mental illness

Daily news roundup for Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Apr 21, 2015
Van Meter Williams Pollack architects

Here's what's happening in the Bay Area as curated by KALW news.

Work starts on LGBT senior housing // Bay Area Reporter

"Graffiti covers the interior walls throughout Richardson Hall, a vacant historic Spanish Colonial Revival style structure at the corner of Laguna and Hermann streets built in 1925 as part of the now-defunct San Francisco State Teacher's College complex.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual is the primary reference catalog for mental health illnesses. But whereas a medical textbook will show you the picture of a broken bone or a tumor, leaf through the DSM and you will find just one thing: lists of symptoms. Who creates these lists, and based on what criteria? Do such lists really capture the nature of a mental illness? What does it mean to be a disease of the mind versus a disease of the body? Does our classification system construct mental illness, or does it reveal underlying facts from genetics or neuroscience?

Your Call: Who are the mentally ill homeless?

Dec 8, 2014
The photography of robert okin

On the December 8th, 2014 edition of Your Call, we’ll talk to Dr. Robert Okin about his new book “Silent Voices: People With Mental Disorders On The Street.”  Nearly 200,000 of the homeless people in the US are severely mentally ill. Dr Okin spent two years collecting the stories of mentally ill homeless people in San Francisco.  How do they end up on the street? And how can we help them while respecting their humanity -- and autonomy?  Join the conversation on the next your Call, with Rose Aguilar and you.


Flickr user andersdenkend

The shooting at Seattle Pacific University marks the latest gun-related tragedy in the U.S. It follows the attacks in Isla Vista at UC Santa Barbara. The country is talking about whether or not to require treatment for the severely mentally ill. In California, this has been an ongoing conversation, ever since the creation of Laura’s Law.

Behavioral health courts can give offenders who are mentally ill the option to be tried for non-felony crimes. Within the program, offenders can have access to not only the district attorney and public defender, but to several social services programs in order to help them get them back on their feet. 

One catch — they have to want to be in the program. 

StoryCorps: Overcoming mental illness together

Feb 19, 2014
San Francisco StoryCorps

Truths and tales about mental illness and guns

Apr 8, 2013

“If you disagree with background checks, the logical jump is you believe it’s okay for criminals and the dangerously mentally ill to buy guns,” explains Bay Area Congressman Mike Thompson, speaking about his own proposed legislation to limit access to firearms. Thompson’s not the only one to connect mental illness with violence. The country has heard similar statements from national figures across the political spectrum, including the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre, who has stated: “We have a mental health system in this country that has completely and totally collapsed. We have no national database of these lunatics."

Courtesy of Flickr user Conspirator

Mental health advocates want the link between violence and people who are mentally ill to disappear.

After the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, when 20-year-old Adam Lanza, killed 20 children and six staff, lawmakers scrambled to respond to the public’s fear that schools aren’t safe enough. Some states and policymakers began proposing policy changes that addressed people who suffer from mental illness, because an investigation into the Lanza’s mental health history revealed that he had been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and Sensory Integration Disorder (SID).