WNPR

Mental Health

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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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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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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