mental health

The case of Sandra Bland has raised anger and suspicions nationwide since she was found dead in a jail cell in Hempstead, Texas, two weeks ago. Bland's family and supporters have rejected the medical examiner's finding of suicide, and the criminal district attorney for Waller County, Texas, says he's recruited two outside lawyers to assist in the investigation of her death. The local investigation has been reviewed by the FBI, and local prosecutors have pledged to bring the case to a grand jury next month.

People With Depression: You Are Not Alone

Jul 23, 2015
Hosts Rogelia Sanchez and Lola Garcia.
KUOW Photo/Lola Garcia

Welcome to RadioActive's second podcast of summer 2015. We are talking about depression. We got some advice from a psychiatrist at the University of Washington and recorded personal experiences with depression that we'd like to share with you.

Idaho ranks consistently among the top states with the highest rates of youth suicide in the nation.

The court battle over wait times for Washington jail inmates to get mental health competency exams is not over.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has signed several new mental health laws in recent days. The question is whether they will be funded.

Marcie Sillman talks with KUOW Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins about new mental health policies and how the state will pay for them. 

Mentally ill inmates continue to languish in Washington jails despite a recent federal judge’s ruling that the practice is unconstitutional.

It’s been nearly two years since Joel Reuter fired a pistol from his condo balcony and was shot to death by Seattle police. Thursday, Governor Jay Inslee signed “Joel’s Law.”

On a sunny spring day at MIT in Cambridge, Mass., students line up at a table grabbing ice cream sundaes, milk and cookies, and, if they're interested, a hug from MIT parents including Sonal Patel.

"Yes!" Patel says, "giving away ice cream and now hugs."

"Oh, I want a hug," a student says, "that will be good."

The event — billed as "Stress Less Day" — is sponsored by the student mental health awareness group Active Minds. Volunteers are handing out fliers listing mental health facts and campus resources.

Sophomore Matt Ossa gets his ice cream and rushes on.

Are you a pen-clicker? A hair-twirler? A knee-bouncer? Did you ever get in trouble for fidgeting in class? Don't hang your head in shame. All that movement may be helping you think.

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

We might think we have a basic understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD: Soldiers in battle see things they'd like to forget, but years later combat memories come back to haunt them. That's the received wisdom.

But perhaps we have it all wrong. Maybe it's not the reminders of the fighting that cause post-traumatic stress so much as the void ex-combatants face when they leave the community of soldiers behind.

In the past academic year, four students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have taken their own lives.

And in the days that followed two of her freshmen classmates' deaths by suicide, 18-year-old Isabel "Izzy" Lloyd noticed something.

"Things just sort of stopped for a week or two and there were people posting on Facebook and sending out emails and Twitter and Instagram and people were saying, 'I care, you can come see me,' " she says.

Katherine Switz, founder of the Stability Network.
Courtesy of Katherine Switz

When a GermanWings passenger jet slammed into the French Alps last month, killing all aboard, attention focused on the co-pilot’s treatment for severe depression – and how he hid his illness.

An estimated 58 percent of Americans don’t want people with mental health issues in their workplace, even though a vast majority of people with such illnesses can work just fine.

The crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 into the French Alps earlier this week appears to have been a deliberate act carried out by a co-pilot.

It is too soon to put the label "suicide" on the co-pilot's actions. Not enough is known yet about his state of mind or what his motivation might have been. But as investigations continue, the incident raises questions about whether better mental health screening can prevent a person with suicidal tendencies from taking charge in the cockpit in the first place.

Participants at the 5th annual Compassion Research Day at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, California. Facebook unveiled new tools on Feb. 25 to help prevent suicide.
Courtesy of Forefront/Katie Simmons

Marcie Sillman talks with Jennifer Stuber, director of Forefront, a suicide prevention organization at the University of Washington, about their partnership with Facebook.

Also, we hear from Stephen Miller, Forefront's operation's manager, about his own experience with Facebook and suicide. 

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