Mental Health

Chion Wolf

Suicide rates have risen dramatically for middle-aged Americans in the last 10 years. The highest jump is for men aged 50-54. In a report released last week, the CDC says that more people aged 35-64 die from suicide than from car accidents, and they have been since 2009.

This hour, we look at what might be behind this trend, and what resources are available for Connecticut residents struggling with mental health issues.

JoePenna, creative commons

Advocates for mental health have been expressing concern about the conversation in American following the Newtown shootings.  While we still don’t know the details of whatever mental illness Adam Lanza may have suffered from, and we don’t know the particulars of his treatment or medication, lawmakers from all sides of the debate over guns have drawn mental health care into the discussion.  

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Waterbury police are collaborating with mental health professionals in a pilot program that aims to reduce traumatic stress in children.  As WNPRs Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, the program is meant to provide support to children after the arrest of a parent or caregiver.

Photo courtesy of Flickr CC by Adkp

Waterbury police are collaborating with mental health professionals in a pilot program that aims to reduce traumatic stress in children.  The program is meant to provide support to children after the arrest of a parent or caregiver.

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State lawmakers have reached a deal on what they're calling some of the toughest gun laws in the country.   The announcement is the product of weeks of bipartisan talks after the Newtown shootings.

If it passes, the bill would mean universal background checks for the sale of all firearms.  It would also tighten the state's existing ban on assault weapons, require a background check to buy ammunition, and ban the sale of magazines that hold more than 10 bullets.

Democrat Don Williams is the state senate president.

State lawmakers have reached a deal on what they're calling some of the toughest gun laws in the country.   As WNPR's Jeff Cohen  reports, the announcement is the product of weeks of bipartisan talks after the Newtown shootings. If it passes, the bill would mean universal background checks for the sale of all firearms.  It would also tighten the state's existing ban on assault weapons, require a background check to buy ammunition, and ban the sale of magazines that hold more than 10 bullets. Democrat Don Williams is the state senate president. "In Connecticut, we've broken the mold.

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Regaining Balance

Mar 28, 2013
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Everybody gets knocked off course. How do you rebalance in an unpredictable world? Bruce Clements joins Faith to talk about the art of restoring balance. Are there go-to tactics that work for most people? Or is the answer different depending on what happens to you? What can we learn from others? How do you get perspective when the clear mind you need is clouded and confused?

Regaining Balance

Mar 28, 2013
Ethan Sherbondy/flickr creative commons

Everybody gets knocked off course. How do you re-balance in an unpredictable world? Bruce Clements joins Faith to talk about the art of restoring balance. Are there go-to tactics that work for most people? Or is the answer different depending on what happens to you? What can we learn from others? How do you get perspective when the clear mind you need is clouded and confused?

Connecticut's National Guard Forced To Adapt For War

Mar 19, 2013

From colonial militias to combat reserve, the role of the National Guard has varied in more than 376 years. It shifted again after the attacks on 9-11. Appearing on WNPR's Where We Live, Colonel John Whitford of the Connecticut National Guard says people enlisted for different reasons over the last 13 years. "You've seen the guard change from a strategic force to an operational force. That's when you've seen many Connecticut National Guard army and air units going to Iraq to provide that assistance to the combatant commander."

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Today Faith tackles meditation and its affects on psychotherapy. 

Lucy Nalpathanchil

Every day an estimated twenty-two veterans kill themselves in the U.S. and most of them will use a gun to do so according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs. This trend mirrors the general population where more people kill themselves with guns than with all other methods combined. The VA is trying to help with a program that offers gun locks to veterans for free. The thinking is that if they lock their guns up they might not reach for them in the spur of the moment. 

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Police Set New Ways To Deal With Trauma After Newtown

Feb 25, 2013

The shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults in Newtown have forced law enforcement officials in Connecticut to come up with new procedures to help police. The measures could change the way law enforcement responds to life-changing trauma.

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Dr. Amy Arnsten, Professor of Neurobiology and Psychology at Yale University, spoke to WNPR's Ray Hardman, on her recently released findings from a study exposing the importance of healthy NMDA receptors needed for higher-level thinking and their potential link to illnesses like schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease when this pre-frontal cortical circuitry is damaged.

Cindy Papish Gerber

This time we’ll be talking about “Grief and Loss”, an issue we’ve been struggling with since the unthinkable violence in Newtown on December 14th. As you’ll hear in the podcast, grief and loss comes in many different forms - everything from the the sudden death of a spouse or a child to the loss of a job, a pet, a relationship... or sometimes even “all of the above”.

Why Worry?

Feb 13, 2013
Jonathan McNicol

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.

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.

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

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And I'm Melissa Block.

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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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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.

Families Of Newtown Victims Launch New Initiative

Jan 14, 2013

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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.

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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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.

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.

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.)

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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