• Differences between boys and girls are more than physical

    By Charlotte Lankard For The Oklahoman | Published: Tue, Oct 13, 2015

    Charlotte Lankard writes about differences between raising boys and raising girls.

  • Christie, Democrats renew clash over gun bill veto override

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    PRINCETON, N.J. (AP) — Republican Gov. Chris Christie appeared unfazed Monday by a state rival's plan to override a veto that could involve sending state troopers to force reluctant lawmakers to vote on a bill about prospective gun buyers' mental health records. Christie, who's seeking the Republican presidential nomination, dismissed Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney's comments on the campaign trail in Manchester, New Hampshire. It's the latest scene in the Democratic-controlled Legislature's attempt to override Christie, something it has failed to do 52 times because Republicans have not bucked the governor. "I'm not the least bit worried," Christie told NJ.com. "Steve can threaten whatever Steve wants to threaten

  • How heroin is hitting the foster care system

    Published: Mon, Oct 12, 2015

    Timothy Dick’s office receives all kinds of reports of child abuse and neglect. Perhaps a child has a broken bone, or is underfed, or has been left home alone for too long. But when caseworkers drive to the child’s home to investigate, they often discover the same root cause. “What we’re finding more and more is that the parents are addicted to opiates. And more often than not, it’s heroin,” said Dick, assistant director of child protective services in Clermont County, Ohio. In Ohio and other states ravaged by the latest drug epidemic, officials say substance abuse by parents is a major reason for the growing number of children in foster care. Oklahoma has one of the highest rates of prescription drug abuse in the nation, with almost two residents dying each day from overdose. 

  • SOS via SMS: Help for suicidal teens is a text message away


    BOSTON (AP) — With younger generations using cellphones less for actual conversation and more for text messaging, suicide prevention organizations are setting up ways that let distraught youths seek help that way. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among teenagers and college-age adults, making a text messaging initiative — started this month by Samaritans Inc. of Massachusetts to supplement the more traditional phone help line — a natural, Executive Director Steve Mongeau said. Nearly 5,300 U.S. residents younger than 24 took their own lives in 2013, the most recent year for which data are available, according to the Washington, D.C.-based American Association of Suicidology.

  • Feds threaten to cut funding to psychiatric hospital 3 times

    Updated: Sun, Oct 11, 2015

    SEATTLE (AP) — Federal regulators said conditions at Washington state's largest psychiatric hospital were so dangerous for patients that they threatened to cut millions of dollars in funding three times this year. The state agency that oversees Western State Hospital said Thursday that they are addressing the problems, but they need more money and staff to make the facility safe. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services sent 90-day termination notices to the hospital in January, March and September after inspectors found it failed to ensure the safety of patients. The violations ranged from failing to supervise violent patients to broken fire alarms and smoke detectors, according to documents obtained by The A

  • Crisis team sent to Alaska village after trio of suicides

    Updated: Fri, Oct 9, 2015

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A Native village on Alaska's western coast is reeling from back-to-back suicides of three young adults — with each subsequent death influenced by the preceding one. A regional tribal health organization is sending an Alaska Native suicide-response-and-prevention team to Hooper Bay next week in what essentially will be a community debriefing. The team members speak Yup'ik, and will focus on traditional healing. They will be joined by mental health professionals from different Alaska organizations responding en masse to the cluster of suicides. "We so need the help," village Mayor Joseph Bell said by telephone Friday. In Hooper Bay, 530 miles west of Anchorage, everybody knows everybody

  • Leaving grief unaddressed can have prolonged consequences, Oklahoma counselor says

    By JACLYN COSGROVE Staff Writer jcosgrove@oklahoman.com | Updated: Fri, Oct 9, 2015

    Oklahoma City counselor facilitates grief support groups for Integris.

  • Pennsylvania orders youth mental health facility closed

    Updated: Thu, Oct 8, 2015

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — After investigating reports of sexual abuse, state regulators are ordering the closure of a western Pennsylvania facility that treats children and teenagers diagnosed with mental health conditions. The state Department of Human Services said Thursday that it received the reports about Glade Run Lutheran Services in Zelienople through its ChildLine hotline. It ordered the facility to close within 30 days. The department says it found violations including inadequate supervision of the children, failure to report missing children, staff members sleeping during their shifts and insufficient staffing levels. A Glade Run representative didn't immediately comment. The 56-bed facility can appeal the dep

  • Tribes get $4.4M to reduce drugs, suicide, domestic violence

    Updated: Thu, Oct 8, 2015

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Indian Health Services will support nine New Mexico tribes' and tribal organizations' efforts to reduce suicide, drug addiction and domestic violence with $4.39 million in federal grants. U.S. Sens. Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall, of New Mexico, say the money will be distributed over the next five years to Isleta, Acoma, Ohkay Owingeh, Sandia, Santo Domingo and Taos pueblos, as well as the Ramah Navajo School Board, First Nations Community HealthSource in Albuquerque, the Five Sandoval Pueblos and Eight Northern Pueblos Indian Council.

  • Shakespeare acting program helps veterans deal with emotions

    Updated: Thu, Oct 8, 2015

    MILWAUKEE (AP) — William Shakespeare's words from more than 400 years ago are proving to be healing for modern-day veterans. A group of Milwaukee actors started the workshops, which feature Shakespeare's plays to help veterans deal with post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction and reintegration issues and mental health problems. Organizers feed lines to the vets during conflict-heavy scenes so they can concentrate on the emotions. Army veteran Carissa DiPietro calls it "life-changing" and says she feels safe showing feelings, because it's the character and not really her. Actress and project director Nancy Smith-Watson says 300 veterans have participated since the workshops began in 2013.

