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mental health


The older I get, the more excited I am to be corrected when I’m wrong.

Sure, it may sting for a second because hearing someone say “actually…” can be kind of annoying, and if I’m wrong about something, then that means that contrary to my sparkling self-image, I don’t know it all.

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A settlement was reached in a nationwide class action lawsuit against the Army that will help veterans with less than honorable discharges struggling with behavioral health issues gain access to care they need.

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Connecticut lost four young people to suicide last month, leading Connecticut’s Child Advocate to issue a public health alert.

There’s no doubt that the pandemic has taken a huge toll on everyone. This hour, we focus on the unique mental health challenges teens face during this pandemic.

We talk with advocates and survivors about the risk factors for young people who may be in crisis, and how to support them.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Election Day is over. So what happens next? This hour, how did this year's polls match the actual election results?

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments next week regarding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. A correspondent with Kaiser Health News joins us to discuss what’s at stake for those that depend on it’s coverage.

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Our ancestors viewed sleep as a highly sensual and transcendent experience. Today, about a third of adults have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or feeling rested. We're becoming a nation of insomniacs.

Drive-through COVID-19 Testing
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut’s COVID-19 numbers have been rising. And, as the weather gets colder, safe outdoor options for socializing will become more difficult. How worried should we be about a COVID-19 spike, and what can we do to help prevent it?

This hour we talk with Hartford Healthcare’s Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Ajay Kumar.

Are you worried about a second wave?

Illustration by Chion Wolf

Imagine feeling like you have glass shards running through your blood, and imagine your doctors don’t believe how much pain you’re in.

Then, imagine you’re in a different body, incapable of feeling any pain at all.

Then, in body number three, you inflict pain on yourself so you can rate it. For science.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Racism is trauma. But racism’s impact on mental health can be hard to talk about. In this third episode of a special radio series on “Racism In New England,” we hear about the stressors to mental health in the region and ways to get relief. 

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, a dedicated time to come together around a difficult topic. Losing someone to suicide is an especially devastating loss. It’s a different type of grief. The effects on surviving loved ones can be profound and long lasting. 

Addiction affects people of all shapes and sizes. Skin tones and geographic locations. Ages, personalities, and genders. Today, meet two people who are committed to sobriety, and the Chief Clinical Officer at a treatment facility.

Waterbury Public Schools school buses
Franke Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

A new report from Connecticut’s Child Advocate finds staff at Waterbury Public Schools have called the police hundreds of times on elementary and middle school students experiencing mental health crises.

Some of these children were as young as five years old.

Courtesy: Kathy Flaherty

The physical symptoms of coronavirus are well known by now. But there's another effect that doctors are beginning to find in COVID-19 patients; depression and anxiety.

Newington resident Kathy Flaherty was already diagnosed with both. She started experiencing COVID symptoms in March.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

State flags flew at half-staff Monday to honor the thousands of people in Connecticut who have died from a drug overdose over the years.

That includes Tony Morrissey’s son, Brian Cody Waldron, who died at 20 years old last August.  

TOONMAN_blchin / Wikipedia

The art of tattooing has been traced back 7,000 years. While the significance or reason behind the oldest-known tattoos are total speculation, we do know that often, they were applied as sacred rites, and awarded as a signifier of adulthood. In Ancient Egypt, it’s likely they were used as a means of safeguarding women during pregnancy and birth. And in the ancient Greco-Roman world, they were applied on enslaved people who got caught trying to escape.

But today, the reasons for getting a tattoo are as distinct as the person getting them. Sometimes, it’s a memorial to a person or an experience or an idea. Sometimes, it’s nothing more than something that just looks really cool!

Now and then, though, the meaning changes, and the artwork needs to be covered up. So today, you’ll hear stories about how people have used tattoos to allow their skin to, shall we say, evolve.

Darnell Crosland Calls for Independent Investigation in Barrier Case
Ali Warshavsky / WNPR

Two Connecticut attorneys are demanding that local law enforcement do better in handling mental health issues while responding to calls. This comes against the backdrop of a Black man’s death in police custody last year, even though the man’s family claims the department knew about his health issues. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

The pandemic is raising questions about what’s best for children as they head into a new school year, as many schools continue to finalize plans for this fall and parents make individual decisions for their families.

Megan Goslin, a clinical psychologist and research scientist at Yale’s Child Study Center, said it’s a difficult time for everyone. 

