Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "mental health" ...

  • Minnesota's Graduation Gap

    MPR News set out to delve into an underreported fact -- that Minnesota’s high school graduation rates for students of color rank among the very worst in the nation -- and ended up making a profound discovery: Minnesota devotes less to non-classroom student support than any state. The category includes guidance counselors, social workers, nurses and mental health counselors, attendance staff and other positions that education experts says are key to keeping students at risk of dropping out of school on the path to graduations. The link between support spending and graduation rates appears to be stronger than other oft-mentioned factors to explain low rates for students of color. http://www.mprnews.org/story/2016/06/01/grad-gap-highlights
  • Campus Undercovered

    In an investigative mini-series, the NBC News Investigative Unit undertook a deep look at an array of new and under-covered issues on college campuses. It included a first-of-its-kind investigation for a national broadcast network questioning whether on-campus sexual assault tribunals are violating due process rights, including those of alleged perpetrators. It featured a multi-month, nation-wide investigation of college mental health policies, uncovering a trend of students claiming that they have been suspended or expelled for seeking help with mental health issues. It also brought viewers a rare, frank look inside the world of prescription “smart drug” abuse. In each case, these stories triggered pointed responses from the schools involved, sometimes resulting in tangible changes in the lives of the students featured, with potentially significant implications for other students in similar situations.
  • A Cry for Help

    The trend was unmistakable. Minnesotans who were suicidal or otherwise having a mental health crisis were dying in confrontations with police. The Star Tribune decided to go beyond the anecdotes and develop the first comprehensive database of individuals killed after encounters with police in Minnesota. An exhaustive analysis of death certificate data, news accounts, police reports and other records revealed a powerful statistic: 45 percent of those who died in forceful encounters with police were in crisis or had a history of mental illness. The number was even more stark for 2015: nine of 13 killed fell into that category. The Star Tribune multimedia project “A Cry for Help” showed the collision of a broken mental health system with law enforcement, the responders of last resort. While questions of police conduct and use of force have revolved around race, one advocacy group estimated that mentally ill people are 16 times more likely to die in a police encounter than others. Our team faced the challenge of how to tell this story in a fresh and engaging way. They did it by obtaining extraordinary access to individuals: A cop who had killed two people, each of whom threatened him amid their mental breakdowns. The mother of a young mentally ill man killed by police who now advocates for better training. A man who tried to commit suicide by cop whose survival demonstrates how these situations don’t have to end in tragedy. These narratives were enhanced by hard-fought access to dozens of police case files that included powerful police video footage of a St. Paul standoff in 2015. The project also quantified, for the first time, the stories of every person who died in an encounter with police since 2000, and that database is now continually updated on the Star Tribune website.
  • Mental Health and Policing

    Stories on mental health and policing seekt to bring attention to the concern raised by advocates of the mentally ill—that police officers are often ill-equipped to handle calls for people in mental distress. It’s estimated as many as half of fatal police encounters involve people in mental health crisis. Over the course of several months, WBAL told the stories of 3 young men, shot and killed by police in suburban Maryland counties. In each case, a mental health history was involved. WBAL revealed the lack of uniform training and consistent use of crisis intervention teams. Without better effort to equip police, as first responders, a call to 911 can lead to a tragic result.
  • The Desperate and the Dead

    The Globe Spotlight Team documented tragic failings of the Massachusetts mental health care system, revealing for the first time that more than 10 percent of all homicides in the state are committed by people with a serious, treatable mental illness, and that nearly 50 percent of those fatally shot by police are suicidal, mentally ill, or showing clear signs of a mental health crisis. https://apps.bostonglobe.com/spotlight/the-desperate-and-the-dead/
  • Mental Health and Policing

    Our stories on mental health and policing sought to bring attention to the concern raised by advocates of the mentally ill—that police officers are often ill-equipped to handle calls for people in mental distress. It’s estimated as many as half of fatal police encounters involve people in mental health crisis. Over the course of several months, we told the stories of 3 young men, shot and killed by police in suburban Maryland counties. In each case, a mental health history was involved. We revealed the lack of uniform training and consistent use of crisis intervention teams. Without better effort to equip police, as first responders, a call to 911 can lead to a tragic result. http://www.wbaltv.com/article/mental-health-and-policing/8566410
  • Minnesota's Graduation Gap

    MPR News set out to delve into an underreported fact -- that Minnesota’s high school graduation rates for students of color rank among the very worst in the nation -- and ended up making a profound discovery: Minnesota devotes less to non-classroom student support than any state. The category includes guidance counselors, social workers, nurses and mental health counselors, attendance staff and other positions that education experts says are key to keeping students at risk of dropping out of school on the path to graduations. http://www.mprnews.org/story/2016/06/01/grad-gap-highlights
  • No Body's Fault: An anatomy of a suicide in the county jail

    When James Lee Peters killed himself in the Humboldt County jail, this very act suggested a failing of the mental health and criminal justice system. The North Coast Journal wanted to explore the possible failings of those systems.
  • Military suicides

    Canada’s Afghanistan mission officially ended in 2014, but the consequences of Canada’s longest war are still reverberating through military communities across the nation. The number of Canadian soldiers and veterans who have taken their lives after their Afghanistan deployment had been a tightly guarded military secret until exposed by The Globe and Mail. The newspaper’s series, The Unremembered, takes readers beyond the suicide toll, revealing serious flaws in the military’s mental health-care system and the devastating effects on soldiers. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/the-unremembered-a-compilation-of-our-coverage-on-canadian-soldier-suicides/article27546298/
  • Missed Treatment: Soldiers With Mental Health Issues Dismissed For ‘Misconduct’

    We revealed for the first time that the Army has kicked out tens of thousands of soldiers who came back from Iraq and Afghanistan with mental health problems and traumatic brain injuries, and taken away their benefits, on the grounds that those soldiers committed some sort of “misconduct”– despite the fact that Congress passed a law in 2009 to try to prevent it. Our stories were not only the first ones that revealed this crucial information: Army officials told us that until we asked and pushed for these statistics under FOIA, they never compiled them, period.Our report also showed that a top-level Army investigation, into allegations that soldiers were being mistreated, was essentially a whitewash. And we let the public hear, for the first time, actual psychotherapy sessions between a troubled soldier and Army psychiatrists. You can actually hear the therapists belittle the soldier and shrug off his mental health problems. http://www.npr.org/2015/10/28/451146230/missed-treatment-soldiers-with-mental-health-issues-dismissed-for-misconduct