Mental Health

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. 

Trish Buchanan

Waterbury's Acting Deputy Police Chief, Chris Corbett, was laid to rest on Tuesday. He died from a self-inflicted gun shot wound last week.

It's not uncommon: each year, more police die by suicide than are killed in the line of duty. 

NuvaTube / Creative Commons

A bill that would clarify the nature of mental health services covered by insurance policies is awaiting Governor Dannel Malloy’s review.  

PBS NewsHour

More Connecticut students report feeling sad and hopeless and they are seeking help at school-based health clinics, counselors say.

Their problems range from bullying to family issues to anxiety.

Calvin Health / Rakkasan Delta

On Memorial Day, WNPR will air a special documentary about men who served in Delta Company, a Vietnam-era paratrooper unit. It's called "We've Never Been the Same: A War Story."

Susan Campbell

On April 23, after 20 years on the streets, Salvatore Pinna moved into a Hartford apartment. It was his first ever.

Pinna's is one of the success stories for Greater Hartford’s 100-day challenge to greatly reduce chronic homelessness.

Dominick / Creative Commons

Rates of heavy drinking in Connecticut spiked 21.3 percent between 2005 and 2012, while binge drinking rates rose nearly 14 percent, with the largest increases among women drinkers, a new report shows.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Each night, the state helps pay for around 200 beds for women dealing with substance abuse and mental health issues. The Tina Klem Serenity House in Bridgeport is one of them.

On a recent sunny spring day, MIT students were lined up at a table grabbing ice cream sundaes, milk and cookies, and, if they were interested, an embrace.

“Yes, giving away ice cream and now hugs,” explained MIT parent Sonal Patel, of Cambridge, as she embraced Miguel Mendez, a native of Mexico who is doing post-doctoral research at MIT.

“It’s always good to know that people around the campus actually care about you as a person,” Mendez said. “This being an institution that expects a lot from you, it can really pass a toll on you sometimes.”

Robert Freiberger / Creative Commons

A panel of early care and education providers met on Wednesday in New Haven to discuss infant mental health with Congresswoman Rosa Delauro, who sits on the Congressional Baby Caucus.

Infant mental health focuses on the ways parents and caregivers can nurture the social and emotional development of children from birth to age three, a key time of brain development. 

Practice of Forgiveness Shown to Help Victims Heal

May 6, 2015
https://www.facebook.com/JesseLewisChooseLove

Think back to a time you felt wronged by someone. Does the memory of the injury still make you upset or cause you stress? 

Considering the amount of minor and major trauma we sustain throughout our lives, we are given surprisingly little information about how to process these unpleasant experiences to help minimize long-term negative effects.

Mindaugas Danys / Creative Commons

About half of all children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, also have serious behavioral problems, such as irritability, aggression, and non-compliance. A new study by Yale University and a consortium of five other universities shows that parents who are given a set of specific strategies and techniques can reduce disruptive behavior in their autistic child.

rachel a. k. / Creative Commons

The growing number of children and teens exposed to traumatic events in everyday life has forced the state’s crisis intervention teams to respond to a broader range of behavioral and mental health issues, and those teams often serve as a bridge until at-risk youth find appropriate outpatient or inpatient services.

CT State Democrats

A bill before lawmakers would require certain health care workers to undergo training related to the mental health issues veterans and their family members face. Some providers say the bill is an unnecessary mandate. 

peterspiro/iStock / Thinkstock

Mental disorders surpassed respiratory problems and all other ailments as the leading cause of hospitalization in Connecticut in 2012 for children ages five to 14, teenagers, and younger adults, according to a new state health department report.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The State Department of Public Health has just released 2013 data on Health Risk Behaviors in Connecticut’s High School Age Youth. This week, WNPR is focusing on one particularly troubling condition described in the report: self injury.

On Wednesday, we learned about how one Connecticut school district is trying to cope with a substantial rise in the number of high school students who are cutting themselves.

In part two, we bring you the story of a Connecticut man’s journey through mental illness and self-injury to recovery. 

Natasha Vora / Creative Commons

Schools in Connecticut and across the nation are reporting a consistent rise in the number of students with mental health issues, and an increase in the complexity and severity of problems. This week, WNPR focuses attention on a particularly troubling condition: self-injury.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Fighting and heavy airstrikes in Yemen have left many wondering what lies ahead for a country that’s engaged in what many are calling a “proxy war.” This hour, we get an update from former U.S. ambassador Mark Hambley. 

Updated at 1:13 a.m. ET

German prosecutors say the co-pilot of the Germanwings plane who crashed the aircraft into the French Alps on March 24 apparently used his tablet computer to search the Internet for ways to commit suicide and for the safety features of cockpit doors. Separately, French prosecutors say the second black box of Flight 4U 9525 has been recovered.

How Do You Get an ID When You Have No Home?

Apr 1, 2015
Susan Campbell / WNPR

It was a bitter cold Friday in March, and Sal Pinna was heading into the wind on Main Street in Hartford.

"Cold enough, but I don't feel a thing," Pinna said. "I guess I’m used to it."

Pinna, a Long Island native, has been homeless for 20 years in Connecticut, but he wants very much to get an apartment. He has in his backpack a xeroxed copy of his birth certificate – but that’s not good enough for official paperwork. Without proper identification, Pinna is stuck in shelters, or worse.

Updated at 11:05 a.m. ET

The co-pilot who deliberately downed an airliner over the French Alps this week, killing all 150 aboard, had told a girlfriend sometime last year that he would "do something" that would make people remember his name, a German newspaper reports.

Ryan Welsgerber / Creative Commons

Doctors have been treating the symptoms of their patients, often before they know the cause, for centuries. But as medicine has gained sophistication and precision, we've slowly demanded more of our doctors. We want them to treat us, but also to know what we have, and why we have it, and how to treat and cure it. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

After more than two years, the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission has released its final report to Governor Dannel Malloy.

The 16-member panel has pored over the details of December 14, 2012, trying to figure out why the Sandy Hook tragedy happened in the first place, and pinpointing specific measures that would prevent such a tragedy in the future.

Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut

The Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut released a report that examines how the state can strengthen the skills of professionals who work with infants and toddlers.

Homelessness in Greater Hartford: Meet Sal Pinna

Feb 20, 2015
Susan Campbell / WNPR

Salvatore Pinna, 52, grew up on Long Island and came to Connecticut 20 years ago. In official parlance, Pinna is chronically homeless, which is how the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development describes someone who has been homeless for a year or more, or who has had at least four incidences of homelessness in three years, and has a disability. 

Pinna more than fits the description. He has effectively been homeless since he came to Connecticut in the '90s. Some of that time he spent living on the streets and sleeping under bridges. 

Chion Wolf

Salvatore Pinna moved to Connecticut 20 years ago. The 52-year-old has been living on the streets and under bridges since he moved here. He's one of many chronically homeless people in the state.

This hour, we meet Sal and hear the first of a series of stories about homelessness in Greater Hartford, where the 100-Day Challenge is about to begin, an initiative to try to to eliminate barriers and connect stakeholders -- to create a plan to end chronic homelessness -- in 100 days.

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