mental health | KCUR

mental health

Rex Roof / Creative Commons-Flickr

 

A legislative committee’s recommendation could reignite a debate over whether the state should have the power to regulate Medicaid reimbursements for mental health medications, as it does for other types of drugs.

High standards. A desire for greater control. A predisposition toward anxiety or depression. These traits are common among people who suffer from eating disorders, like anorexia and bulimia. These illnesses are complex, multifaceted and incredibly dangerous. Body image is just the tip of the iceberg.

Guests:

  • Dr. Ashley McCune, counselor, InSight
  • Jon Smith, patient in recovery

Alex Smith / KCUR

Making the rounds at a public housing complex in Kansas City, Kan., community health worker Rinzin Wangmo is greeted by cheery voices and faces.

As she enters a home, the heavy aroma of chopped onions stings her nose, and she hurries up a short flight of stairs to escape the burn. After gently knocking on a door, she walks in to meet with a woman who’s bedridden with pain. 

The woman’s condition is not unusual among Bhutanese refugees, according to University of Kansas professor Dr. Joe LeMaster.

Mike Sherry / Hale Center for Journalism at KCPT

The Kansas City of the future would be a place where people have affordable medical care, policymakers work with the community on health issues and residents suffer less from chronic diseases and violence.

That, at any rate, is the consensus that emerged Saturday at a forum in Kansas City, Mo.

And it was just the start of what participants said a vigorous metropolitan area should look like in the next decade.

Crisis Intervention Center To Open In Topeka

Oct 1, 2014

The community mental health center in Topeka on Thursday will formally open a 26-bed crisis intervention center that’s expected to lead to fewer mentally ill adults being referred to Osawatomie State Hospital or ending up in jail.

Michael Price / KCPT

The state of Kansas City's mental health care services is dire, according to a new documentary.

Journalist and documentary filmmaker Michael Price's Lost Minds: KC's Mental Health Crisis focuses on the growing number of fraught confrontations between severely mentally ill people and police on Kansas City's streets. The locally produced documentary airs at 8 p.m. Wednesday on KCPT. 

Johnson County announced Thursday that it has hired a new director for its mental health center.

The new hire is Tim DeWeese, a longtime staff member of the Johnson County Mental Health Center.

For nearly the past two years, DeWeese has served as director of clinical services, overseeing the largest operating division of the center. He has also served the center as director of community support services and as a crisis case-management team leader.

Academic institutions in Missouri and Kansas were awarded federal grants of more than $1.2 million to train mental health providers, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday.

The grants were among $99 million disbursed by HHS under the Obama administration’s “Now Is the Time” plan aimed at reducing gun violence, increasing access to mental health services and making schools safer, according to a department news release.

Dave Ranney / KHI News Service

 

A Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services official said Thursday that the agency has identified 11 communities that appear to be referring inordinate numbers of patients to the state hospitals for mentally ill or have above-average numbers of inmates in the state’s correctional systems who are known to be mentally ill.

“We’ve been going out and meeting with people in those communities,” said KDADS Assistant Secretary Lea Taylor, addressing a statewide conference in Lawrence on law enforcement training and mental health crises.

Alex Smith / KCUR

Understanding where people come from and how they think is crucial in mental health treatments. Cultural belief systems affect how we view just about everything, including the mind and its troubles. Kansas City area health workers discuss how that understanding shapes their work with immigrant communities.

Guests:

Mike Sherry / The Hale Center for Journalism

 

A reconstituted mental health facility in Kansas City, Kan., has been a financial and therapeutic success in its first five months of operation, officials involved in the transition said Wednesday.

“It’s great news so far,” said Kari Bruffett, secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS), “and I think it’s only going to get better.”

Dave Ranney / KHI News Service

 

Out of the 8,000 full- and part-time law enforcement officers in Kansas, only 1 in 4 have been trained to handle crisis calls involving the mentally ill.

Records show that 80 percent of the nearly 1,800 trained officers work in four high-population counties: Johnson, Sedgwick, Shawnee and Wyandotte.

The other 20 percent — about 360 officers — are spread across police and sheriff’s departments in the remaining 101 counties.

Kansas Mental Health System Under Increasing Stress

Aug 18, 2014
www.kansasmemory.org / Kansas State Historical Society

 

One day last month, Osawatomie State Hospital had 254 patients in its care — almost 50 more than its optimal capacity.

The overcrowded conditions forced a few dozen patients, all of them coping with a serious mental illness and likely a danger to themselves or others, to be triple-bunked in rooms meant for two.

How To Identify A Depressed Teen--And What You Can Do To Help

Aug 18, 2014
Ryan Melaugh / Flickr-CC

Young people experience complex emotions, and it can be hard to pick out which teens are at risk for depression and other mental issues. Some problems may just be natural growing pains, but some are not.

On Monday's Up to Date, we talk about what teen depression is-- and what it isn't-- and examine the broad range of strategies available to treat it.

Guests:

How Lifestyle Changes Can Help Depression

Aug 13, 2014
Ron Henry / Flickr-CC

The death of Robin Williams is sparking a nation-wide discussion about depression and its effects.

On Wednesday's Up to Date we hear about new research that suggests that lifestyle changes can make more of a difference than medicine when it comes to clinical depression.

Guest:

More than a quarter of Americans self-identify as being under a great deal of stress. What's troubling us, and why do some people respond to stressful situations with greater resilience than others?

Guest:

Four safety net clinics in Kansas and three in Missouri have been awarded federal funding to create or expand mental health services for low-income individuals. 

