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The Pulse: Mental Health in Times of Crisis

The Pulse/WHYY

The COVID-19 outbreak is creating increased demand for mental health services — lots of people are feeling anxious, or are getting depressed. At the same time, traditional mental health services have been disrupted. In-person sessions are not possible at the moment, nor are group sessions. How are providers and their clients adjusting?

We take a look at mental health services and what people are doing to stay well during these difficult times. We also hear stories of families affected by serious mental health issues, and why they say the system fails too many people.

Shot and surviving

A lot of people come into this crisis with pre-existing mental health issues — for example traumatic experiences that have shaped and changed their lives.  Reporter Nina Feldman tells the story of a young woman whose anxiety stems from one moment when she was just 11 years old.

Finding help for schizophrenia in a ‘broken’ system

Writer Marin Sardy tells the story of her brother, Tom, and his battle with schizophrenia. When Tom was first diagnosed, Marin and her family did everything they could to get him help. There was just one problem: Tom refused to accept it. Reporter Liz Tung looks into what resources are available to families with loved ones experiencing a mental health crisis, and how do you force someone to get help.

Tips for keeping it together during coronavirus

The coronavirus virus outbreak has increased the need for mental health treatments and it’s also putting a spotlight on the fact that our existing mental health system has not always been accessible or helpful.  We check in with several mental health providers to see how the field is responding to the crisis. We also hear what people are doing to stay well.

Primary care and mental health

When you’re faced with a mental health crisis, who do you call? Internist and regular Pulse contributor, Neda Freyha talks to us about how primary care physicians might be the first and only access point for some people with mental health issues. She discusses how challenging it is to speak to someone facing a mental health crisis, because there is no prescribed plan of action or standardized treatment for it.


Psychiatrist and documentarian Kenneth Paul Rosenberg talks about possible strategies for families facing a mental health crisis. His book, “Bedlam: An Intimate Journey into America’s Mental Health Crisis,” traces the failure of the U.S. mental health system. His film, with the same title, premieres on "Independent Lens" this month.

Tune-in Wednesday, April 8th at 7:00 PM.

Lakeshore Public Radio 89.1FM, initially known as The Lakeshore 89.1FM, first hit the airwaves across Northwest Indiana on January 19, 2010. The station was created after the board of directors for Lakeshore Public Media, which also operates our sister station Lakeshore PBS, saw the need for regional access to a public radio station in order to provide localized up-to-the-minute news and information for NW Indiana residents.