Mental Health

Addison County Sen. Claire Ayer says the state could use a publicly funded program to ensure universal access to primary care in Vermont.
Angela Evancie / VPR

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.

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

Sheriff Keith Clark underwent therapy at the Brattleboro Retreat for depression and suicidal thoughts. He's going public with the hope that it will help others.
Toby Talbot / AP File

One of Vermont's most well-known law enforcement officers is speaking out about his battle with depression and suicidal thoughts, in the hopes that it might help others seek help.

The Department of Mental Health will hold two meetings this week as it works on a report that addresses the crisis in Vermont's mental health care system.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

It always makes the headlines when a police officer shoots someone who is undergoing a mental health crisis. But when the police defuse a potentially violent situation, the news doesn't travel as far.

A couple years ago, Manchester police lieutenant Nicole LeDoux and two colleagues decided to crunch some numbers. They found that in a single year, 400 Manchester kids had been at either domestic violence incidents or overdoses when police were called.  LeDoux is a fast talker who oversees the juvenile and domestic violence units. “I remember sitting,” she said, “and being like ‘man, that’s a lot of kids. How do we deal with that?’” 

John Billingsley / VPR

Poetry and music are inextricably linked in the new album by Vermont musician Tyler Daniel Bean, On Days Soon to Pass. The songs on the album were poems that Bean wrote as part of his master's degree in literature and they're a deep exploration of his struggle with depression.

Emotional abuse during childhood is linked to misuse of opioids in adulthood, according to a recent University of Vermont study.

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The effects of a mental illness almost always stretch beyond just one person. Being the family member of someone with a mental health condition comes with unique challenges, and providing support to a struggling loved one can be both draining and heartbreaking.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Senate lawmakers say low pay for mental health workers has led to a bottleneck in crisis care, and they’re trying to find funding to boost wages for more than 2,000 employees across the state.

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Why is mental health so hard to talk about? If conditions like depression, anxiety, or even schizophrenia can have such massive impacts on people's lives, why can it feel like weakness to get help? We're continuing our week of mental health coverage by focusing in on the stigma around mental health, and how to move past it.

Copley Hospital

People who are suffering psychiatric episodes can end up in the emergency rooms of community hospitals, where doctors and nurses say they are not equipped to provide the treatment these patients need. As Vermont Edition begins a week-long exploration of mental health care in Vermont, we look at the problem of emergency psychiatric care.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

There have been no snow days for elected officials this week, and that’s probably because they have some big legislative deadlines to hit in the next few days.

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Many refugees who arrive on U.S. soil finally feel safe after decades of war or torture or loss of family members. But just because they're removed from physical harm, it doesn't mean the pain is over. 

Vermont's Supreme Court ruled earlier this month that Vermonters in proceedings related to involuntary hospitalization or medication do not have the right to represent themselves in court.

A bill introduced in Montpelier Tuesday is designed to make sure emergency responders in Vermont get the help they need when the job takes a toll on their mental health.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

A housing group in Brattleboro wants to purchase a motel and build a supportive housing development with 22 new apartments. Eleven of those units would be devoted to long-term housing for homeless individuals.

Seth Wenig / AP

Hoarding is a problem that can lead to serious safety and health concerns in its most extreme forms. And as hoarding becomes better understood, more people are seeking resources to intervene in the most serious cases.

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Vermonters have a new way of reaching help when they are having a mental health crisis: the Crisis Text Line. People can text the initials "VT" to the number 741741 and a trained crisis counselor will respond within 5 minutes.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR/file

Vermont is taking a hard look at how it treats people with mental illness in its prisons.

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