mental health

Mental Health
3:59 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Mental Health Patients' Families Seek Right To Challenge Forced Commitment

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.

Now some families want the right to appeal when a mental health professional says their loved one is not sick enough to be committed. They told their emotional stories to Washington lawmakers Monday.

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mental health services
9:10 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

New Rural Mental Health Funding Called a Good Start

Northwest mental health experts are cautiously optimistic about a new federal grant program. But they call it a modest attempt to improve mental health care in rural areas.

The Obama administration announced Tuesday, the federal Department of Agriculture’s plans to spend up to $50 million over the next three years.

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Mental health care
2:28 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

State’s mental health reform focuses on preventive care

Western State Hospital Medical Director Brian Waiblinger says the state hospitals are not the last place a majority of mental health patients end up.
Alexandra Kocik Northwest News Network

Health care advocates are pushing Washington state lawmakers to keep up momentum toward expanding access to Medicaid. About 100 people rallied on the Capitol steps in Olympia Thursday. They argue one group that will especially benefit is people with mental illness.

Inside the Capitol, that’s one of many issues related to the mentally-ill. Several measures focus on broadening access to community mental health services as opposed to big institutions. The idea is to get help for mentally-ill people before they get into trouble.

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mental health
6:24 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Eating disorders flare up during holiday season

For anyone who loves holiday meals, the last hurrah comes tonight or perhaps New Years Day. But, those big buffet-styles meals are tough on people with eating disorders.

The evidence comes from a surge in people seeking treatment this time of year. 

For the complete story, click the "listen" button above.

Homelessness
2:03 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Seattle's mentally ill on streets helped by 'roaming counselor'

Street counselor Larry Clum, with street 'ambassador' Carlo Garcia in downtown Seattle, near a few belonging left chained to a sign by a homeless woman
Keith Seinfeld KPLU

If you’ve been to downtown Seattle, you’ve probably seen people talking to themselves on street corners, or shouting at strangers. Now there’s a fresh face trying to help those in psychiatric crisis.

He’s a roaming mental health counselor, hired by the Union Gospel Mission and downtown’s business-funded Metropolitan Improvement District.

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Mental health
7:41 am
Fri June 29, 2012

Advocates: Veterans with PTSD should get purple hearts, benefits

“These wounds are as real as any wound that’s inflicted on a body part of any person, man or woman who is out there," Ron Morton, Vietnam veteran.
Monica Spain KPLU

Advocates for the mentally ill say the federal government isn’t going far enough to help veterans who return from war with psychological wounds. They’re in Seattle this week, demanding a change in military culture and better mental health care for veterans.

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mental health
12:43 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

Learning 'mental' first aid, before the next crisis

There's no first aid kit for mental health, but there are strategies.
renjith krishnan freedigitalphotos.net

In the wake of the recent murder spree at Café Racer, there have been questions about how to get help for someone whose mental health is deteriorating. Social service agencies are filling part of the gap, by training volunteers to provide what they call "mental health first aid."

The idea comes by comparison to CPR – a type of first aid any of us can learn. The mental health version is a 12-hour course for anyone who wants to be better equipped to help someone in a mental health crisis.

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Mentally Ill Juveniles
9:10 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Brotherly bond clouded by schizophrenia

Dell May, at age 7, holds his new-born brother Ben
Zoe Cooley

Some of the longest relationships are the life-long ties between siblings. But that connection can get complicated when one sibling suffers from a mental illness.

Many support programs don’t focus much on the sibling relationships. Northwest News Network reporter Jessica Robinson recorded the story of two brothers: one in Moscow, Idaho, the other in Anchorage, Alaska. One has schizophrenia. The other grew up in the shadow of it.

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Mentally Ill Juveniles
9:27 am
Wed November 16, 2011

In rural northwest mentally ill teens struggle for services

In Adams County, Washington, and many other rural places in the Northwest, it’s difficult for mentally ill teens to get adequate services
Rajah Bose Northwest News Network

Experts say mental health services for teens are especially inadequate in rural areas. That describes huge swaths of our region.

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Mentally Ill Juveniles
10:00 am
Tue November 15, 2011

Early intervention key to treating mentally ill teens

Karen Howard says her family has been fighting to get help for her nephew, Eric, for more than a decade.
Michael Clapp Northwest News Network

The research is clear that the key to keeping a mentally ill teen in treatment and out of trouble is early intervention. Yet, most counties in the Northwest do not offer comprehensive treatment to kids in the initial stages of a mental breakdown.

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Mentally Ill Juveniles
10:37 am
Mon November 14, 2011

Mentally ill juveniles cycle in and out of detention

Every year in the Northwest, thousands of mentally ill teenagers get caught up in the juvenile justice system. In fact, some counties estimate more than half of the kids they place behind bars have a diagnosable mental health condition like schizophrenia, bi-polar or personality disorder. Yet many of these teens do not get the treatment they need. Instead, they cycle in and out of detention.

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Military service
8:07 am
Mon June 27, 2011

More Lewis-McChord soldiers seeking mental help

Post-traumatic stress diagnoses and prescriptions for common antidepressants are on the rise at Madigan Army Medical Center.
United States Marine Corps

Officials at Joint Base Lewis-McChord are hopeful they're making progress against the stigma that keeps some soldiers from getting help for mental health issues.

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ARTSCAPE
5:09 pm
Sun February 20, 2011

"Next to Normal" tackles tough subject of mental health with lighthearted song and dance

Alice Ripley and Jeremy Kushnier in the national tour of "Next to Normal." The show is written by Brian Yorkey, who together with composer Tom Kitt pulled off a surprizing win last year of the Pulitzer Prize for drama.
Photo by Craig Schwartz. Courtesy 5th Avenue Theatre.

Bipolar disorder has been the inspiration for many artists and many works of art…from the movie A Beautiful Mind to Sylvia Plath's autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar

Now it's showing up in a musical, called "Next to Normal." 

Ten years ago, the production had its genesis at The Village Theater in Issaquah.  Now, after numerous revisions, it's back in the Seattle area at the 5th Avenue Theatre.  For the latest in our series ARTSCAPE, KPLU's Bellamy Pailthorp caught up with Bryan Yorkey, the writer of the show, who together with the composer, Tom Kitt, was the surprise winner of last year's Pulitzer Prize for drama.

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diversion from jails and hospitals
4:01 pm
Mon February 7, 2011

Alternative for mentally ill in crisis stirs debate

A proposed crisis center in Seattle shares S. Lane St. with single-family homes.
GoogleMaps

Crisis centers for the mentally ill are gaining popularity across Washington, as a way to help people and potentially save taxpayers' money.  They’re an alternative to jails and emergency rooms. 

But these short-term treatment centers are also running into hostility. Potential neighbors are unhappy about being next door to a facility where patients arrive by police car and ambulance, in the middle of a mental health or drug crisis.

In central Seattle, an angry backlash of homeowners is threatening to delay the opening of a proposed “Crisis Solutions Center.” The location is on a block near Rainier Avenue and Dearborn, where businesses and stores give way to single-family homes.  

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diversion from jails and hospitals
7:34 am
Thu January 20, 2011

Crisis center for mentally unstable opposed by neighbors

A diversion program intended to keep drug abusers and troubled mentally ill people out of hospitals and jails has run into opposition.  Neighbors of a proposed new facility in Seattle don’t want it.  They say the "Jackson Park" area between Rainier Valley and the Central District already has enough challenges and has become a dumping ground. 

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