WMRA Special Series: Mental Health Matters

Americans are experiencing a historical moment unlike any other in most of our lifetimes -- a global pandemic, a resulting economic downturn and unemployment, and protests over police brutality and racial injustice.

During this time, our mental health is under unprecedented strain.

In this special series, WMRA explores access to mental health services, and how therapies have adjusted to the current crises. Over the summer, we'll examine telehealth, addiction services, mental health for children, suicide prevention, access to therapies for people of color, and new ways of treating mental health issues, depression and anxiety.

This special series is made possible in part by a grant from Mr. and Mrs. Frazier and the, "Austin Frazier Memorial of The Community Foundation of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County," and from WMRA's News and Information Fund.

Mental Health Resources: Community Services Boards
Harrisonburg-Rockingham CSB
Region 10 CSB
Northwestern CSB
Valley CSB
Rockbridge Area CSB

Suicide Prevention
VDH suicide prevention site
National Suicide Hotline:  1-800-273-8255 (TALK)
    En Espagnol:  1-800-799-4889
    Deaf / Hearing Impaired:  1-800-799-4889
    Crisis Text Line:  Text TALK to 741741

In our last installment of the Mental Health Matters series, we dive into some of the arts-based therapies in our area, speaking to practitioners who use music, visual art, and other methods to help their clients deal with grief, depression, and anxiety. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

Music speaks to us. It distracts us from hardship; it expresses emotions that we have trouble articulating. For music therapist Robby McCoubrey, the benefits aren't just in listening to a poignant song, but in making music together.

One of the consistent demands coming out of this summer's protests is that police departments across the country change the way they interact with mental health crises in the community.  And police have their own mental health to protect in a stressful job. In the next installment of WMRA’s Mental Health Matters series, Randi B. Hagi reports.

Courtesy of Crissanne Raymond

Earlier this week in our Mental Health Matters series, we spoke with local mental health professionals and trainers about the need for suicide prevention services throughout the pandemic. In this follow-up report from WMRA's Randi B. Hagi, we hear from a mother who lost her son to suicide earlier this summer.  (This story may be difficult for some listeners to hear.)

National Institute of Mental Health

The social isolation, economic instability, and concerns about wellbeing resulting from the pandemic have spurred an increase in symptoms of depression and anxiety in many of us. And with those mental health symptoms comes an increase in suicidal thoughts for some.  That worries local mental healthcare providers and trainers. In the next part of our Mental Health Matters series, WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

How have treatments for addiction, especially the all-important group therapy sessions, been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?  In the next installment of WMRA’s special series on Mental Health Matters, Jessie Knadler reports.

For those with developmental disabilities or mental illness, the pandemic and resulting stay-at-home orders have created isolation from services that normally help them live independently. In the next installment of WMRA’s special series, Mental Health Matters, Mike Tripp reports.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The pandemic.  An unemployment crisis.  Daily reckonings with police brutality and systemic racism in America....  These days, people of color are experiencing a special need for mental health care. In the next installment of our series, Mental Health Matters, WMRA’s Calvin Pynn spoke with providers in the valley about how they are addressing that need.

Bridget Manley

In the second part of WMRA’s special series, Mental Health Matters, Bridget Manley explores how children – and their parents -- are coping during the pandemic.

COVID-19 has created a dilemma for mental health.  The pandemic has increased the need for such care.  At the same time, social restrictions have made access to mental health services even more burdensome.  Add to that the economic downturn and the renewed battle for racial justice, and we're looking at a potential crisis of depression and anxiety.  In the first of a series on mental health matters during a pandemic, WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.