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Suicide and Mental Health

May 9, 2013
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.

Last December, the Capitol Region Gun BuyBack coalition traded more than $10,000 in gift cards for over 180 working guns -- an effort to get those firearms off the streets.  In a couple of weeks, they're hosting another gun buyback -- and officials say it's not just about public safety...but about public health. Joining us now is Dr. David Shapiro from St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, one of the partners in the program.  Dr. Shapiro, thanks for joining us.

Living With Food Allergies

May 6, 2013
Joyosity, Flickr Creative Commons

Living With Food Allergies

May 6, 2013
Joyosity, Flickr Creative Commons

No one can escape the issue of extreme food allergies. Maybe it's you who is allergic to peanuts, dairy, shellfish, citrus. Maybe it's your little son or daughter. Or maybe you don't have any allergies, but because you eat food, you find that other people's allergies affect your life. Are you ever asked to keep peanuts out of the snack you're bringing to school? Or to keep dairy out of the cake you made for the office birthday party?

Dr. Lloyd Sederer on Mental Health Care

May 3, 2013
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.  

Flickr Creative Commons

New research finds that abnormalities in an infant’s placenta at birth may signal that the baby is at risk for developing autism. This could help families intervene earlier to improve outcomes for autistic kids.

By the time a child is diagnosed with autism, they’re usually at least three or four years old.

But a new study finds that by examining a newborn’s placenta under a microscope, you can predict whether the child is at risk for developing the disorder.

New research finds that abnormalities in an infant’s placenta at birth may signal that the baby is at risk for developing autism. This could help families intervene earlier to improve outcomes for autistic kids.

By the time a child is diagnosed with autism, they’re usually at least three or four years old.

But a new study finds that by examining a newborn’s placenta under a microscope, you can predict whether the child is at risk for developing the disorder.

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.  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.

Does Going 'All Natural' Keep Us Healthier?

Apr 22, 2013
Flickr Creative Commons, daveparker

Two possible meaningful personal stories.

Flickr Creative Commons, daveparker

Two possible meaningful personal stories.

Asians and the "Model Minority" Myth

Apr 22, 2013

Asian Americans have been dealing with the "model minority" myth for decades. And it's playing a role in high suicide rates. The idea of Asians as a model minority dates back to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Scholars began publishing articles that argued against themes of social reform.

Hey Paul Studios on Flickr Creative Commons

Hey Paul Studios on Flickr Creative Commons

frostnova/flickr creative commons

Changing Health Outcomes

Apr 15, 2013
Chion Wolf

A few weeks ago, the Greater New Haven Branch of the NAACP released a report showing significant health, economic, and educational disparities between White and minority populations....so significant that they’re calling it a modern day “urban apartheid.”

Harriet Jones

Connecticut's system of primary healthcare still relies heavily on small, physician-owned practices. It's a quaint hangover in a world that's increasingly dominated by large multi-specialty groups, and hospital-owned practices. But as WNPR's Harriet Jones reports, Connecticut's small practice doctors are looking to wield just a bit more clout.

Dr Doug Gerard sees his last patient of the morning. He's an internist in New Hartford, the only primary care doctor in town.

"Knock on wood, I haven't missed a day in practice due to illness since the beginning."

Susan Campbell

The Hartford Homeless Outreach Team heads out every Thursday to check-in on Hartford's homeless population and hand out lunches. They go out early before the homeless leave their makeshift abodes for the day.

Hospitals, Administration at Odds Over Budget Cuts

Apr 11, 2013
Office of Policy and Management Secretary Ben Barnes
Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut Hospital Day at the Capitol drew more than 600 hospital workers to Hartford today. They were protesting Governor Malloy's proposed budget, which they say would cut state spending on hospitals by $550 million over the next two years. The cuts would include the payments hospitals get for treating the uninsured.

But on WNPR's Where We Live, the administration's budget chief Ben Barnes said he's not sure the plan should actually be called a cut. "In recent years," Barnes said, "hospitals have received very very large increases each year, so we've discontinued providing large increases but I think overall, we're looking at a flat-funding scenario over the next few years."

Hospitals Debate Malloy Budget, Safety Rankings

Apr 11, 2013
DigiDreamGrafix.com / Creative Commons

State hospitals say that if Governor Malloy’s recommended reductions to hospitals are accepted, they’ll have to cut services, programs, and jobs.

They’re looking at a $550 million dollar hole in their budget - used to pay for people who show up at their hospitals without insurance.

But the state says - hold on!  Starting January 1, Obamacare, will provide more Americans with health insurance, more than enough to cover the gap.

Dave Herholz/flickr creative commons

Join Faith for a look at the fascinating world and science behind organ transplantation and donation. 

Predictive Health

Apr 9, 2013
Alex Proimos/flickr creative commons

Predictive Health

Apr 9, 2013
Alex Proimos/flickr creative commons

A Look At Pool Safety

Apr 9, 2013
Flickr Creative Commons

On Nov. 21, 2012,  Malvrick Donkor, 14, drowned during a swim class at Manchester High School.

His death was the second drowning at a Connecticut school last year. In the neighboring town of East Hartford, Freshman Marcum Asiamah  drowned Jan. 11 during P.E. class at East Hartford High School.

His family - like Malvrick’s from Ghana - said the boy did not know how to swim. The lessons at school were apparently his first. This year, the town settled a $1.5 million claim with his estate.

Redefining Disability

Apr 4, 2013
taberandrew, creative commons

If you take a look at movies or TV, you’d think that having a disability is the worst fate possible-- maybe even worse than death.  Better to not be born at all than struggle through life unable to walk, hear, see or talk.

Daquella Manera, Flickr Creative Commons

Michael Ellison has a tough assignment. He's the associate dean of admissions choosing the first class of a brand new medical school, the Frank H. Netter School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn.

"We have over 1,600 applicants, and we will interview 400 for 60 spots," Ellison says.

The school has a very specific mission: minting doctors who want to go into primary care practice.

Idaho National Laboratory on Flickr Creative Commons

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