Since Newtown, debates over gun violence have focused largely on how to keep guns out of the hands of people who kill other people. The truth is that - by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 - suicide is the leading cause of death by gun violence.
It’s a toll not often discussed, but one that some law enforcement and public health officials say is worsened by easy access to guns. We spoke to Leon Neyfakh this past January when he wrote about the topic in the Ideas section of The Boston Globe.
The unthinkable event that left twenty school kids and six teachers dead in Newtown, Connecticut last year, stunned a nation. But Newtown didn’t stand alone; there have been many incidents in the last few years that left us in disbelief, like the ones at Virginia Tech, Washington’s naval shipyard, an Aurora, Colorado movie theater, and a Wisconsin Sikh Temple. The two things they had in common: a gun was used, and in many cases the perpetrator had a mental illness. This year, as debates crossed the country about gun control; the question ‘are we doing enough for the mentally ill?’ arose.
It’s estimated that one in ten Americans show signs of depression, but in a society where mental illness is simultaneously taboo and overexposed, it’s easy to stick to a black-and-white label to describe mental health.
As part of the 'Almost Effect' series from Harvard Health Publications, two instructors at Harvard teamed up to write a book on that uncomfortable gray area between well-being and chronic depression. It's called Almost Depressed.
With rising need and limited dollars, how best can we use funding? Should we add more acute care hospital beds, boost community services, focus on drug and alcohol treatment or diseases like schizophrenia?
In 1994, the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine confirmed what anybody who’s tried to give up coffee suspected: caffeine is chemically addictive. It’s also the world’s most popular psychoactive drug… 80% of American adults consume it in some form. Withdrawal symptoms from caffeine are so dreadful that they are cited as a mental disorder in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Here to unpack the chemical effect that caffeine can have on the human brain is Joseph Stromberg, journalist and science writer based in Washington, D.C. His work has been featured in Smithsonian Magazine and Slate.
Whether it’s the debate over expanding Medicaid or the struggle to improve mental health services, his department has seen its share of challenges lately, but did receive a bit of a boost in the last budget. We’ll talk with the commissioner about all this, and controversy over the state’s Medicaid managed care plan.
- Nick Toumpas - Commissioner for the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
Almost one-in-ten New Hampshire children is diagnosed with some type of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, putting us around the middle of the pack nationally. But those numbers may rise as New England and New Hampshire show a particular predilection toward labeling our kids with ADHD. These expected increases have once again raised a long, ongoing conversation here about what this disorder is, and what it isn’t, about whether too many children are diagnosed or if some kids in some demographic groups are under-diagnosed. And what about the role of drugs?
A Laconia man was arraigned today in District Court on 2nd degree murder charges stemming from an incident over the weekend. 19-year old Kasey Riley is accused of strangling Zachary March inside apartments run by Genesis Behavioral Health. Genesis provides support to residents, but not 24-hour monitoring at the facility.
Governor Hassan today announced the reopening of 12 psychiatric beds at New Hampshire Hospital. They'll be used to treat adults over the age of 55 in need of both psychiatric help and medical attention, and are meant to shore up a mental health system that the Governor calls deeply strained.
We spoke with Mac McClelland about the spread of the invisible disorder that somewhere between 100 and 300-thousand veterans brought back from war …trauma. “Secondary traumatic stress” does not have its own entry in the DSM, and is often called compassion fatigue, a more euphemistic title. Sufferers experience PTSD symptoms, but are often faced with even more hurtles than veterans when seeking help. The important difference people see between the victims of PTSD and secondary traumatic stress is that the latter’s trauma was not originally their own. Mac McClelland wrote an article for Mother Jones’ about the phenomenon of secondary traumatic stress and its affect on the families of returned soldiers. She’s also working on a book about PTSD.
A recent article in the Concord Monitor outlines the often-hidden but serious problem of this mental illness. An estimated one-in-ten Americans have this disease and have to deal with not only the symptoms, but managing the health care system and the stigma around depression. We’ll look at this issue and how it’s addressed in New Hampshire.