Mental Health | Connecticut Public Radio
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Mental Health

Karin Shedd / Yale University

Yale University psychology professor Laurie Santos says happiness is about having joy in your life and with your life.

“If we’re maximizing you being happy in your life -- that’s lots of positive emotions,” Santos told NEXT.

She says you’re happy with your life when you’re satisfied at a meta level.

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.

Erich Ferdinand / flickr creative commons

Did you get enough sleep last night? If you're like most Americans, probably not. You might feel pretty good after six hours of sleep and a strong cup of coffee, but the physical and mental toll of sleep deprivation is high.

We become more impulsive and less mentally agile, and we make more mistakes. Long term, lack of sleep (six hours or less per night) can mess with mood, hormones, and immune systems, and it can increase our risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

More than 80 handguns were turned in at the 10th Annual Capital Region Gun Buyback. Officers used the back of the tags to write down information about the guns, which aren't actually loaded.
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Predictably, it’s already been suggested that the recent mass shooting in Colorado was more an issue of mental health than anything else. Kathy Flaherty of the Connecticut Legal Rights Project says that kind of thinking tends to be both a mistake and harmful to people with psychiatric disabilities. She spoke about this on Connecticut Public Radio’s All Things Considered.

HanWay Films

When the preview for musical artist Sia’s debut film Music was released---- it received backlash from individuals on the autism spectrum. But it also sparked a conversation about neurodiversity.

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

A $1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid package facing a U.S. Senate vote includes funding for states and local communities to tackle behavioral health and addiction after record-level drug overdose deaths nationwide in 2020.

At a virtual roundtable Monday with Connecticut addiction prevention and treatment providers, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said he hopes additional money will help boost on-the-ground efforts. 

Chion Wolf

As part of our Reports From Recovery series, today we’re hearing from two women whose heroin addictions shook up their lives, and put them right up close to the edge of existence.

Katherine May / Penguin Random House

Here in Connecticut, surviving long winters means getting plenty of sleep, extra vitamin D supplements and leaning into our favorite winter activities.

This hour, we talk with author Katherine May about her book Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times and the act of wintering. 

Registries Of Disabled People Debated In Connecticut Police Reform Talks

Feb 14, 2021
Jessica Hill / Associated Press

Victoria Mitchell wishes police would have had the full picture of her son’s struggles with mental illness and reacted differently before an officer shot and killed him last year in Ansonia, Connecticut.

Courtesy: Angelica Llanos

When she was 15 years old, Angelica Llanos arrived -- undocumented -- in Norwalk, Connecticut, from Colombia. She lived with her mother and sister, finished high school, studied for two years at Norwalk Community College but had to drop out because she was ineligible for financial aid.

It’s finally 2021. But that line in the calendar doesn’t mean that the pandemic is anywhere near over, so I want to start this year off by looking back at people whom I interviewed in the series that we launched before Audacious.

Illustration by Chion Wolf

This pandemic has shuttered so many events, including a few of my own. The Mouth-Off at the Mark Twain House was a storytelling show I hosted and produced for 8 years until 2020. But the good news is that now I get to show off some of my favorite true stories from the series here on Audacious!

The theme for this one? Eat It Up. Stories that feature food.

ALAN LEVINE / Creative Commons

When the coronavirus became widespread in Connecticut earlier this year, Tom Dykas was already on a seasonal layoff from his job.

By April, that layoff became permanent as businesses downsized and shed positions due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. That left Dykas, who has Type 1 diabetes, searching for employment. 


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.

DVIDSHUB / Creative Commons

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.

free-photos / Pixabay

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.

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.

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. 

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