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A nursing home’s role is to care for its patients, not compromise their health. Yet, across Connecticut, a number of facilities have come up short in fulfilling this most basic function.

This hour, we take an in-depth look at this issue. We talk with reporters, regulators, and advocates, and we also hear from you. 

Over the past three years, I've had one major goal in my personal life: To stop being so angry.

Anger has been my emotional currency. I grew up in an angry home. Door slamming and phone throwing were basic means of communication.

I brought these skills to my 20-year marriage. "Why are you yelling?" my husband would say.

"I'm not," I'd retort. Oh wait. On second thought: "You're right. I am yelling."

Luigi Disisto is a 47-year-old man who has autism and lives at a private special education center based in suburban Boston best known for being the only school in the country that shocks its students with disabilities to control their behavior.

Disisto wears a backpack equipped with a battery and wires that are attached to his body to deliver a two-second shock if he misbehaves.

Helen Taylor / Flickr

On a January night in 2018, there were more than 3,000 people experiencing homelessness across the state of Connecticut.

This hour we sit down with Dr. Richard Cho, the new CEO of the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness. Connecticut has made major strides in reducing homelessness, but how do we address areas where residents are still falling through the cracks?

When Maddy Nadeau was a toddler, her mother wasn't able to care for her. "I remember Mom was always locking herself in her room and she didn't take care of me. My mom just wasn't around at the time," she says.

Every day, her older sister Devon came home from elementary school and made sure Maddy had something to eat.

"Devon would come home from school and fix them cold hot dogs or a bowl of cereal — very simple items that both of them could eat," says Sarah Nadeau, who fostered the girls and later adopted them.

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The death of a pet can be devastating --yet when you lose an animal companion--you’re sometimes expected to “just get over it.”  This hour, we talk about human attachment to pets. Have you experienced the death of a beloved animal? How comfortable were you talking about your grief with others?

This year, high-profile incidents like the deaths of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade as well as clusters of suicides among young people in communities all over the country have served as a reminder that suicide is a growing public health issue in the U.S.

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The death of a pet can be a devastating emotional experience. Yet from the outside, we often don’t view someone losing a pet to be on the same level of loss as the death of a human friend or relative.

On Tuesday, December 4, Where We Live will explore the emotional impact of the death of pets.

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Multiple lawsuits allege Connecticut’s prison system failed to properly diagnose and treat prisoners with serious illnesses. This hour we hear from a mother whose 19-year-old son died of an infection while incarcerated. Scott Semple, the outgoing prisons Commissioner, also joins us. What steps have been taken to improve health care behind bars?

Robert Couse-Baker / Creative Commons

Being a high school student isn't easy. There's pressure to get the grade, pile on the extracurriculars, and sleep enough to function. It's rare young people can do all three.

This hour, we talk with child psychologists and counselors about adolescent stress and anxiety.

Kathrine Holte

The repeated incidents of mass shootings are shocking. Yet, they're sanitized and abstract for most of us who haven't been directly touched by gun violence.

The response to mass shootings has become predictable: anguished adults, candlelight vigils, and photos and remembrances of the victims in happier times. It's never about the carnage or the lingering impact on survivors or their families, communities,  medical doctors, nurses and psychiatrists who care for them. 

About a hundred students at the Emory School of Medicine gathered during lunch earlier this fall, scarfing down their meal before a panel discussion. They came, on their own time, to learn how to talk to their future patients about gun safety. They only had an hour.

Senate Judiciary Committee

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s account of what she said Judge Brett Kavanaugh did to her in the early 1980s acted as a trigger for many of the millions who watched on television. It’s forcing survivors to relive abuse they’ve suffered.

Staff Sgt. James L. Harper Jr. / US Air Force

From veterans returning from Iraq, to survivors of mass shootings, to those putting together the pieces after a hurricane--we know that the emotional and psychological scars of violence and tragedies sometimes last even longer than physical wounds.

But what is the psychological toll on those who help victims of traumatic experiences?

Lydia Brown / Connecticut Public Radio

Whole Foods in West Hartford might seem like a pretty unremarkable place, but in fact, it employs one of the world’s greatest athletes. Lhakpa Sherpa is a record-setting mountaineer—the only woman to have reached the summit of Mount Everest nine times. Born and raised in Nepal, Sherpa always dreamed of climbing the world’s tallest mountain. She settled in Connecticut with her now-ex-husband, but she makes regular trips home. Next year, she’s looking to reach the peak for the tenth time.

As MGM opens in Springfield, Massachusetts, regulators and casino operators are required to make sure problem gamblers have access to help. There’s a new program called GameSense they hope will fulfill that promise.

The Psychopath Show

Aug 23, 2018
Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

You know lots of sociopaths right?

It could be anyone from your ex-spouse to the guy who cut you off on your drive to work today. It's a term we throw around loosely to refer to anyone whoever lied to us or didn't follow the rules.

