Mental Health

Psychiatric patients in crisis can wait days in emergency departments due to a lack on inpatient beds.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

VPR's investigative reporter Emily Corwin has been looking into the care received by young psychiatric patients in crisis. As with adults, children and adolescents can spend days in hospital emergency departments. And some parents and doctors have complained about the quality and amount of care they receive from psychiatrists while in the ER.

A painting against a dark backdrop of an extended wing leading back toward a person.
Painter: Alexis Kyriak, courtesy

Both Alexis and Steve were diagnosed with schizophrenia. This is the story about how meaningful, paid work plays a role in their recovery.

Leslie Nelson sits in front of a wall, looking at the camera. Posters are hung up behind.
Barbara Heilman

Leslie Nelson has heard voices for as long as she can remember. She sees things other people don’t see. This is a conversation about what it’s like to be normal, from Leslie’s point of view, and the incredible power of finding people like herself to talk with about their normal lives with mental illness.

The words They Are Us in yellow and red on a black background
Aaron Shrewsbury For VPR

A story about Vermont’s only permanent, supervised housing for people with serious mental illness.

Anne Donahue mid-swing with a bat on a field
Anne Donahue, courtesy

How should people live long term in our state if they have a serious mental illness? The hope is that they’ll find ways to integrate into their communities with support, but that’s proven tough to accomplish. In this show we look at the challenges in our community mental health care system.

The words They Are Us in yellow and red on a black background
Aaron Shrewsbury For VPR

This is a story about what it’s like, day to day, year to year, to be a parent of an adult child living with schizophrenia.

We're talking about mental illness with some of the people featured in the new podcast "They Are Us."
Benjavisa / iStock

They Are Us is a new seven-part series about mental health airing on VPR featuring the personal stories of Vermonters. We're convening a conversation with some of the people from that podcast, and we'll talk about their perspectives on mental illness, stigma and mental health care. 

A view of stairs looking up to a light.
Itsh / iStock

There are Vermonters who experience psychiatric crises for years — and repeated visits to emergency rooms and psychiatric hospitals. Where do they go when they leave the hospital? And why do they keep coming back? This is a story about the role housing plays in mental health.

Sarah Holland standing outside.
Erica Heilman / For VPR

In her early thirties, Sarah Holland started suffering from major depression, the result of childhood sexual trauma. In the years that followed, she lost her job and her family. This is the story of her struggle — and her recovery from major depression.

The words They Are Us in yellow and red on a black background
Aaron Shrewsbury For VPR

They Are Us is a seven-part special series about mental health in Vermont, airing on VPR the week of Nov. 12. Each episode will highlight personal stories from inside the state's mental health care system.

About six percent of Americans may have seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, a distinct form of seasonal depression. Kelly Rohan with UVM says it can be effectively treated but requires professional help.
simonbradfield / iStock

The days are getting shorter, the hours of daylight are fewer and this time of year it's not uncommon to experience a bout of the winter blues. But a more serious form of depression afflicts nearly six percent of the population: Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. We're talking about the symptoms, misconceptions and treatments for this uniquely seasonal form of depression.

From left, Sen. Richard Westman, Sen. Tim Ashe and Savi Van Sluytman, executive director of Lamoille County Mental Health Services, at a meeting in Morrisville Monday. Employees at the agency say they don't have enough funding to meet demand.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

The workers on the frontlines of Vermont’s mental health system say they’re struggling to meet increased demand for their services.

Were talking about mental health care strategies for the challenges faced by rural areas of the state.
Decaseconds / flickr

Rural areas of the state face heightened challenges when it comes to mental health and mental health care: from spread-out populations to poverty, stigma and limited resources. We're talking about the strategies used by the designated agencies that provide care in these areas to increase access to care and help the people who need it most. 

Jessica Keene stands on the Quechee Gorge Bridge in front of a sign she made that reads, "Step back. You're worth it." The card also has the phone number for the national suicide prevention hotline.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Two local women are putting up index cards, with messages of support and hope, in an attempt to reach anyone who might be contemplating suicide on the Quechee Gorge Bridge.

Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP / Invision/ AP

Anthony Bourdain died last week - by suicide. And at least through my eyes, nothing could have been more unexpected.

An empty school hallway with a row of lockers and a door at the end.
Halbergman / iStock

In light of recent school shootings, there’s been a renewed push for more gun control and more mental health care. And while Vermont lawmakers have passed gun control measures, mental health experts say the problem is more complex than simply more resources.

A graph from the Drug Poisoning (Overdose) Fatalities Report released Thursday shows accidental deaths involving heroin and fetanyl in Vermont. The report notes that 2016 and 2017 data are preliminary. Find the report here:
Vermont Department of Health, Courtesy

The number of accidental overdose deaths in Vermont involving the synthetic drug fentanyl increased significantly last year, according to a new report.

An empty classroom with a desk looking at a chalkboard. A pencil on the desk.
GlenJ / iStock

Vermont has the highest rate in the country of students identified as having an "emotional disturbance." We're talking about what is actually covered by that term, and what's being done inside and out of the state's special education system to help the kids who need it most.

Senate Health and Welfare chairwoman Sen. Claire Ayer is backing a plan to allow Vermont to purchase some prescription drugs from Canada at much lower costs
Angela Evancie / VPR File

A group of House and Senate lawmakers will try to lay the groundwork next year for a publicly funded system of universal primary care in Vermont.

Hailshadow / iStock

A new report finds that the number of people who receive Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, due to mental illness has been increasing.