The funding is part of almost $55 million in similar grants nationwide through the Affordable Care Act. The clinics will each receive about $250,000.

The Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas saw 2,500 patients for mental health issues last year.  CEO Krista Postai says she intends to use the new money to integrate medical and behavioral care.

Alex Smith / KCUR

At the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center on Thursday afternoon, Eyvette Carter struggled to carry on a basic conversation with her husband, Warren.

She was distracted in no small part by Karl Chaney whispering in her ear.

“Don’t trust him. Is he looking at you? Why would he want to talk to you?” Chaney said.

The group was taking part in an auditory hallucination simulation, designed to demonstrate the experience of a psychotic episode.

Gina Kaufmann, KCUR

On Thursday's Central Standard, we looked back at the history of intervention in mental health crises, going all the way back to the 19th century. 

The Glore Psychiatric Museum (formerly known as State Lunatic Asylum #2) captures both the treatments of the past and the controversies they sparked. Treatments in mental health hospitals once ranged from a "bath of surprise," which disrupted thought-patterns by dropping the patient into a shockingly cold bath, to lobotomies and fever cabinets.

Dave Ranney / KHI News Service

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback on Tuesday announced that his administration will spend an additional $9.5 million on services for the mentally ill in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

“This is a major, important issue,” Brownback said during an afternoon press conference at the Statehouse.

Most of new money - $7 million – will come from the state’s federally funded Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant.

The remainder will come from other sources including:

Submitted photo / Jewish Family Services

Organizers on Wednesday unveiled a new partnership that builds on a mental health initiative started in the local Jewish community.

The aim of the effort, known as the Greater Kansas City Mental Health Coalition, is to broaden to other parts of the metropolitan area the message from the Jewish community that it’s all right to talk about mental illness.

Led by Jewish Family Services (JFS), the coalition is a bistate effort that includes providers, support groups, advocacy organizations and other nonprofits.

Nearly half of all inmates at the municipal jail in Kansas City, Mo., indicated they had a mental health problem, according to the latest results from a periodic survey administered by an outside contractor.

Roughly 45 percent of the respondents answered “yes” when asked if they thought they had a mental health problem or had been told they had one, according to the survey results, which were delivered earlier this month.

Mike Sherry / The Hale Center for Journalism

 

Representatives from a broad spectrum of agencies and organizations, including hospitals and courts, are crystallizing plans they hope will help solve a health problem in Kansas City, Mo.

The issue is that people who are high, drunk or in psychiatric crisis clog emergency rooms and tie up first-responders with needs more suited to mental health intervention, according to organizers.

Mike Sherry / The Hale Center For Journalism

Kansas City, Mo., would be home to a regional facility aimed largely at diverting substance abusers from jail and hospital emergency rooms under a plan that has garnered support from law enforcement officials, political leaders and health care providers.

The vision actually represents dual efforts that began independently, but which might coalesce as a collaboration between area hospitals and a coalition formed by Joseph Locascio, the presiding judge of Kansas City Municipal Court. He also oversees the city’s specialty court aimed at substance abusers.

Police officers often respond to situations that involve people suffering from mental health problems.

Since they are called first for help, there is a growing effort to train the officers in how to handle the situations.

On today's Central Standard, we discuss how police training is changing in order to accommodate mental health crisis response techniques.

Guests:

Alex Smith / KCUR

Every day, police in the Kansas City metro area are inundated with calls to handle mental illness emergencies.

"Usually more than one time a day,” says Don Ash, sheriff of Wyandotte County, Kan.  “Calls could come in from a family member. Calls could come in from the general public. From a business owner.”

Someone might be picked up for something as simple as loitering or trespassing, and even though it might clearly a mental health emergency, police typically have little choice but to take them to jail or possibly an emergency room.

Dave Ranney / KHI News

Gov. Sam Brownback Thurday unveiled his administration’s plan for reopening the Rainbow Mental Health Facility.

“I think this is a winner,” Brownback said, referring to a Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services plan for privatizing the state hospital’s operations.

The plan calls for converting the former 50-bed inpatient facility to a 10-bed “crisis stabilization resource” designed to connect people with serious and persistent mental illness to community-based services.

Gov. Jay Nixon says Missouri is sorely lacking in mental health services, but he hopes to fix that with more higher education spending. 

Speaking Wednesday at UMKC’s School of Nursing, the Governor said his balanced budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2015 included $20 million in grants for schools to train future psychiatrists, psychologist and mental health nurses.

Only 10 of the state’s 114 counties currently have adequate mental health care, according to a federal report.

Grandmothers Against Gun Violence/Facebook

In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School and Washington Navy Yard shootings, many find themselves questioning the use of guns in society. 

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with a Cape Cod grandma who wants to change the dialogue on gun violence in this country. She joins Steve Kraske to discuss her plan to encourage accountability and responsibility while finding common ground with gun owners. 

Guests:

What Is Sex Addiction?

Oct 9, 2013
Lynda Sanchez / Flickr - CC

Now more than ever, our society seems preoccupied with sex. Sexting and twerking are a part of our lexicon. Whether we’re talking about television, popular music or movies, sexual images and innuendo are everywhere. And access to pornography is as easy as a click of a mouse for the over 40 million people who log into porn websites. Given the highly sexualized society we live in, can a person really become addicted to sex? And at what point does sex become an unhealthy addiction—a bad habit that interferes with work, relationships and mental health?

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