Mental Health

CT Senate Democrats

A report by the Connecticut Women's Education and Legal Fund shows victims are staying longer at the state's domestic violence shelters, creating a strain on shelters' resources and available space.

Paul Gionfriddo

This is a full transcript of the show broadcast on February 2, 2016. 

Paul Gionfriddo

For former state lawmaker Paul Gionfriddo, mental health isn’t just a matter of policy -- it's also personal. His son, now 30, has schizophrenia. 

Paul Gionfriddo

Paul Gionfriddo leads Mental Health America but he has deep roots in Connecticut. He’s a former state representative and mayor of Middletown who now advocates for people with mental illness. During his time in the legislature, he worked on laws and policies that contributed to the nation's current mental health crisis. His book Losing Tim explores his own son’s struggle with schizophrenia and the mental health system that failed him.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A court monitor said the state is failing to meet critical measurements because of a lack of funding.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Superintendents across Connecticut have put together a document they say will help schools deal with student mental health issues. The recommendations were influenced by the events that led up to the Newtown school shootings.

Bed Bugs: Our Creepy, Pervasive, and Expensive Problem

Jan 11, 2016
Gilles San Martin / Creative Commons

A Norwalk-based exterminator was called to an apartment building in the New Haven area and, entering one unit, he found the walls “dripping with bed bugs.”

A few days into heroin detox—when you’re still in the throwing-up phase of withdrawal—is not a good time to learn your insurance is refusing to pay for your stay. That’s what happened to 22-year-old Joe (a pseudonym) in 2012 when he was in an inpatient detox in Oregon.

WestportWiki / Creative Commons

A business student from China who said a bout with depression led to his expulsion for academic reasons has become the face of a labor-driven push for better mental health care at Yale University.

Geoffrey Fairchild / Flickr Creative Commons

Violent crime in America has been dropping for years, reaching a point in 2012 that was roughly half of what it was in 1993. But that may be changing.

While there are a lot of reasons why violence is spiking, police officers note a growing willingness to use violence to settle minor disputes.

Yale University

Getting an autism diagnosis can take months, even years of doctor's visits, and the diagnosis depends largely on watching a child play. As a result, who gets put on the spectrum and who doesn't can depend on who and where the doctor is.

USDA / Creative Commons

Access to health care has improved significantly since Obamacare, with big gains for previously uninsured minorities who were unable to gain access before the law took effect. But insurance isn’t the only barrier to overcome. Entrenched cultural beliefs and the way we deliver care can also limit access.

Peter D / Creative Commons

It's not uncommon to see someone wearing a prosthesis, especially after wars in Iraq and Afghanistan sent many veterans home minus a limb. While losing a limb is a life-changing event, a good prosthetist can "carve" a prosthesis with just the right fit. It's a long process that can take years to perfect. 

Limbs today vary from simple body-powered prostheses moved by cables to a "fully robotic arm that has 26 joints, can curl 45 pounds and is controlled by the wearer's mind." As the stigma of a prosthesis lessens, amputees are seeking enhancement over replacement, opting for limbs that transcend what's biologically possible, even if lacking the aesthetic of a natural limb.

MarineCorps NewYork / Creative Commons

Wednesday is November 11, a date originally designated by President Woodrow Wilson as Armistice Day to mark the end of World War I. After World War II, however, it was renamed Veterans Day to honor all Americans who have served. 

Sergey Borisov/iStock / Thinkstock

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy is making another push for mental health reform in Congress that he hopes will overhaul and strengthen the mental health care system. He joins us from Washington, D.C. to explain the legislation and to discuss some recent news on the U.S. policy on Syria and use of drones. 

We also talk to U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal about an Obama administration proposal to help address Puerto Rico's fiscal challenges. 

Quinn Dombrowski/flickr creative commons

Empathy, the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes to get a better understanding of what they're feeling or thinking, is a key ingredient to successful relationships. But studies show that being empathetic doesn't just improve relationships -- it reduces prejudice and racism, decreases bullying, encourages us to help others, and promotes tolerance and emotional well-being.

