Mental Health

Durrie Bouscaren / Iowa Public Radio

One week before the Abbe Center’s scheduled closing, Brandie Anderson came to pack up a van with her mother’s belongings, destined for the nearby Penn Center.

“It was just nice to know she was here, I think this was the safest place for her. My mom just wasn’t a number or a resident, she was a person here,” Anderson said.  

Tito Perez

Name a famous person who appears regularly on NPR. His first name can be a noun or a verb, and his last name sounds like an article of clothing. Puzzlemaster Will Shortz joins Host Charity Nebbe to talk about how the New York Times crossword puzzle is put together and a little about his love of table tennis.  And hear about real-world problem solving with Invent Iowa, and one particular invention made by middle school girls in Council Bluffs.

Ben Stanton / Iowa Public Radio

Studies estimate that at least one in every five veterans experiences post-traumatic stress disorder after returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, guest host Emily Woodbury talks with two Iowans working to change that statistic.

Steven Lancaster, an assistant professor of psychology at Drake University, discusses his new study on how a soldier's "military identity" affects their likelihood of experiencing anxiety or depression.

Scott* / flickr

We continue our series on corrections in Iowa by talking about mandatory minimum sentences. What is the goal of mandatory sentences and how effective are they? What are their legal, social and economic impacts?

In the second half hour, host Ben Kieffer takes a look at Iowa’s special courts – drug courts and mental health courts, for example. We find out how they work differently than conventional courts, the case for how special courts save lives and money, and why several drug courts in the state have closed.

Matthew Purdy

Host Ben Kieffer explores memories this hour.  First, he has a talk with ISU Assistant Professor Jason Chan about his research showing how our memories can be altered by incorrect information.  In the second half, you can hear about how memories are affected by aging.  Guests include representatives from long-term care facilities, and a woman who tells her personal story helping her husband deal with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

County Jails Struggle to Treat Mental Health Issues

Apr 30, 2013

Just about everyone – from the National Rifle Association to the American Civil Liberties Union — agrees that the mental health system in this country is broken. In Iowa, many local sheriffs say that means their county jails have become way stations for people with mental illness. Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks reports on what can happen when county jails are tasked with caring for the mentally ill.

Nicole Shumate

Thousands of veterans have returned from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. Nightmares or flashbacks, angry outbursts, and hyper vigilance are common symptoms. In addition, many veterans also have to learn to live with physical injuries. A Des Moines-based not-for-profit called Paws & Effect is helping some Iowa veterans live better lives by training and placing psychiatric service and mobility dogs.

Flickr / Luciana Christante

Is National Napping Day on your calendar? Neurologist Dr. Eric Dyken--"The Sleep Doctor"--returns to "River to River" to talk discuss napping.  He'll also give some sleep advice as we go into daylight saving time this weekend.

Dejah Thoris / Flickr

Being healthy just isn't about  maintaining a healthy weight and getting enough exercise. It's also about how you feel emotionally. With this year's Live Healthy Iowa Challenge kicking off,  host Charity Nebbe talks about emotional health and how physical health affects your emotional health. Also, how music and laughter can affect your emotional health.

Center for American Progress / Flickr

Host Ben Kieffer talks with UI psychiatrist and professor of medicine Donald Black about his views on proposed changes in mental health policy as a potential remedy for reducing gun violence. Dr. Black is well known for studying various personality disorders. Also psychologist Craig Anderson of ISU tells us about research on the connections between virtual media violence and real life violence.

Franco / Flickr

Everyone can appreciate a sincere compliment and a few high school students in Iowa City are embracing that truth. Charity Nebbe talks with the West High Bros about their efforts to make their school a better place. Then we explore the power of kindness and positive thinking.

College Degrees 360 / Flickr

Our bodies tell us when we’re stressed. Shoulder tension, eye twitch, insomnia... and for some of us the physical effects of stress can be downright dangerous. Host Charity Nebbe talks about our cultural reluctance to take time out or time off, and we’ll find out about the importance of listening to our bodies and using our vacation days.

There are several recent studies showing how meditation can help fight cancer, PTSD, learning disabilities, as well as everyday physical and mental ailments. Host Charity Nebbe talks with meditators across the state to find out how the practice of meditation impacts their lives. Charity also talks with Dr. Luke Hansen about how stress affects the body and why meditation is an effective method to fight pain.

Silver Mane Publishing / Larry Wohlgemuth

Approximately one out every five children in the United States will be sexually abused before the age of 16. Larry Wohlgemuth was one of those kids. Charity Nebbe talks with him about his experiences and his new book, “Larry Tells Stories: A Journey of Sexual Abuse, PTSD and Recovery.” Charity also talks with Kathy Lowenberg who counsels victims of sexual abuse.

Prairie Lights / Facebook

Marvin Bell, a former Iowa Poet Laureate, and Christopher Merrill, author and director of the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program, are both men with many fascinating things to say. Together, the two friends talk with Charity Nebbe about the issues they explored of life, love, and memory through a correspondence in poetry, which they compiled into the book, "Everything At Once."

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention / Facebook

The last decade has seen a rise in suicide rates in the United States and several groups in Iowa are trying to do something about it. Host Ben Kieffer talks with several Iowans who are reaching out to those in danger of suicide, to family members who have experienced such a tragedy and a psychiatrist with advice on suicide prevention.

Daniela Hartmann / flickr

July 1 is a big date for mental health care in Iowa—that’s the day funding switches over to a redesigned model. The legislature approved a plan to equalize mental health care funding for low income residents across the state.  Some counties are crying foul, saying programs will be gutted. But other’s say the change they say finally gives all counties a level playing field.

There are several recent studies showing how meditation can help fight cancer, PTSD, learning disabilities, as well as everyday physical and mental ailments. Host Charity Nebbe talks with meditators across the state to find out how the practice of meditation impacts their lives. Charity also talks with Dr. Luke Hansen about how stress affects the body and why meditation is an effective method to fight pain.

 

IPR Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell joins Sarah McCammon for a look at what's happening in the Iowa Legislature, as lawmakers begin their third week of overtime.

Thousands of veterans have returned from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.  Nightmares or flashbacks, angry outbursts, and hyper vigilance are common symptoms. In addition, many veterans also have to learn to live with physical injuries. A Des Moines-based not-for-profit called Paws & Effect is helping some Iowa veterans live better lives by training and placing psychiatric service and mobility dogs. Join host Ben Kieffer as he talks with combat veteran Wade Baker and the organization’s executive director Nicole Shumate.

Nicole Shumate

Thousands of veterans have returned from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.  Nightmares or flashbacks, angry outbursts, and hyper vigilance are common symptoms. In addition, many veterans also have to learn to live with physical injuries.  A Des Moines-based not-for-profit called Paws and Effect is helping some Iowa veterans live better lives.

Sgt. Wade Baker’s solid physique and square jaw contrast nicely with the dark, lithe form of Honor, the young psychiatric service dog at his side.

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