

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Refugees
5:41 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Refugee Students

Yale Refugee Clinic staff, from left: Dylan Duchen , Aniyizhai Annamalai, Joshua Bilsborrow, Gregory Madden, Anne Mainardi, and Eva Bryant.
Yale Refugee Clinic

Refugees face many challenges after resettling in a new country and it can be especially hard for children. On Saturday at Luce Hall Auditorium, Yale School of Medicine and Yale's MacMillan Center are hosting a conference for educators to learn about ways to help refugee students adjust.

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The Faith Middleton Show
11:21 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Meet the King of Anxiety

Credit Jonathan McNicol

From Faith Middleton: Roughly 40 million Americans reportedly say they have struggled with anxiety issues. Why wouldn't we in such a surprising world? Still, there are anxiety sufferers and there are anxiety sufferers. Scott Stossel is one of the latter.

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Child Mental Health
2:03 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Kids Benefit From Counseling At The Pediatrician's Office

Behavior issues like defiance and aggression are common, and short-term counseling can help parents and kids do better.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 2:49 pm

Pediatricians often recommend some mental health counseling for children who have behavior problems like defiance and tantrums. But counseling can be hard to find. Children are much more likely to get help if the counselor is right there in the doctor's office, a study finds.

The children in the study had behavior problems, and many also had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or anxiety. They were 8 years old, on average, and two-thirds were boys.

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Substance Abuse
5:06 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Insurers Often Don't Cover Residential Rehab

Connecticut's Office of the Healthcare Advocate exists to help consumers. Demian Fontanella is General Counsel for OHA and worked on the Harmons' appeal.
Credit Lucy Nalpathanchil

In 2012, a legislative committee found seven percent of Connecticut adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 had substance abuse issues. And the majority of those who needed treatment did not receive it.

In the last story of a three-part series, WNPR reports on the challenges families encounter with their insurance plans when seeking help for their teenage son or daughter.

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Substance Abuse
8:35 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Few Residential Treatment Programs for Connecticut Adolescents

Rushford has two residential treatment programs for adolescent boys in Durham: Rushford at Stonegate and Rushford Academy.
Credit Rushford

One out of every 22 Connecticut high schoolers has taken medication such as painkillers that weren’t prescribed for them, according to the National Survey of Drug Use and Health. In the second of a three-part series, WNPR looks at treatment options available for local teens with substance abuse issues.

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Substance Abuse
5:45 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Addiction: A Guilford Family's Story

Justin, Tim and Mary Harmon in their Guilford home.
Credit Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

A big increase in opiate overdoses nationwide has focused attention on substance abuse. Nine out of ten adults suffering from addiction said they began using drugs or alcohol when they were adolescents.

In the first of a three-part series on youth battling addiction, WNPR introduces you to the Harmons of Guilford.

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Newtown
3:52 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

For Sandy Hook Killer's Father, Tragedy Outweighs Love For His Son

Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six teachers Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn., in 2012. His father has spoken to the media for the first time since the incident.
Jason DeCrow AP

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 5:46 pm

We still don't know why Adam Lanza killed his mother, then 20 children and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School before turning a gun on himself in December 2012. But we do know more about Lanza's life, what his doctors had to say about him and what his parents did to try to help him.

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Privacy
4:01 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Sandy Hook Advisory Commission Still Has Limited Access to Records

Dr. Hank Schwartz, member of Gov. Dannel Malloy's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

This week, The New Yorker published an article by Andrew Solomon featuring an extended interview with Peter Lanza, the father of Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza.

A member of Governor Dannel Malloy’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission said the interview does provide more information on the killer's medical and psychological background, but the commission has had limited access to other information while putting together its report.

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Wake of Newtown
10:54 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Sandy Hook Killer's Father Wishes His Son Hadn't Been Born

Flowers, candles and stuffed animals at a makeshift memorial in Newtown, Conn., the week after 20 children and 6 adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Eric Thayer Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 11:47 am

"How much do I beat up on myself about the fact that he's my son? A lot."

The New Yorker has posted a long piece based on six interviews with Peter Lanza, whose son Adam killed 20 first-graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, 2012.

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Wake of Newtown
10:26 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Father of Adam Lanza Speaks Publicly About Newtown Massacre

Credit State of Connecticut

For the first time since the Newtown school shooting, the father of gunman Adam Lanza is speaking publicly. Peter Lanza told The New Yorker magazine, in an extensive interview by Andrew Solomon, about his relationship with Adam.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Mental Illness, Jayson Blair, and Women Composers

The Women Composers Festival of Hartford celebrates its 14th year at Hartford's Charter Oak Cultural Center.
Credit shadowslicer1 / Creative Commons

Life with bipolar disorder is not easy for anyone. For a prominent psychiatrist, it has provided a very important window into how to treat others. Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison from Johns Hopkins University joins us, author of the bestselling memoir about living with bipolar disorder, An Unquiet Mind. We talk to her in advance of her appearance at Friday night's Connecticut Forum.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Will Connecticut See a Second Maximum Security Facility for Girls?

Where We Live guest Martha Stone.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Each year, 1.4 million of the nation’s eleven- to 17-year-olds enter the juvenile justice system. Of these boys and girls, some 71,000 are sent to incarceration facilities, where they may remain for several months in seclusion from the outside world. 

