Mental Health

Mental Health Reporting on WNPR and 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's monthly Mental Health Report newsletter. 


The Faith Middleton Show
2:32 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Why Worry?

Coming Home Project
6:12 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Clifford Beers Clinic to Help Military Families

Courtesy of Clifford Beers Clinic

A New Haven mental health clinic has received a federal grant to help the children of military families. The clinic aims to use the funding to fill a gap that exists in the VA health care system.

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State's Mental Health Services
1:40 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

At Legislature, Mental Health Takes Center Stage

Lawmakers are hearing/heard testimony on mental health services in the state, as part of the legislature's response to the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.  WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports. Patricia Rehmer had a note of caution for lawmakers.  She's the state's commissioner of Mental Health and Addition Services. "We do not have any information about the mental health or any mental health issues that the shooter in the Newtown tragedy may have.

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Where We Live
8:18 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Assisted Outpatient Treatment Laws on Flickr Creative Commons

The Sandy Hook shootings have resulted in a special bipartisan task force of the Connecticut legislature.  Last week’s public hearing dealt with recommendations to enhance school safety.  Today’s lengthy hearing is about reducing gun violence, and tomorrow they’ll talk about increasing access to mental health care.

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Newtown Shooting
5:13 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

A Month Later, Many Questions Remain In Newtown, Conn.



From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.


And I'm Melissa Block.

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Children's Health
1:51 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

UConn Study Focuses on Children Who Lose Autism Diagnosis

Courtesy of Flickr CC by BLW Photography

A study by University of Connecticut researchers has found that some children diagnosed with autism at a young age improved to a point where they no longer had symptoms of the disorder.

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Where we Live
1:40 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Treating Trauma Before It Hurts

Kortunov on Flickr Creative Commons

After Newtown, school nurses and teachers have been asking for training to identify the early signs of trauma in children. The Child Health and Development Institute held two training sessions last week for school personnel in Connecticut with several more planned in the following weeks. 

Joining us this morning is Dr. Robert Franks, a trauma expert and Vice-President of The Child Health and Development Institute.

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Sandy Hook Promise
9:30 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Families Of Newtown Victims Launch New Initiative



From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

Family members of those killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, have spent the past month grieving. Now, some of them have banded together and say they're ready to be part of a national discussion about how to make our communities safer. They call themselves the Sandy Hook Promise. Jeff Cohen, of member station WNPR, has the story.

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Where We Live
10:10 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Gov. Dannel Malloy on Newtown, Gun Control

Chion Wolf WNPR

Last month, on December 13, Governor Malloy appeared on our show for his monthly visit. We talked about the budget and the upcoming legislative session, and the issues he hoped to work on in the coming year.  

The next morning, everything changed.

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Outpatient Laws
8:33 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Court Ordered Outpatient Commitment For Mental Illness

Wikimedia Commons

In the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, lawmakers and advocates are taking a second look at the state's outpatient commitment laws. 

Connecticut is only one of six states that does not allow court ordered treatment for people suffering with mental illness that could be a danger to themselves or others.

Joining us by phone is Dr. Harold Schwartz, Psychiatrist-In-Chief at the Institute of Living and Vice-President of Behavioral Health, Hartford Hospital.

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Newtown Shooting
5:02 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Malloy Says Newtown Motive May Never Be Known

Jeff Cohen/WNPR

The investigation into last month's shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School may take months to complete. The governor says the shooter's motive may never be known.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:44 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

The State of Mental Health Care in Connecticut

Chion Wolf

I'm not a big fan of getting ready to fight the previous war. Our next crisis will not be Adam Lanza. It will not be an exact replica of the facts of his life, not that we know those for sure yet. (I would say, parenthetically, that the worldwide rush to diagnose Lanza makes me massively uncomfortable.)

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Holiday Stress
12:46 pm
Sun December 16, 2012

Real Life Survival Guide Episode 67

Cindy Papish Gerber

For episode 67 of the RLSG, we decided to talk about “holiday stress”. This was before our perception of the world changed - just two days ago - as the heartbreaking series of events played out in Newtown. There will be more than the normal level of stress during this holiday season, and for too many, life will never be the same.

It is with thoughts of those who are no longer with us, and of those who will never see their loved ones again, that we go forward, hoping for a future in which we can live together in peace.

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Coming Home Project
5:42 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Suicide 'Epidemic' Among Active Duty Military and Veterans

Photo courtesy of

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has called on military leaders to explore a "epidemic" of suicide among active duty servicemembers and veterans. Each day, 18 veterans kill themselves according to the federal Department of Veterans Affairs. In Connecticut, 30 veterans have died this way since 2009, but those are only the suicides that the VA knows about.

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Where We Live
12:08 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans on Trial

U.S. Army (Flickr Creative Commons)

In the Civil War, it was called soldiers heart or nostalgia. In WWI, it was known as shell shock. These days, it's known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. Talk to any veteran and they'll tell you: war changes you.

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Coming Home Project
6:12 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Attorney Seeks to Improve Claims Process for Victims of Military Sexual Trauma


A Connecticut attorney testified before Congress Wednesday on ways to improve the claims process for veterans who've been sexually assaulted while in the military. 

