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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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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Cutting-Edge Science
4:13 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Rare Genetic Mutation Could Lead to New Treatments for Tourette Syndrome

Brain structures implicated in Tourette syndrome. A new Yale study identifies a key correlation between a rare genetic mutation and Tourette's, which could lead to new treatments mitigating some of the disorder's tic-like symptoms.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Researchers at Yale have identified a genetic mutation that that could lead to new treatments for Tourette syndrome.

But before we get into that, what's it like to have Tourette's? Just ask Josh Hanagarne, who's wrestled with it his whole life. Speaking on WNPR's The Colin McEnroe Show, he described what it's like to live with a disorder that's most well-known for its tics and verbal outbursts.

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Mental Health
3:48 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Mindfulness Meditation Can Help Relieve Anxiety And Depression

Western medicine has questioned the medical benefits of meditation.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 9:38 am

People are increasingly turning to mindfulness mediation to manage health issues, and meditation classes are being offered through schools and hospitals.

But doctors have questioned whether this ancient Eastern practice really offers measurable health benefits. A fresh review of the evidence should help sort that out.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:49 am
Mon January 6, 2014

The Scramble: Insider Trading, Anxiety, and David Brooks Best Friend

The trading floor of The New York Stock Exchange
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Today on The Scramble we lead off with some reporting that will be featured this week on a PBS' "Frontline" story, To Catch a Trader. It's the story of a federal probe into insider trading and the specific role of Connecticut's Steve Cohen, and his SAC hedge fund. 

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Brain Science
4:00 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Was Adam Lanza a Psychopath?

Credit creative commons

Neuroscientist James Fallon found something shocking when he was looking at brain scans of serial killers for research, and brain scans of his family for signs of disease. According to the scan, his own brain was no different than that of a psychopath. The discovery opened up a new world of research, TED talks and his recent book, The Psychopath Inside: A Neuroscientist’s Personal Journey into the Dark Side of the Brain. 

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Mental Health
7:00 am
Thu January 2, 2014

A "First-Aid" Response to Mental Illness

Janine Sullivan-Wiley, left, and Jennifer DeWitt, were the co-instructors for a class on Mental Health First Aid at the Western Connecticut Area Agency on Aging. They're holding ALGEE the koala bear, which is the mascot for mental health first aid.
Patrick Skahill WNPR

A group in Connecticut met earlier this month to explore a simple question -- how to intervene if you think someone may be suffering from a mental illness. They were learning about "mental health first aid," which was developed in Australia in 2001 and has captured the attention of many in America, including President Barack Obama.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Coming Together Across the Ages

Intergenerational relationships can be equally beneficial for the younger person.
Credit Alexey Klementiev/iStock / Thinkstock

When Americans get older, two things often happen. Some are forced into a life where everyone around them is the same age, in an assisted living community when they become reliant on others for their care.

Others choose this life, retiring to the south, in a community of active seniors with no kids allowed. But what’s the impact of this kind of social isolation from those of other ages?

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Newtown Report
4:40 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Kane: Options Would Have Been "Extremely Limited" to Prevent Lanza's Actions

Chief State's Attorney Kevin Kane.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Late last week, state police released the thousands of documents that made up their investigation into the Newtown shootings. Even though more is now known about the gunman who killed 20 children, six educators, his mother, and himself, it doesn't appear that anything gunman Adam Lanza did before December 14, 2012 could have gotten serious attention from law enforcement.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:33 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

The Final Report on Sandy Hook

Books found in the Lanza home, from the Connecticut State Police report.
Credit State of Connecticut

There are a lot of people who, for understandable reasons, would like the story of the Sandy Hook shootings to fade away. But, of course it never will. It's part of our molecular structure, especially here in Connecticut. 

This hour, we touch on some of the questions answered  by the release of the state's so called final report on the murders. We also talk about some of the questions that haven't been answered and the peculiar, to some of us, reluctance by the state to release this report. 

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Newtown Investigation
6:15 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Newtown Report Offers Few Insights Into School Shooting

This undated photo released Friday by the Connecticut State Police shows the scene inside Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Conn.
AP

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:19 pm

Connecticut State Police have released an exhaustive report on last year's Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, offering some new details on the massacre that left 20 first-graders and six educators dead.

