Families confront dementia and guns

A four-month Kaiser Health News investigation uncovered dozens of cases across the United States in which people with dementia used guns to shoot themselves or others. From news reports, court records, hospital data and public death records, KHN found 15 homicides and more than 60 suicides since 2012, although there are likely more. The shooters…

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South Dakota’s mental health spending shortchanges early treatment for kids

A series of stories from the Argus Leader investigate the mental health care gaps for children in South Dakota. State officials vowed to improve the reach of providers in 2003, after finding out more than half of children who qualified for help weren’t getting care from community-based mental health centers. More than a decade later,…

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Across Florida, families of the mentally ill are dying for help

A six-month investigation by the Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale found that people with mental illness have killed or brutally assaulted at least 500 loved ones in Florida since 2000. During that time, Florida’s spending on mental health programs has declined significantly. While family members struggle to seek medical help for a mentally ill loved…

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Scores of employees, patients say America’s largest psychiatric chain turns patients into profits

A BuzzFeed News investigation into Universal Health Services (UHS) raised questions about America’s largest psychiatric hospital chain. BuzzFeed News talked to 175 current and former staff members, many of whom said that UHS prioritized filling beds over the safety of staff and the rights of patients. UHS has more than 200 facilities across the country.…

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Broward jail officials failed to protect some inmates endangered by mental illnesses

A Sun Sentinel investigation, “Death on their Watch,” found that Armor Correctional Health Services of Miami, the private company paid to handle health care in Broward County, Florida jails, has failed to protect some inmates endangered by their mental illnesses ­– with deadly consequences. Some inmates withered away in cells, hanged themselves or died after…

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Illinois hides abuse and neglect of adults with disabilities

A Chicago Tribune investigation, “Suffering in Secret,” uncovered a broken state system that steers people with intellectual and developmental disabilities into group homes, ordinary private residences, then cloaks harm with secrecy and silence. The two-day series found that state officials underreported cases of abuse or neglect; recruited group home employees as “buddy investigators” to police…

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Officials release North Carolina man from solitary confinement after more than 13 years

In August, the Charlotte Observer wrote about the plight of Jason Swain, a 41-year-old mentally ill North Carolina inmate who spent more than 13 years in solitary confinement at Central Prison in Raleigh for aiding and abetting murder. Those in solitary confinement usually spend 22-24 hours a day in their cells. When prisoners are allowed…

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North Carolina falls behind on efforts to reform mental health treatment

Halfway through its effort to reform mental health treatment for those stuck in adult care homes, North Carolina is struggling to achieve goals detailed in a civil rights settlement with the federal government, according to a report by WRAL. As of July 1, North Carolina should have 1,166 people out of adult care facilities and…

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Data show Minnesota police kill disproportionate number of people with mental illness

The Minneapolis Star Tribune launched a three-part series yesterday, “A Cry for Help” based on a database they built of 147 people killed by police in Minnesota since 2000. The series focuses on the fact that 45% of those people were mentally ill or in the midst of a mental health crisis at the time.…

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How safe are Florida’s domestic violence shelters?

An investigation by the Tampa Bay Times questions the safety of some domestic violence shelters in Florida, including The Spring of Tampa Bay. The nonprofit behind the shelter is one of the most revered in the area and supported by many of Tampa’s elite.  The Times uses the story of a little girl molested at a…

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