mental health

KUOW Photo/John Ryan

The Tea Party has become a fixture in American politics. But the Sanka Party? Not so much. Other than an interest in hot beverages, the two activist groups have little in common. The Sanka Party got started last summer near Tacoma, Wash., in the unlikeliest of places: inside the walls of the state’s largest psychiatric institution.

The Horrors Of Hoarding

Mar 1, 2013
Flickr Photo/Robert Francis

With the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) coming out in May, hoarding is set to become an officially recognized mental disorder. To learn more about hoarding, Ross Reynolds talks to Karen Kent, clinical supervisor of behavioral health services at Evergreen Health.

House Bill Would Regulate Conversion Therapy

Feb 21, 2013
Marko Liias
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

A new House bill proposed by State Representative Marko Liias would establish a panel to investigate the effects of sexual orientation conversion therapy -- also known as 'straight camp' -- for minors in Washington state. Liias is one of several openly gay legislators in Washington, and he said in a press release that conversion therapy has “no basis in science or medicine, and it is vital that we bring together the proper health experts to better understand the impacts.”

KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Recent shooting tragedies around the country have raised questions about our mental health system. One of those questions is: Where do you go when someone in your family has mental illness? This is a story of one Seattle family’s journey for help and the lessons learned along the way.

Photo courtesy US Marine Corp

Army Secretary John McHugh will be at Joint Base Lewis-McChord on Monday. He’ll be briefing reporters on the results of an Army-wide review of soldier behavioral health evaluations for post-traumatic stress disorder. The comprehensive review was the result of a smaller investigation that began after a forensic psychiatry team at Madigan Army Medical Center in Lakewood was found to have reversed some soldiers' PTSD diagnoses.

Mental illness
Flickr Photo/Majicdolphin

Women around the world are 2 to 6 times more likely than men to suffer from depression. Today Ross talks to author Dana Jack about her new book “Silencing the Self Across Cultures,” where she explores the reasons for the troubling sadness and silence of women across the globe.

Deal Is Near To Bring NBA's Kings To Seattle

Jan 22, 2013
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson


The return of NBA basketball to Seattle appears closer than ever. Investor Chris Hansen announced on Monday that he's reached an agreement with the Maloof family to buy a controlling interest in the Sacramento Kings. The deal still needs formal approval from the NBA’s owners. Meanwhile, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is hopeful he can keep the team in town. How do you put a number on a pro basketball franchise? We talk with Smith College economist Andrew Zimbalist.

Seattle Municipal Archives / Flickr

King County is facing a major problem. It doesn’t have enough beds for mentally ill people going through the court system. The county has nowhere to send them, and some are being released without treatment.

Wisdom of Psychopaths
Courtesy Scientific American/Farrar, Straus and Giroux

"Psychopath" is a weighted, sometimes terrifying word. But psychologist Kevin Dutton makes the argument that not all psychopaths are violent. In fact, some of their qualities -- fearlessness, confidence, charisma -- set them up for success in today's society. Dutton spoke at Seattle's Town Hall on Oct. 30, 2012.

Breaking The Silence Around Suicide

Jan 9, 2013
Courtesy Kim Stafford

Editors' Note: This story contains descriptions of suicide. If you or someone you know might be suicidal, visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call 800.273.8255 (800.273.TALK).  Support groups and grief counseling for survivors can be found throughout the Puget Sound region.

Portland writer Kim Stafford has struggled to make sense out of the suicide of his brother Bret for 25 years. Though Bret was just 14 months older, Kim always looked to his brother as a leader and teacher. When he shot himself at age 40 in 1988, nobody in Bret’s family knew how much he was struggling.

Members of the Stafford family, even their father and famous poet William Stafford, couldn’t bring themselves to speak or write about Bret's loss. It was largely up to Kim Stafford to break the family silence.  Kim’s new memoir, “100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do:  How My Brother Disappeared,” is the story of his brother’s life and death and its devastating and transformational effect on Kim and his family.

The Risks Of Reporting From Syria

Dec 20, 2012
Turkish journalist in Syria
AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 28 reporters have been killed Syria this year — making it one of the most dangerous places on earth for the media to cover. What makes reporting from Syria so dangerous, and why do journalists continue to risk their lives for the story? 

Washington state capitol
Flickr Photo/Alan Cordova (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Little information is available yet to conclude whether the shooter in Newtown, Conn., was diagnosed with, or treated for, mental illness. But last week’s incident has raised questions around the country about mental health and funding for treatment and services. 

Mental illness
Flickr Photo/Majicdolphin

Officials have not yet released any information on the mental state of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooter, but anecdotal reports about his behavior and character have led people to diagnose him with a myriad of mental illnesses. At what point does conjecture lead to stigmatization of people with mental illness? Is it fair to connect violence with mental illness? We talk about it with Dr. Jennifer Stuber of the School of Social Work at the University of Washington.

Highlights from Dr. Struber's interview available here.
 

US Army

Suicide is now the number one cause of death for US troops. Nationally, more than two-thirds of suicides of active duty troops involve firearms. Most are personal weapons.

Former vice chief of staff for the Army General Peter Chiarelli wants commanders to have the ability to talk to distressed troop members about their private weapons as part of an effort to reverse the trend.

Medicating Children

Dec 3, 2012
Pink Sherbet Photography / Flickr

Kids and drugs don't mix, unless you're talking about antipsychotic medication. Then they go together like peanut butter and jelly.

From 2001 to 2007, the number of preschool-age kids on such drugs increased by almost half. Between 1996 and 2005, school-age kids using anti-depressants increased even more. Experts disagree on whether we're overmedicating our youth.

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