But, if we use it that way, it's not a very useful term. A sociopath is not the same thing as a jerk. In fact, the person you know who strikes you as a jerk is probably not a sociopath because it's not in the best interests of sociopaths to let you know what kind of people they are and sociopaths are usually pretty good about acting in their own best interests.

So, what does this term mean?

Sent To A Hospital, But Locked In Prison

Aug 6, 2018
Andrew Butler, who needed psychiatric care, was transferred from a hospital to a prison last year in New Hampshire.
Photo by Wyatt Farwell. Courtesey of Doug Butler

Andrew Butler’s hallucinations and paranoia began last summer. When they persisted into the fall, his father agreed to have him civilly committed — involuntarily sent to the state psychiatric hospital to receive treatment. A few months into his stay at New Hampshire Hospital, Butler was transferred.

To a prison.

Healing From Cancer

Aug 2, 2018
Chion Wolf / WNPR

Colin was diagnosed with melanoma several weeks ago. He had a few scary weeks between diagnosis and removal of the cancer. He's told he's clean but, what happens next? 

National Museum of Health and Medicine / Creative Commons

The flu virus "Clade X"  is spreading rapidly around the world through respiratory droplets.  It was first detected in Germany and Venezuela but it has made students sick at a liberal arts college in Massachusetts. Officials are reporting the virus was created in a Swiss lab and deliberately unleashed by a terrorist group intending to sabotage the National Institutes of Health.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Local advocates for migrant children separated from their parents at the United States border said Monday that they don’t believe the Trump administration will meet a court-ordered deadline to bring the families together. The deadline imposed by a U.S. district court in California is July 26.

A Harvard brain scientist who studies trauma in children is warning of lasting damage to the young migrants who've been separated from their parents at the border.

Members of Connecticut's congressional delegation, including Representatives Rosa DeLauro, Elizabeth Esty, Jim Himes and Joe Courtney, and Senator Richard Blumenthal, spent the weekend visiting immigrant detention centers in McAllen and Port Isabel, Texas. Congresswomen DeLauro and Esty shared what they saw with psychologists at the Yale Child Study Center on Monday.

Earlier this year, NPR reported that people with intellectual disabilities are victims of some of the highest rates of sexual assault. NPR found previously undisclosed government numbers showing that they're assaulted at seven times the rate of people without disabilities. Now states, communities and advocates, citing NPR's reporting, are making reforms aimed at improving those statistics.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The rate of suicide in Connecticut has risen more than 19 percent over the last 17 years, but the state still compares well to others - a recent federal study found the national rate of suicide has risen almost 30 percent in the same period. 

Centers for Disease Control And Prevention (CDC)

Amid the high-profile deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain came news of a new CDC report outlining a rise in U.S. suicide rates. This hour, we take an in-depth look at the numbers with Dr. Jill Harkavy-Friedman of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Plus: On the heels of last month’s violent storms, we hear about efforts underway to restore one of the state’s most damaged -- and beloved -- outdoor areas: Sleeping Giant State Park.

And finally: In search of a good ol' non-fiction murder mystery? Or, better yet, one with a Connecticut twist? Look no further than New London’s The Day. A little later, reporter Karen Florin and digital news director Carlos Virgen take us behind the scenes of the newspaper's new crime podcast, Case Unsolved. Have you been listening?

Suicide rates have increased in nearly every state over the past two decades, and half of the states have seen suicide rates go up more than 30 percent.

Suicide is a major public health issue, accounting for nearly 45,000 deaths in 2016 alone. That is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta decided to take a comprehensive look at suicides from 1999 to 2016.

Carl Jordan Castro / C-Hit.org

Once a week, every week, the health center at Stamford High School offers sophomore Roger Sanchez an oasis—someplace he can talk to a trusted adult about life’s pressures and problems, a place he feels free and unjudged.

School work, sports commitments, family and social obligations: life as a teenager can be stressful, he says. If it weren’t for the health center, conveniently located where he spends most of his days, he would have a much harder time accessing counseling sessions that help him cope with anxiety.

Seeing Things Differently: Where To Turn For Help Before And After Autism Diagnosis?

May 2, 2018
Lisa Wilson (top right) with her family in Hartford, Connecticut. Her son was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Parent Lisa Wilson wasn’t sure if her son was developing the skills he should for his age. “He wasn't talking as a typical two-year-old would've been talking,” she said.

Chelsea Southard / Creative Commons

Old asylums give us the creeps. The reality of asylums may pale in comparison to the horrors we conjure in our minds. Yet, they were awful. They were dark and dirty and overcrowded. Diseases were rampant and deadly. Staff was abusive. Food was scarce and inedible. Death and suicide were common.

So, why does President Trump want to bring them back? 

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