mental health

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.

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.

The main entrance of Western State Hospital in Lakewood, Wash.
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Seattle police patrol cars.
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.

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.

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.

Hypervigilance And Crowds Complicate Holidays And Life Back Home For Veterans

Dec 31, 2013
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.

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.

Portland and Spokane have been trying to prevent people from jumping off the cities' iconic bridges. In the last few weeks, police in both cities have responded to suicides or attempted suicides.

Coming Out Of The Depression Closet

Dec 19, 2013
Flickr Photo/Piermario

Steve Scher sits down with psychiatrist Thomas Patamia with suggestions on how to talk about depression with your family.

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