Mental Health | Connecticut Public Radio
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Mental Health

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? 

Jennifer Pharr Davis

This spring, thousands of hikers will embark on the 2186-mile trek from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine on the Appalachian Trail. It takes a skilled hiker to complete the trail in 5-7 months, but Jennifer Pharr Davis completed the hike faster than any man or woman.

In 2011, Davis achieved the fastest known time to complete the trail in forty-six days, eleven hours and twenty minutes. 

Will Clayton / Creative Commons

Joe Biden is seriously thinking about running for president in 2020. He's got a wealth of political experience and institutional knowledge. He's vibrant and in good health.  He's also seventy-five-years-old. Many of us are quietly wondering if he's too old for the job.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

When it comes to the nation’s opioid crisis, substance abuse affects more than the addict. More and more children are entering the foster care system every year at an unprecedented rate.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

In light of mismanaged abuse allegations involving two former staffers, U.S. Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty announced Monday she will not seek re-election in November.

This hour, we discuss the significance of Esty's decision -- including what it means for Connecticut's Fifth Congressional District race this year.

Plus: With former VA Secretary David Shulkin out, what lies head for U.S. Veterans Affairs? Is the federal agency on track to become privatized? We find out.

And finally: We sit down with a local Army veteran who recently received a discharge upgrade. Could his story help other Connecticut veterans with less than honorable discharges? 

Shaheen Lakhan / Creative Commons

H.M. is one of the most important and studied human research subjects of all time. He revolutionized what we know about memory today because of the amnesia he developed after a lobotomy in 1953 to treat the severe epilepsy he developed after a head injury sustained earlier in life. 

Quinnipiac University's NAMI chapter handed out materials on mental health services.
Quinnipiac NAMI Chapter Photo

As anxiety and depression among college students soars, universities in Connecticut and nationally are expanding their mental health counseling, even offering courses that address mental well-being.

Dying In Prison

Mar 27, 2018
Rennett Stowe / Creative Commons

"Compassionate release" of our sickest and oldest prisoners is a way to reduce the federal prison population. It's also meant to save on the high cost of health care for aging inmates, and show some -  well, compassion, to prisoners closing in on the end of their lives. 

Photo by Jacqueline Serna/Americares

Six months on from Hurricane Maria, Stamford-based nonprofit Americares still has staff in Puerto Rico, helping the island’s health services recover from the storm and provide much-needed care to residents.

A phone with social media apps
Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Are you constantly pulling out your phone to check that notification from Instagram or Facebook? If so, you’re not alone—nearly seven in ten American adults are on social media, according to a recent Pew survey.

This hour: social media has made our world smaller, but do virtual networks make us feel more connected? A recent study found that those who spend more time on social media actually tend to feel more socially isolated. We ask researchers and a psychiatrist why.

Lydia Brown / WNPR

It’s the deadliest drug crisis in our nation’s history and communities in Connecticut are coming together to talk about solutions.

This hour, we listen back to a recent opioid panel recorded at Gateway Community College in New Haven.

What’s the best way to support individuals and families battling substance abuse -- especially when one size does not fit all?

DmyTo / iStock

March 6, 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the deadly rampage at the Connecticut Lottery Corporation headquarters. The incident prompted the state’s gun-seizure law, making Connecticut the first state to enact such a measure.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff / Creative Commons

Like the Alexander of children's literature, President Trump had a "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad" week.

As the nation's dairy farmers struggle through their fourth year of depressed milk prices, concerns are rising that many are becoming depressed themselves. The outlook for the next year is so bleak, it's heightening worries — especially in the Northeast — about farmer suicides.

Agri-Mark Inc., a dairy cooperative with about 1,000 members, saw three farmers take their own lives in the past three years. The most recent was last month. It's a very small sample, but very sharp and disturbing increase.

Paulina Lopez, 32, with her family inside the First and Summerfield United Methodist Church, New Haven.
Sujata Srinivasan / C-HIT

On a snowy Saturday morning in January, Selvin, 13, and his mother were in the basement of the First and Summerfield United Methodist Church in New Haven, to support a friend in sanctuary. As they sat there, the boy tried to push away thoughts of how it would be when ICE came to take away his own mother, who is also under a deportation order.

For dairy farms in New England, the outlook for milk prices is not good this year. The stress has been tied to suicides among dairy farmers.

Lydia Brown / WNPR

It’s the deadliest drug crisis in our nation’s history and communities in Connecticut are coming together to talk about solutions.

This hour, we listen back to a recent opioid panel recorded at Gateway Community College in New Haven.

What’s the best way to support individuals and families battling substance abuse -- especially when one size does not fit all?

Screenshot

Guilford police are continuing their investigation into the shooting death of a 15-year-old high school student.

Scientists have found specialized brain cells in mice that appear to control anxiety levels.

The finding, reported Wednesday in the journal Neuron, could eventually lead to better treatments for anxiety disorders, which affect nearly 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.

Carl Jordan Castro / C-HIT

Out of work and addicted to the anti-anxiety medication Klonopin, Heather Delaney, a licensed practical nurse from Stratford, checked herself into Bridgeport Hospital in 2011 when she could no longer handle withdrawal without medical help.

Mike Licht / Creative Commons

Acceptance for medical marijuana is growing among people who swear by marijuana's power to relieve their ills. Older people are choosing marijuana for their aches and pains, parents are moving to states where marijuana is legal for children with seizure disorders, even pet owners are using pot to ease their pup's pain.  It's currently legal in 28 states with several more on deck.

A new survey shows that eighth grade students in Springfield, Massachusetts, are more likely to feel hopeless than their counterparts in the rest of the state.

Thor_Deichmann / Pixabay

Home DNA kits like 23andMe or Ancestry are a fun way to learn about your family and your own body. But what happens when exploring your genome uncovers disturbing information about your health?

Chion Wolf / WNPR

This hour: following reports of abuse by staff at Connecticut’s maximum-security psychiatric unit -- news of an order separating Whiting Forensic from Connecticut Valley Hospital. 

Coming up, we discuss the significance of the split -- including what it means for the safety and oversight of patients.

Erowid Center

It’s been declared a national public health emergency. In the United States, the annual number of deaths from opioid overdose has surpassed the number of deaths during the height of the AIDS epidemic in the ‘90s.

But opioid users aren’t the only victims of this crisis. 

Syrian American Medical Society

Syria is in its sixth year of civil war, and hundreds of thousands of Syrians have been killed in the conflict.

This hour, we talk about the medical crisis in Syria. Doctors are among those who’ve been targeted by the Syrian government. Many have left the country.

Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff / Creative Commons

The Goldwater Rule was put in place by the American Psychological Association in 1964. It says it's unethical for psychiatrists to give a professional opinion about public figures they have not examined.

David Martyn Hunt / Creative Commons

Most of us have stories of painfully awkward moments that linger with us long after the initial discomfort is gone. 

Gerard Chappell working with his dog, Pete, teaching him how to fetch things for a future disabled veteran.
David DesRoches / WNPR

Inside Enfield Correctional Institution there are all the expected security measures: Huge steel doors. Armed guards. Barbed-wire fences. Locked gates. 

WNPR/David DesRoches

Justin Rosa wasn't doing so great when he first moved to Connecticut from Florida in eighth grade.

"That process alone was very difficult, losing all my friends, having to start over, it was such a hard time for me,” he said. “I was very depressed." 

The once-outgoing kid began to retreat into his own head. And that's when the thoughts began.

"To be alone was such a…  a scary point in my life,” he said. “I thought that I would have committed suicide. And it wasn't until the Choose Love Foundation that everything changed."

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