mental health

Few of us are equipped to understand the challenges of mental illness. 

And that's why we hear the voices of people struggling with mental health in our monthly segment "Compass Radio." 

It is co-produced by Compass House in Medford, a center that functions on the clubhouse model of mental health care. 

Compass House residents talk about issues in their lives, including homelessness and unemployment, in recordings made at the house. 


It's possible that half of the people in California who need mental health treatment do not get it. 

And money is not the only issue; social stigma also keeps people from getting mental health care. 

Those are just some of the findings of a white paper from the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists

And the younger you are, the more acute the situation: the same paper figures two-thirds of adolescents who need treatment don't get it. 

Wisconsin Blue Book, 1885

We've certainly changed a few things about our approach to mental illness. 

The days of gigantic state hospitals "warehousing" mental patients are generally behind us.  But what's replaced that system has issues of its own. 

Those are issues Ron Powers explores in his book Nobody Cares About Crazy People

It is history and current affairs, but also biography and memoir, because Powers had two sons who struggled with schizophrenia.

Few of us are equipped to understand the challenges of mental illness. 

And that's why we hear the voices of people struggling with mental health in our monthly segment "Compass Radio." 

It is co-produced by Compass House in Medford, a center that functions on the clubhouse model of mental health care. 

Two Compass House residents talk about the biggest accomplishments in their lives, in recordings at the house. 

Compass Radio Explores Recovery From Mental Illness

Feb 21, 2017

Members of the Compass House tell us how recovery from mental illness isn't a myth.

Compass Radio is co-produced by Bryce Harding and the members of Compass House in Medford.

Compass House is a place for adults with mental illness to find support, in the clubhouse model of mental health care. 

Exchange Exemplar: Negating Narcissists

Feb 9, 2017
Public Domain

Think of the charming people you know.  Now think about the people you thought were charming at first, but who slowly revealed a very different side over time. 

There's a good chance you were dealing with a narcissist in that case.  Linda Martinez-Lewi has come across more than a few in her years as a therapist and clinical expert on narcissistic personality disorder. 

She wrote the book on the topic, Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life

Compass Radio: Education And Mental Health

Jan 13, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

Compass Radio is about listening to people in our region as they navigate mental illness, and the mental health system.

This month we asked about education, and got some challenging answers. 

Compass Radio: Making Ends Meet

Dec 21, 2016

Finding the way to mental health is no simple feat for many people.

With Compass Radio, we hear directly from members of the Compass House in Medford, which provides services and a community for people with a history of mental illness.

Compass Radio is a series about what it's like to meet the challenges of mental illness, and this month we focus on money issues, and how some Medford residents make financial ends meet with very little income.

We know more about the brain than ever before, and we are more aware than ever before about what happens to many people with mental illness in our society. 

But can the knowledge help us treat people, reduce jail populations, and get some homeless people off the streets? 

Residents of Compass House in Medford share their stories of living with mental illness, while the facility's staff joins us in the studio to talk about their mission. 

The Attention Deficit "Epidemic" Analyzed

Sep 16, 2016
Alfie 66/Wikimedia

It is possible that one in seven American children have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder? 

Because that's how many are diagnosed, and it is an issue that continues to roil physicians, mental health experts, schools... and parents. 

Alan Schwarz steps into the debate with ADHD Nation: Children, Doctors, Big Pharma, and the Making of an American Epidemic.  He comes to the issue with no axe to grind, but a long career as an investigative reporter, now with the New York Times. 

Using The Stuff You Learned As A Kid

Jul 4, 2016
Viking Press

Lessons we learn in childhood tend to stick with us. Stove tops burn. Dogs bite. Some lessons, though, can keep us stuck in unfulfilling pursuits in adulthood.

Author Rosamund Stone Zander says the stories we write may keep us from enjoying each other and ourselves.

Her latest book is Pathways to Possibility

Stand Against Stigma

It gets a little easier all the time to talk about suicide... on a general statistics-and-treatment level. 

Individual cases can still be extremely tricky, because of longstanding societal stigmas about suicidal thoughts and actions. 

Shasta County's mental health apparatus swung into action against the taboos, creating "Stand Against Stigma." 

The project features a number of people putting their faces and stories forward, letting the world know of their struggles with depression and other mental illness. 


Mass shootings this year raised once again the question of mental health care in our country.  Maybe all the people who need it do not get it, but innovations are being applied. 

Medford's Compass House uses the "clubhouse" model of rehabilitation, allowing multiple mental patients to take charge of their lives. 

Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center has been moving into the "sanctuary" system, which takes note of trauma in a patient's past. 

Both programs are recent beneficiaries of grants to continue and expand their work. 

The Downside Of "Keeping It All Inside"

Sep 11, 2015

There are several songs about keeping your feelings inside of you, not letting them show.  The trouble is, that approach might lead people to think a bit less of you. 

That's the rough estimation of the findings of Allison Tackman and colleague Sanjay Srivastava at the University of Oregon

Suppressing emotions can lead to people judging the suppressors harshly, and interfere with the forming of relationships.

Focusing A Spotlight On Mental Health

Aug 12, 2015

Police tell us frequently how often they respond to calls that really should involve mental health professionals.  Which begs the question: is there an increase in mental illness? 

This is a question considered by the journalist Bob Whitaker, the head of the organization Mad In America

His reporting raises questions about mental illness generally and specifically about the use and reliability of psychiatric drugs. 

Whitaker plans a workshop in the Rogue Valley next month, sponsored by the Mental Health Resource and Education Network


Police and mental illness... not an ideal combination, but one that happens all the time. 

And it turned ugly last month in Eugene. 

Police arrested a woman who tried to protect her son, reported to be having an episode of mental illness, from police.  The woman's brother happens to be Eric Richardson, the president of the Lane County chapter of the NAACP

He has taken his condemnation of the incident public, while police point to an ongoing issue with officers having to respond to people dealing with mental illness. 

Getting Confrontation Out Of Communication

Mar 27, 2015

Are you talking to me?  Imagine that phrase in Robert De Niro's voice. 

And it's a question often asked, especially in the heat of a moment when we don't LIKE the way someone is talking to us. 

Joanne Lescher deals with that situation and many like it, advocating NVC, or nonviolent communication. 

She works with couples, individuals and business throughout the region and beyond. 

Family-to-Family Help With Mental Illness

Jan 30, 2015
Christian LInder/Wikimedia

We're still working as a society to shake the stigma that often accompanies mental illness. 

Roughly a quarter of American adults experience some kind of mental illness in a given year. 

The National Alliance on Mental Illness--NAMI--works to overcome misconceptions and stereotypes. 

Its Rogue Valley chapter offers programs for people dealing with mental illness in a family member to receive training--from people in similar situations. 


Trauma tends to have effects that last long after the traumatic incident in a person's life. 

Witness the recognition in modern times of PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk started working with stressed-out veterans before PTSD was even an official diagnosis. 

Now he examines the many ways in which stress can alter the body and mind permanently, if not treated propertly. 

How To Stop Hating Yourself

Jul 24, 2014

It's one thing to be hard on yourself, and take setbacks and criticism to heart. 

It's another thing entirely to actually hate yourself. 

Author Anneli Rufus is one of many people who struggled with low self-esteem all her life. 

And while she does NOT recommend going all the way to the other end of the spectrum, she does think it's high time to close what may be an epidemic of self-loathing.