When veterans are raped or sexually assaulted while in the service, it's called military sexual trauma or MST.

The Department of Defense estimates more than 19,000 sexual assaults happened in 2010, but it's a problem that's often under-reported.

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Coming Home Project
6:36 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Student Nurses Learn How to Care for Veterans

Dr. Suzanne Campbell

Fairfield University is participating in the nationwide initiative, Joining Forces, to to help veterans. WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil spoke with the Dean of the School Of Nursing, Dr Suzanne Campbell.

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Coming Home Project
4:52 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Analysis of Defense Department Records Show Veterans Wrongfully Discharged

March 23, 2012-An analysis of Department of Defense records shows that hundreds of veterans have been wrongfully discharged since 2008. The Vietnam Veterans of America allege that service members were incorrectly diagnosed with “personality disorder.”

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Where We Live
10:56 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Where We Live Alone

Chion Wolf

In the 1950s, less than a quarter of American adults were single. Today - that number is up to about half.

But when we say “single” - we mean not part of a couple. A different - and slightly antique-sounding term - “singleton” means people who live by themselves. That number is up to some 31 million Americans.

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Coming Home Project
10:59 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Legislative Committee Considers Bill to Help Keep Veterans Out of Jail

Connecticut Veterans Legal Center

The General Assembly's Veterans Committee is considering a bill that could strengthen programs to keep veterans out of jail. Veterans who have served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars face a variety of challenges when they return home including physical and mental health issues. 

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Where We Live
10:38 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Toxic Stress in Early Childhood

Pedro Klien, Creative Commons

Is it our genetic code that determines our destiny, or can early life experience influence the course of our fate?
A recently released report from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that stress - especially in our earliest years -plays a big role in future health.  

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Mental Health
5:24 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

$2.5 Million to Help New Haven Moms

A diverse group of social service providers has just received $2.5 million in federal money to help New Haven mothers suffering from mental health issues. WNPR’s Neena Satija reports.

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Coming Home Project
12:21 pm
Fri December 30, 2011

UConn Opens OASIS for Veterans

Courtesy of Flickr CC by Copepodo

Veterans who are students at the University of Connecticut at Storrs will come back from winter break to a space just for them. It's called OASIS, or Operation Academic Support for Incoming Servicemembers.

The idea goes back to 2007, when the state Department of Veterans Affairs decided servicemembers who enrolled in college needed a place on campus where they could seek out support as they transitioned back to civilian life.

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Coming Home Project
3:31 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

VA Commissioner Highlights Programs to Combat Suicide Among Veterans

Photo by Tyler Antrim

A lot of attention has been paid lately to troops coming home from Iraq now that the war is over. 

But thousands of soldiers who have served post 9-11 are home already and many continue to struggle in civilian life.  One of these struggles is combating suicidal thoughts.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs finds that eighteen veterans die by suicide each day. In Connecticut, Commissioner of Veterans Affairs, Linda Schwartz says in the last year, an estimated fourteen veterans in the state committed suicide. But she stresses suicide is often underreported.

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Where We Live
11:01 am
Wed December 21, 2011

The Age of Alzheimer's

Vince Alongi

Alzheimer’s is predicted to be the defining disease of the baby boom generation.

It’s an incurable brain disorder that destroys memory, as well as the ability to speak and function.  It also slowly eats away at loved ones who serve as caregivers.  

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Coming Home Project
2:57 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

UConn Seeks Veterans and Active Duty for PTSD Study

A University of Connecticut professor has been studying two treatment therapies for post traumatic stress disorder. The study focuses on the military community which sees a disproportionate number of PTSD cases.

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Where We Live
10:15 am
Thu December 1, 2011

Aging Vigorously

Roy Rowan

The population of those 90 and over in America has nearly tripled in the last 30 years.

And (surprise!) Connecticut is in the top five states with the largest number of people over 85 years old. A recent census study had to add a whole new category for these “oldest old” folks. So what does it mean that more people will be living well into their 90s?

Today we’ll talk to 91 year old former journalist and author Roy Rowan who says he isnt “aging gracefully” - but aging “vigorously” and “actively.”  

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Where We Live
10:19 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

Rex Roof, Creative Commons

When you make a decision, do you carefully deliberate? Or do you go with your gut?

It seems as though those are our choices...but as scientists dig deeper into the human mind, they’re discovering that this is not actually how the brain works.

Our best decisions - they find - are a finely tuned blend of both feeling and reason and the precise mix depends on the situation.

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Youth Advocacy
7:58 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Panel Discusses Challenges Facing Connecticut's Children

State lawmakers and policy leaders met in Hartford on Tuesday to outline challenges facing Connecticut’s children.   Some of the key issues may come up in the 2012 legislative session.

Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Jewell Mullen listed several areas of particular concern.  "They include the disproportionate incidence of infant mortality, particularly in New Haven, but in our urban areas and increasingly in our smaller cities; the rising prevalence of childhood obesity;  also, needing to put a new focus on preventing violence and injury."

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