Author Archives: Katti Gray

Katti Gray

About Katti Gray

Katti Gray (@kattigray) is AHCJ's core topic leader for behavioral and mental health. A former Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellow, Gray is providing resources to help AHCJ members expand their coverage of mental health amid ongoing efforts to de-stigmatize mental illness and to place mental health care on par with all health care.

Personal story inspires series on mental illness
among people experiencing homelessness

homeless tent camp

Photo by Graywalls via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0

San Diego-based inewsource investigative reporter Jennifer Bowman has tracked policymakers’ responses to the region’s rising count of people with mental illness experiencing homelessness and the often futile efforts of family members to secure court orders involuntarily committing them to a medical treatment facility.

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HJ23: Researcher-activists call for a non-police response to mental health emergency calls

Panelist Karishma Furtado, director of data and research at Forward Through Ferguson, listens to co-panelist Jia Lian Yang, director of storytelling and communications for Forward Through Ferguson and host-producer of St. Louis Public Radio’s “We Live Here” program, during the “Localize it: Transforming 911 in St. Louis” HJ23 session. (Photo by Zachary Linhares)

Removing 911 emergency call centers from police department oversight, placing them outside of police offices and training 911 dispatchers to do their jobs without racial and cultural bias are among the key recommendations of a Washington University report slated to be released in April.

Based on an analysis of more than 1.2 million calls to the St. Louis Police Department during five recent years, that report, “Transforming 911,” spotlights the excessive use of police force, including against people with mental illness in the city.

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A niche mental health newsroom eyes expansion   

Mind Site News website screenshot is one of the nation’s only news organization exclusively covering mental health.

Launched in September 2021, it’s an outgrowth of a smaller, state-focused website at California’s Steinberg Institute that veteran health and mental health journalist and AHCJ award-winner Rob Waters was running at the time.

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Experts who work with children affected by gun violence say coverage lacks nuance

Kathryn Bocanegra, assistant professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago, listening to panelist Arturo Carrillo, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., director of health and violence prevention at Brighton Park Neighborhood Council. (Photo by Erica Tricarico)

Law enforcement officials frequently mischaracterize perpetrators and victims of gun violence, resulting in news headlines and soundbites that sometimes obscure the toll it takes on very young people.

That was the broad message from experts on the “What exposure to chronic violence — especially among children — does to human health” panel at Reporting on Violence as a Public Health Issue: An AHCJ Summit in Chicago.

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Libraries as a mental health haven?

Photo by Pixabay

Several years ago, I recall talking to a New York friend about how awestruck I was that my hometown library had put out a welcome mat, if you will, to homeless people. 

‘As long as you’re not a disruption, the librarians are cool with you being there. That would never happen in New York.’ I’d said that of the Central Arkansas Public Library’s main branch, one of my favorite haunts (especially now that I spend more time in my southern home than my northern one). 

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