As Veteran Suicide Grows, National Guard Highest In Active Military

Aug 13, 2020
Donna Chapman gives her son, Sergeant William Davidson a kiss. Davidson struggled with mental health disorders after his deployment in Afghanistan and killed himself in 2017.
Contributed Family Photo

Sergeant William Davidson had been struggling with mental health problems since his deployment to Afghanistan. When he didn’t attend at least one of his Connecticut National Guard drill weekends, the Guard declared him AWOL (absent without leave) and discharged him with a “bad paper” separation. Four months after his discharge, Davidson, 24, fatally shot himself.

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From ancient Egypt to Greek mythology, through Abrahamic religions, in ancient African and Native American spiritual traditions, in medieval Europe, and 16th century France (remember that Nostradamus guy?), humans have reliably attempted to predict the future, read minds, and communicate with the dead.

And at this moment in our history, with a pandemic, protests, an upcoming election, climate change... On top of the innate chaos of being a human being, it would surely be more psychologically manageable if we could somehow see into the future.

Alyssa L. Miller / Creative Commons

Our ancestors viewed sleep as a highly sensual and transcendent experience. Today, about a third of adults have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or feeling rested. We're becoming a nation of insomniacs.

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You're shopping for groceries. Out of the blue your heart starts to race, your knees feel weak, you feel like you can't breathe, like you might be having a heart attack. You wonder if you're losing your mind -- but you're not. You're having a panic attack. 

About 1 in 4 people have had at least one panic attack during their lives, yet few like to admit it. Because panic manifests through physical symptoms that can mimic a heart attack, a lot of people feel shame when they go to the ER and find there's nothing wrong with them. In the absence of a test that defines panic, a lot of people worry they might be losing their mind.  

We’re all naked under our clothes. It’s when we take them off that things could get complicated.

I didn't want to be clothesminded, so in 2012 I did something that I had never done before. I took off all my clothes and spent time at Solair, a nudist resort in Woodstock, Connecticut, all in the name of radio. Then, I revisited the resort a few years later to go skinnydipping with four members of one family to find out what the nudist lifestyle means to their hearts, minds, and of course, bodies.

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Imagine you’ve got breasts. It shouldn’t be too hard to imagine, because most every human being has’ em! And that means that most of us are candidates for breast cancer.

This hour, we hear very intimate conversations with two women who go through the process of getting a double mastectomy - the removal of all the breast tissue. One decides to get reconstruction, and one does not.

Owning a handgun significantly increases one’s risk of suicide, according to a study published Thursday that tracked new gun owners in California for more than a decade.

Mental health experts and researchers have long known that gun ownership suggests an increased risk of suicide, but the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine adds a new level of detail.

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There’s a few popular phrases being passed around right now: “You’re not alone.” And, “we’re all in this together.” They’re necessary sentiments. With the recent death of George Floyd, and the continuing COVID-19 crisis, people are feeling lonely. And for those living alone amid the pandemic, the isolation can be really difficult. This hour, we discuss how loneliness affects our mental and physical health.

Dr. Steven Marans
Courtesy: Yale School of Medicine

The coronavirus has swiftly led to dramatic changes in our daily lives. And that, in turn, has meant new levels of stress for many people.

Unlike other singular traumatic events, the pandemic is ongoing. And as Connecticut begins to reopen its economy, people will have to find ways to continually adapt to unpredictable and changing conditions.

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Deaths related to alcohol have been rising over the past two decades, especially among women.  Today, we look at the impact of alcohol on public health.

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Grief is everywhere. Whether a loved one has died, you lost your job, your wedding is cancelled... It’s all grief. There are things people say that are meant to help, but can really hurt, so Megan Devine, author of It’s OK That You’re Not OK, has some ideas about how we can all be better grievers.

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I’ve been a producer here at Connecticut Public since 2007, and since then, our team that’s reported on some really difficult times. And now? We’re all trying to make sense of this unprecedented era of Covid-19.

After we all started working from home, I kept seeing these painful stories of layoffs and panic. But there were also stories about the Helpers who are trying to make sense of all this, who are trying to ease the pain.

That’s who you’ll hear from on this show. Every week, you’ll hear from people who are struggling in the chaos of this virus, people who are helping get us through each day, and, because they have a much needed perspective, you’ll hear from children.

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You can find lots of advice about how to avoid feeling bored during this pandemic. There are virtual dance parties and home safaries, lists of what to read and watch, and yoga classes on Zoom.

Boredom is a difficult emotion for most of us. Almost 3,500 people living under quarantine in Italy shared on a survey last week that boredom has been one of the hardest parts of staying inside. We go out of our way to avoid feeling it, like the students who chose electric shock over feeling bored.

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