  • Illinois panel OKs medical marijuana for 8 health conditions

    Updated: Wed, Oct 7, 2015

    COUNTRYSIDE, Ill. (AP) — An advisory board voted Wednesday to add eight health conditions — including chronic pain syndrome, autism, osteoarthritis and post-traumatic stress disorder — to the list of illnesses that can be treated by medical marijuana in Illinois. The state's Medical Cannabis Advisory Board had expressed frustration last month when Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration rejected its first 11 suggestions for expanding the list of medical conditions. Osteoarthritis and PTSD were on that earlier list, so Wednesday's votes reaffirmed the board's viewpoint and put the matter back in Rauner's hands. Board chair Dr.

  • Mother-son bond over guns links Oregon, Connecticut slayings

    Updated: Wed, Oct 7, 2015

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The deadly shooting last week at an Oregon community college has an eerie parallel with the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School that killed 20 pupils and six adult staff members in 2012. Like Adam Lanza, the gunman in the Connecticut massacre, Christopher Harper-Mercer was living a mostly solitary life with a mom who shared his fascination with firearms. Both stories illustrate the struggles parents face caring for a deeply troubled child, struggles that can inadvertently lead to a volatile outcome made easier by ready access to weaponry.

  • Ohio bill would spare severely mentally ill from execution

    Updated: Wed, Oct 7, 2015

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A person judged to suffer from severe mental illness at the time of a killing that could result in a death sentence would be spared from capital punishment under a bill before Ohio lawmakers. The proposed legislation would allow a hearing before trial on an offender's mental illness and permit a judge to rule out the death penalty if severe mental illness is proven. The bill sponsored by Sen. Bill Seitz, a Cincinnati Republican, was scheduled for a first hearing Wednesday before the Senate Criminal Justice Committee. The bill would also allow current death row inmates to challenge their sentences on the basis of mental illness at the time of their crimes.

  • Patrick Kennedy memoir creates rift among his family

    Updated: Tue, Oct 6, 2015

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A memoir by former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy has created a rift with family members upset over his portrayal of family secrecy, substance abuse and mental illness, including that of his father, late Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy. Kennedy on Tuesday defended his book, "A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey Through the Past And Future of Mental Illness and Addiction," which was released Monday. He said he loves his family but feels it is important for him break the stigma and shame of mental illness and substance abuse by talking openly about what he and relatives have suffered — even if it does mean a change in the "family dynamic." "If I can't talk about these things, who else is?" Kennedy said

  • Footballers' union calls for greater focus on mental health

    Updated: Tue, Oct 6, 2015

    PARIS (AP) — The global union for footballers is appealing for greater attention to be paid to their mental health after one-third of retired players in a new study reported symptoms of anxiety and depression. Nearly one in five retired professionals in FIFPro's research also reported symptoms of distress. More than one-quarter complained of disturbed sleep. It also found that suffering a severe injury "might lead to mental health problems in the long term." FIFPro medical chief Vincent Gouttebarge called for "all stakeholders in football to put supportive measures in place so that those suffering from mental health problems know they are not alone.

  • Special communication skills help in raising boys

    By Charlotte Lankard For The Oklahoman | Published: Tue, Oct 6, 2015

    Insights included in a 1998 book with insights for raising boys are worth reviewing, writes columnist Charlotte Lankard for The Oklahoman.

  • Oklahoma City-area community briefs

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Tue, Oct 6, 2015

    Oklahoma City-area community briefs

  • A day spent at Oklahoma City's medical detox center

    Jaclyn Cosgrove | Updated: Mon, Oct 5, 2015

    The Recovery Center sits less than half a mile from Oklahoma City's iconic milk bottle grocery building at NW 23 and N Classen. It's easy to miss the rectangular brown building as you're driving to work or headed to meet friends at a nearby restaurant.  Inside the center, addicts, many of whom are low-income and uninsured, attempt to get sober. Formerly known as The Referral Center, the facility serves as the only place in Oklahoma County where low-income, uninsured residents can receive a medical detox at no charge, paid for through money from the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

  • Former Navy pilot sues US government over bipolar diagnosis

    Updated: Mon, Oct 5, 2015

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A former Navy pilot has filed a $35 million lawsuit against the federal government alleging that a Veterans Affairs doctor misdiagnosed him with a mental illness that caused him to lose his ability to fly commercial airplanes and be wrongly treated for the disorder for a decade. William Royster, 53, of Kansas City, said in the lawsuit filed Friday that a doctor at the local VA medical center diagnosed him with bipolar disorder in April 2004 and said he could not work in any capacity. The doctor also said the condition was permanent, he contends. After he had been treated and medicated for more than 10 years for the disorder, Royster said a different psychiatrist at the medical center told him last No

  • Average time of 9-inning MLB game drops 6 minutes to 2:56

    Updated: Mon, Oct 5, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball has managed to cut six minutes from the average time of a nine-inning game this season, when it adopted some speedup rules. STATS said Monday that the season average ended at 2 hours, 56 minutes. While the average dropped to 2:53 in the first half of the season, it was back at 3:00 after the All-Star break. MLB and the players' association agreed this year to enforce the rule requiring a hitter to keep at least one foot in the batter's box in many cases, and they also agreed to post stadium clocks timing pitching changes and between-inning breaks. Triple-A and Double-A leagues, the highest levels of the minors, used 20-second pitch clocks and started penalizing violators with ball