mental health

Trauma Research
9:42 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Patient Preference In PTSD Treatment Improves Quality Of Life, Cost Effectiveness

When patients receive treatment for PTSD they normally don’t get asked what kind of therapy they’d like to receive. Often the provider will use the therapy that is most familiar to them.

That can include antidepressants or psychotherapy, maybe both.

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Mental Illness
3:10 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Washington ACLU Urges High Court To End Psychiatric Boarding

Advocates for the mentally ill filed a friend of the court brief with the Washington State Supreme Court urging the justices to uphold a Pierce County judge's ruling. The state's high court will hear arguments in the case next month. Last year, Pierce County Superior Court Judge Kathryn Nelsons ruled that boarding the mentally ill was illegal. 

PTSD Treatment
11:08 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Military Plans To Test Brain Implants To Fight Mental Disorders

In epilepsy, the normal behavior of brain neurons is disturbed. The drug valproic acid appears to help the brain replenish a key chemical, preventing seizures.
David Mack/Science Source

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 10:35 am

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, is launching a $70 million program to help military personnel with psychiatric disorders using electronic devices implanted in the brain.

The goal of the five-year program is to develop new ways of treating problems including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, all of which are common among service members who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan.

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Mental Health
2:45 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

How Missed Deadlines Are Preventing Mentally Ill People From Getting Treatment In King County

Credit Flickr Photo/Ruth Flickr

Steve Scher talks with journalist Brian Rosenthal about why King County mental health professionals are routinely missing deadlines to provide psychiatric evaluations — causing potentially dangerous patients to be released. Rosenthal reported the story for the Seattle Times. He now reports for The Houston Chronicle.

Western State Hospital
6:04 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Audit Dings Hospital's 50-Year Practice Of Paid 'Transition Time'

The main entrance of Western State Hospital in Lakewood, Wash.
Credit John Ryan / KUOW

State auditors say Western State Hospital has been losing about $800,000 a year paying for work that's not being done. For decades, the hospital has been letting hundreds of employees start late and leave early -- and still paying for their time.

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Health Care
2:58 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

New Program At Harborview Works Toward Universal PTSD Screening

Harborview Medical Center
Flickr Photo/camknows (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Re-experiencing, avoidance, hyperarousal: these are the three categories of post-traumatic stress disorder as laid out by the National Institute of Mental Health. They commonly go by more common names: nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety, social isolation, poor concentration, insomnia and startling.

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Bipolar Disorder
2:00 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Seattle Artist Ellen Forney Finds Balance In New Graphic Memoir

Excerpt from "Marbles" by Ellen Forney.
Copyright (c) 2012 by Ellen Forney. Reprinted by arrangement with Gotham Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc.

When Ellen Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 16 years ago, her first concern was for her creative future. The award-winning cartoonist prided herself on the artwork and stories she'd come up with during periods she described as manic. Right after her diagnosis, Forney was reluctant to try the drug treatments her psychiatrist prescribed for her. Would she lose her creative edge on lithium? But after a serious period of depression, Forney set out on the ongoing journey to achieve and maintain a state of mental balance.

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Reform Efforts
2:25 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Seattle Police Adopt New Crisis Intervention Policy

Flickr Photo/Crash Zone Photography

A new policy for the Seattle Police Department aims to change how officers handle crisis situations with people who are mentally ill or under the influence. The crisis intervention policy, which takes effect Monday, is part of the city’s federally-mandated police reforms.

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Mental Health Awareness
8:21 am
Wed February 26, 2014

King County Pioneers New Practice For Refugee Mental Health

Farhiya Mohamed was 19 years old when her family came to the U.S. from Somalia as refugees.
Credit KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

On a recent afternoon, about a dozen Somali women talk in spurts as they weave 4-inch metal needles through a basket.

It doesn't look like therapy, but in a way, it is.

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Mental Health
2:54 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Public Defender Pushes Back On Involuntary Committment Bill

Flickr Photo/Micheal J (CC BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Mike DeFelice, supervising attorney for civil commitments at the King County Public Defender's office, about a proposed bill that would give people more say over the involuntary commitment of a mentally ill family member.

Police Reform
2:35 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

SPD's New Approach For Treating People With Mental Illnessnes And Drug Addiction

Flickr Photo/Brittney Bollay

Marcie Sillman talks with Bill Hobson, executive director of the Downtown Emergency Service Center, about the Seattle Police Department's new policy for dealing with people who have mental illnesses or drug and alcohol issues. Hobson is also a member of Seattle's Community Police Commission.

Government
8:40 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Mental Healthcare Professionals Decisions May Be Overruled By Patients' Family

File photo of the Washington State Capitol Building
Wikimedia

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 5:36 pm

More than 10,000 mental health patients were involuntarily hospitalized last year in Washington. But not every patient qualifies for forced hospitalization under the law.

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Mental Health
4:04 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Mental Health Advocates Push For Change Of ‘Shattered System’

A proposed law would allow people to petition a court to have family members involuntarily committed to a mental facility.
Flickr Photo/Micheal J (CC BY-NC-ND)

Steve Scher talks with mental health advocate Sandi Ando about a proposed law that would allow people to petition a court to have a family member committed against his or her will.

Ando is public policy chair for Washington's chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Mental Health
3:53 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Hypervigilance And Crowds Complicate Holidays And Life Back Home For Veterans

Flickr Photo/United States Air Forces - Iraq

Steve Scher gets tips from licensed mental health counselor and suicidologist Randi Jensen on how to help combat war veterans get through the holiday season and beyond.

Postscripts
12:14 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Living With A Loud, Busy Bar In Your Head

Jon Buckland collects sea corals. It's a hobby that keeps him busy. Watching the sea creatures relaxes him.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Medication has helped Jon Buckland’s symptoms, but the voices in his head never go away.

By his description, it’s like being in a loud, busy bar. “It’s like throwing that whole bar, and what you can’t control, into one moment inside your brain during that time that you’re still trying to hold on to conversation normally outside your head,” Buckland said.

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