Don't Let The Bed Bugs Bite!

Oct 22, 2015
Truly Nolen / Creative Commons

Humans are used to being the predator, not the prey. But when it comes to our relationship with bed bugs - well, these little critters have been making a meal of us for thousands of years.

USDA / Creative Commons

Access to health care has improved significantly since Obamacare, with big gains for previously uninsured minorities who were unable to gain access before the law took effect. But insurance isn’t the only barrier to overcome. Entrenched cultural beliefs and the way we deliver care can also limit access.

WNPR/David DesRoches

Dyslexia affects one out of every five people on the planet, but there's still very few state or federal policies that address the disability.

woodleywonderworks/flickr creative commons

Dr. Mel Pohl, a medical specialist who works with chronic pain sufferers, says pain is REAL. That's his key point, and that there are ways to reclaim your life by avoiding addiction to opioids that often INCREASE pain without patients being aware of it. 

Dannel Malloy flickr.com/photos/governordanmalloy/5354974717 / Creative Commons

The spotlight has been on Connecticut's Department of Children and Families in recent weeks after troubling video showed DCF staff improperly restraining youths at the state's two juvenile detention facilities. Despite the latest controversy,  Governor Dannel Malloy remains supportive of the agency's commissioner.

Geoffrey Fairchild / Creative Commons

Violent crime in America has been dropping for years, reaching a point in 2012 that was roughly half of what it was in 1993. But that may be changing.

The New York Times reported that violent crime was rising sharply in cities like Milwaukee and St. Louis. In Hartford, there were 19 homicides in all of 2014. That number was matched in late July this year.

Andy Wagstaffe flickr.com/photos/forcedrhubarb/5389053867 / Creative Commons

Connecticut has made strides in identifying and helping children who have experienced trauma – with more than 50,000 undergoing trauma screenings since 2007 – but more must be done to ensure all children’s needs are met, according to a report released today.

GollyGforce/flickr creative commons

There’s no doubt, being a parent is challenging. Some of those challenges have always existed, some are new to the 21st century. We worry about the health of our children. And if we’re lucky enough to have healthy children, we worry about their successes in life. Today, the pressure on parents and children to succeed has escalated dramatically. 

After the 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Conn., advocates for children in the state put a renewed focus on special education and children who need help.

One challenge? Getting parents and school districts to agree on what to do.

At a house in West Hartford, a young man and his grandfather are watching movies. First, it's The Love Bug. Now, it's Aliens.

"There's a lot of action scenes in it," says the young man. He's still a teenager, actually, a big 19-year-old who loves comic books and martial arts.

There’s a proposal to build a 16-bed mental health care facility in Essex County. A non-profit agency serving the Northeast Kingdom wants to partner with the state to add more psychiatric beds.

Supporters say such services are sorely needed, but not everyone agrees on where and how they should be provided.

TASER International

A lot of scientific research has focused on what police Tasers physically do to the body, but little has looked at how they impact the way people think. Now, results from a new study out of Arizona State University suggest police officers should look more carefully at how quickly they question a suspect after a Taser deployment. 

Ben Stanfield/flickr creative commons

The ability to perform under pressure is one of the differences between good athletes and extraordinary athletes. We find the same thing in everyday life as we take exams, give speeches, or perform solos: For some, these pressures can be daunting, while others take them in stride. Imagine having to pilot a damaged plane, or make life-and-death decisions in an emergency room, or fight in combat. Why do some people seem to perform well under pressure while others choke? According to psychologist and author Hendrie Weisinger, nobody performs better under pressure. Regardless of the task, pressure diminishes our judgment, decision-making, and performance.

Nearly three years after Superstorm Sandy, some Rhode Island residents are still dealing with the aftermath. And it’s not just damage to buildings and property. These Rhode Islanders are struggling with mental illness related to stress. 

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