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Sandy Hook
8:08 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Keyword Searches for Newtown Commission Open Window Into Process

Credit State of Connecticut

The governor's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission is continuing its work. As it does, the law firm that advises it has done a lot of legwork itself, making a searchable database out of the thousands of pages of the Connecticut State Police Newtown investigation.  

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Housing
1:31 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

State Cuts Funding for Agencies That Provide Housing Support for the Severely Mentally Ill

Housing in Stamford.
Credit Carmine Salvatore/iStock / Thinkstock

The state has made a funding cut to housing that supports those with severe mental illness. Agencies that serve these clients said they'll have to look for creative ways to make up the difference.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:26 am
Fri January 31, 2014

The Nose Does the Guilt Pose, Spoils Superbowl Commercials, and Survives Anxiety

Rand Cooper.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Today on the Nose, we'll discuss one of those eruptions that happen in the digital world -- a frenzy of discussion and expressions of outrage over an essay on the site xojane, by a writer who tried to describe her reactions, as a skinny white woman, to the way she thought a heavyset back woman was reacting to her in yoga class.

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This is your brain on music!
10:50 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Watkinson Extended Play: Using Music as Medicine

The crowd at Watkinson School.
Chion Wolf WNPR

There is nothing particularly new about the idea that music can be a palliative or a distraction from pain or physical discomfort associated with illness. But over the last 25 years or so, we’ve seen a rising tide of interest in some that lies well beyond that -- a frontier where music’s actual therapeutic and even, curative powers can be discovered.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:45 am
Wed January 29, 2014

The Healing Power of Music: Colin McEnroe at Watkinson School

Kate Callahan and her band play at Watkinson School.
Chion Wolf WNPR

A lot of interconnected things were happening in the 1990s, an oncologist and hematologist  named Mitchell Gaynor discovered trough a Tibetan monk, the so-called singing bowls and began incorporating them into the guided meditation and breathing work he did with his patients.

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Need for housing
3:55 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Malloy Talks About Mental Health Priorities

Gov. Dannel Malloy talks about his mental health priorities for the upcoming legislative session.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy wants to commit more than $7 million to mental health services annually.  The announcement comes as Malloy continues to roll out his agenda for the upcoming legislative session.

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Wake of Newtown
9:49 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Sandy Hook Advisory Commission Meets; Behavioral Health on the Agenda

Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson chairs the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission.
Credit CT-N

Governor Dannel Malloy's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission met on Friday morning to hear from experts in behavioral health and crisis counseling services.

The first slate of presenters included Dr. Daniel Dodgen of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Thomas Demaria of Long Island University, and Vincent Giordano of Denizen Consulting. Read more in the agenda for the meeting.

Emergency Care
8:52 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Connecticut's Emergency Rooms Earn a C Grade in New Study

Credit Stockbyte / Stockbyte / Thinkstock

A new study of emergency medicine ranks Connecticut 15th overall. One of the biggest concerns is wait time.

The study, by the American College of Emergency Physicians, gives Connecticut an average grade of C, saying the state has a low rate of fatal injury and its residents have generally good health. 

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Medicine
7:00 am
Wed January 22, 2014

New Anxiety Research Targets Brain Using Magnets

New research underway at Hartford Hospital is using targeted magnetic pulses and MRI imaging to treat generalized anxiety disorder.
Credit Digital Vision / Thinkstock

Patients diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder usually have two treatment options: medication or counseling. But new research underway at Hartford Hospital is looking to add a third choice -- magnets.

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Host's Diary
4:33 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Why Talk About the (Alleged) Lanza Audio?

Credit Michael Travers/iStock / Thinkstock

Ever since The New York Daily News published the audio of a phone call to the radio show of an Oregon grunge anarcho-primitivist, I've been wondering what the hell to do with what appears to be the sound of Adam Lanza talking, about a year before the Newtown shootings.

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Newtown
2:47 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Discussions With Adam Lanza's Father Continue

Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson.
Credit CT-N

The governor's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission met Friday to discuss mental health and autism. As it did, it got an update from its chairman, Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson, on his discussions with the father of Newtown gunman Adam Lanza. 

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Connecticut First
9:41 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Yale Fraternity Members Sued; Esty Stepping Down from DEEP

Credit WNPR/CPTV

Eighty-six current and former members of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity at Yale University are being sued over an accident at a Yale-Harvard football game in 2011. Nancy Berry, 30, of Salem, Massachusetts, was killed after being struck by a rental truck that was heading to the fraternity’s tailgating party outside the Yale Bowl. Lawyers for Barry’s family and another woman who was injured in the accident sued the fraternity members late last month. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon January 13, 2014

The Language of Mental Health; 50 Years of Anti-Smoking Efforts; Archaeology Tech at UConn

<em>Woman's Day</em> featured this Winston cigarettes ad on its back cover in 1955.
Credit R.J. Reynolds

With mental health issues at the forefront of local and national discussion, the phrase "the mentally ill" has become commonplace in media headlines. But does it really belong there -- or anywhere, for that matter? We talk with Tufts Medical Center’s Psychiatrist-in-Chief about the importance of the words we use when talking about mental illness. 

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