Photographs taken by investigators of the home that 20-year-old shooter Adam Lanza shared with his mother show "numerous rounds of ammunition, gun magazines, shot-up paper targets, gun cases, shooting earplugs and a gun safe with a rifle in it," The Associated Press writes.

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Newtown Investigation
1:04 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Could the Privacy of Adam Lanza's Medical Records Be Waived?

A scene from the home of Adam Lanza provided in the state's attorney's report on the December 14, 2012 shootings in Newtown.
Credit State of Connecticut

One of the enduring questions in the aftermath of the Newtown shooting is whether Adam Lanza's mental health contributed to his decision to kill 20 children, six educators, his mother, and himself. But privacy laws have gotten in the way of answering it.

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Medical Research
7:00 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Genetic Test Aims to Take Guesswork Out of Drug Dosing

Gualberto Ruano, director of the Genetics Research Center at Hartford Hospital, leads a study aimed at reducing the guesswork in psychiatric drug dosing.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Researchers at Hartford Hospital are looking into a gene that determines how fast the liver clears medication from the body. The goal of the five-year study is to reduce the guesswork in psychiatric drug dosing.

It's a gene with a fancy name: CYP2D6

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Newtown: One Year Later
8:24 am
Fri December 13, 2013

One Year After Newtown, Still No Answer To 'Why'

A crime scene photo provided by the Connecticut State Police shows a rifle in the master bedroom in Adam Lanza's house.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 7:52 am

As Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy sped from Hartford to Newtown nearly a year ago, the death toll kept rising. When he arrived on the scene, he found himself in charge — and it fell to him to answer the question: How long should family members have to wait to learn that their loved ones were gone?

Malloy decided that he was going to do what he thought was right. Still, standing in front of more than two dozen families gathered in a firehouse, he doubted that it was.

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Data
5:54 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Guns in America: By the Numbers

Credit Digital Vision / Thinkstock

As the slogan goes, "Guns don't kill people; people kill people." But the people who do get killed are frequently the ones pulling the trigger.

Matthew Miller at the Harvard School of Public Health, who will appear Friday on WNPR's Where We Live, found that gun owners are more likely to die by suicide than non-owners. Across the U.S., the more available guns are, the more frequently suicide occurs.

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Newtown: One Year Later
9:00 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Recovering from Trauma: Therapists Reflect on Their Work in Newtown

From left, Valerie Gillies, Dr. Karen Alter-Reid, and Michael Crouch, therapists with the Trauma Recovery Network of Fairfield County.
Credit Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

The discussion after last year's Newtown shootings was dominated by two topics: gun control and mental health. Many people focused on possible illnesses of the shooter, but there’s another side to the mental health discussion. In the aftermath of a tragedy, communities need help healing.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:23 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Singing Away the Blues

Lucy Ferriss is a writer-in-residence at Trinity College and author of several books, including the forthcoming, The Map of Honor. She also sings with CitySingers choir.
Chion Wolf

I suppose you could say that today's show is about a fairly obvious truth--singing with other people feels good. 

But, it's a little bit more complicated than that. When you go to a church and pick up a hymnal and sing what everybody else sings, it feels okay. And, a fairly complex set of activities takes place in your brain, and that's nice, but it pales in comparison to really singing with others. 

That is, getting together with other people and rehearsing and working toward a truly successful blend of voices.

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Mental Health
10:43 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Rule Spells Out How Insurers Must Cover Mental Health Care

Insurance plans that offer mental health benefits have to keep them in line with the coverage for medical care.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 4:41 pm

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 requires health plans that offer benefits for mental health and substance use to cover them to the same extent that they cover medical and surgical care.

Among other things, the law prohibits treatment limits and copayments or deductibles that are more restrictive than a plan's medical coverage.

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Child Health
9:34 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Sandy Hook Mother Talks About Trauma in Children

The mother of a child killed in the Newtown school shootings spoke to staff at Connecticut Children's Medical Center Tuesday morning. Nelba Marquez-Greene was a featured speaker during a lecture on child traumatic stress and PTSD.

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Memory
1:35 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Middle-Age "Senior Moments" Just Part of Aging

Credit Jordan Harrison Graphic / Connecticut Health I-Team

Everyone occasionally struggles to remember a name, blanks out on an appointment or forgets why they walked into the other room. But somewhere around age 40, those “senior moments” start to take on a new seriousness. They suddenly seem like scary signs of aging, perhaps harbingers of major memory loss to come.

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