Mental Health

Veterans Turn To Yoga To Help Treat PTSD

Aug 30, 2016
Jill Sheridan/WFYI

An estimated 8 million people in the United States suffer from PTSD: post-traumatic stress disorder. In Indiana, as many as 50,000 Hoosier veterans could be dealing with it. But a new program is exploring a novel treatment: yoga.

Race, Ethnicity Affect Kids’ Access To Mental Health Care, Study Finds

Aug 22, 2016
Heidi de Marco/Kaiser Health News

One in five Americans is estimated to have a mental health condition at any given time. But getting treatment remains difficult — and it’s worse for children, especially those who identify as black or Hispanic.

In light of John Hinckley Jr.'s release from a psychiatric hospital 35 years after attempting to assassinate President Ronald Reagan, Shots is exploring the use of the not guilty by reason of insanity plea. We're talking with legal and medical professionals about how the plea works, and how it doesn't work. In this second of a four-part series, we look at how juries respond to insanity defenses.

CAMH Foundation/via Flickr

Across the country, a critical shortage of state psychiatric beds is forcing mentally ill patients with severe symptoms to be held in emergency rooms, hospitals and jails while they wait for a bed, sometimes for weeks.

Mental health advocates, attorneys and judges say the practice, known as psychiatric boarding, prevents patients from getting the care they need. 

For some people, the attack on police officers by a gunman in Dallas this summer brought to mind another attack by a sniper in Austin 50 years ago – on Aug. 1, 1966. That's when student Charles Whitman stuck his rifle over the edge of the clock tower at the University of Texas and started shooting. Ultimately, he killed 16 people — and wounded more than 30 others.

For decades, people have struggled to figure out why. There have been theories about abuse, a brain tumor and, of course, mental illness.

Busting Myths About Mental Illness

Jul 11, 2016
Heidi de Marco/KHN

When Annie Powell, 35, was in the midst of a 72-hour manic episode in February 2013, she felt like Superwoman: productive and energetic. “I went to the gym for a 5:30 a.m. class, worked all day, came home and went to the gym again with my family. Then, I stayed up all night and organized my office, worked more, cleaned the house and did laundry,” says Annie.

But once the 72 hours ended, she crashed and fell into a deep depression. “I sat in the basement and stared at the wall for hours,” says Annie.

Andrea Muraskin/Side Effects

It’s not something you expect to see in a courtroom: 35 women, chatting, laughing, eating lasagna. But brunch before the session is a weekly tradition at an unusual court in Columbus, Ohio.

Once the plates are cleared away and everyone sits down in a semi-circle facing the bench, a probation officer steps to the center of the room, with an empty plastic bin and a big smile.

“You know I love you so much, right?” she says, as she collects everyone’s cell phones, to a chorus of groans.

For Centuries, A Small Town Has Embraced Strangers With Mental Illness

Jul 1, 2016

At the center of Geel, a charming Belgian town less than an hour's drive from of Antwerp, is a church dedicated to Dymphna, a saint believed to have the power to cure mental disorders. It's a medieval church with stone arches, spires and a half-built bell tower, and it has inspired an unusual centuries-old practice: For over 700 years, residents of Geel have been accepting people with mental disorders, often very severe mental disorders, into their homes and caring for them.

Virtual Reality Aimed At The Elderly Finds New Fans

Jun 29, 2016

Virginia Anderlini is 103 years old, and she is about to take her sixth trip into virtual reality.

In real life, she is sitting on the sofa in the bay window of her San Francisco assisted-living facility. Next to her, Dr. Sonya Kim gently tugs the straps that anchor the headset over Anderlini's eyes.

School Counselors Take On At-Home Trauma In The Classroom

May 6, 2016
Faculty at Cristo Rey High School in Philadelphia get one full day a week to collaborate and strategize about how to meet the specific needs of individual students.
Bas Slabbers / WHYY

School counselor Pam Turner-Bunyon had been warned: This new, incoming student had a dark profile and was prone to very erratic behavior.

"When he first came to us, he ran out of the building, the first day — the very first day — instead of coming in, he ran," she said.

Turner-Bunyon learned what happened and immediately took off, dashing out into the crime-prone streets that surround the school.

"I found out he was running so I went and chased him down, and coaxed him back in and we worked to develop safety places in the building," she said.

 


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