Talk back on “Ocean State of Mind”
What’s up with Rhode Island leading the nation in suicide attempts, serious mental illness, and illegal drug use? We asked this question at our Policy and Pinot forum last week. It was so popular we had to turn some people away.
If you missed it, either on Tuesday night or when it aired on Sunday morning, you can listen to the full audio here.
There’s something about this topic that really resonates with our listeners. The comments keep coming, with everyone trying to explain what’s really going on in this little state.
I’ve received emails saying that it’s not a problem we can explain away with our small size or our ability to talk about our problems. Listeners point to everything from “being a dysfunctional family that’s stuck in the 50s” to our unhealthy eating habits and aversion to traveling more than 15 minutes away.
Others pointed to a lack of incentives for psychiatrists to practice here (lower reimbursement rates than Massachusetts) and the difficulty of getting compensation for early intervention.
Another listener wrote in and said the entire spirit of Rhode Island affected his mental state. He could tell the difference after one quick trip to Miami- a certain “lightness of being” that eluded him here. The same thing happened when he eventually moved somewhere else.
As a reporter, I need to rely on facts and statistics for my stories, but numbers and charts can’t explain everything. Here’s where you can help. Send in your personal stories about addiction and depression in this state. How have you experienced the Ocean State of mind?