A spotlight on mental health

WTAE Listens: A spotlight on mental health Updated: 11:30 AM EDT Apr 9, 2023 Hide…

A spotlight on mental health

WTAE Listens: A spotlight on mental health



Good morning and welcome to W T *** E listens, I’m Michelle Wright. Today we’re putting *** spotlight on mental health. If you don’t experience *** mental illness, statistics show you likely know someone who does and experts say it’s time we talk about it. Top officials are calling it the defining health issue of our time. The bottom line is we do have *** youth mental health crisis. We have *** broader mental health crisis in the country. According to the CDC, more than 50% of Americans will be diagnosed with *** mental illness or disorder in their lifetime. And one in five Americans will experience *** mental illness each year isn’t political. I’m just somebody that’s suffering from depression. One of those Americans United States, Senator John Federman, the Pennsylvania Democrat just released from the hospital where he received treatment for depression. We sit down with the US surgeon general to learn the scope of the issue across the country. Also this morning connecting those struggling with solutions. My message is always the same. Just tell somebody, talk to somebody, the CEO of NAMI Keystone, Pennsylvania talks resources and the head of the Bradley Center walks us through tough conversations with kids talking about, I’m fine. Something we say when we’re not fine, unveiling emotions, one mask at *** time, the statewide project spreading awareness through art United States. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy says the United States is dealing with *** mental health crisis. We sat down with Dr Murthy one on one to discuss how we got here and what comes next? Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us about this important topic. I want to start with this. You’ve said that mental health challenges have led to devastating effects in Children and even the defining health issue of our time. Can you elaborate on that *** little bit more? Well, so many of our kids are struggling right now with anxiety, with depression, with loneliness. And we’re seeing rates of suicide increase in the decade prior to the pandemic. There was *** 57% increase in the percentage in the suicide rate in America. And we’re now seeing that nearly half of high school students are saying that they feel persistently sad or hopeless. This has profound impacts, not just on how our kids feel, but it also impacts your physical health. It impacts how they do in school, it impacts families and communities. So this is *** problem that has been building for years. It’s long past time that we looked at it squarely in the eye to see it for what it is, which is the defining health issue of our time and that we Mobilize all of our resources in government, in the health sector and in communities to address it. Are we doing that? Are we mobilizing adequately? We’re mobilizing *** lot more than we ever have before in the nearly 30 years I’ve been in public health. I have never seen the amount of discussion publicly that we’re having around mental health and the reduction in stigma around mental health that we’ve seen. Uh we’re investing billions of dollars. The greatest that I’ve ever seen. Uh you know, from the government to increase access to care and to start investing in prevention. And I see more foundations and community organizations that are also turning their focus. Good morning and welcome to W T *** E listens, I’m Michelle Wright. Today we’re putting *** spotlight on mental health. If you don’t experience *** mental illness, statistics show you likely know someone who does and experts say it’s time we talk about it. Top officials are calling it the defining health issue of our time. The bottom line is we do have *** youth mental health crisis. We have *** broader mental health crisis in the country. According to the CDC, more than 50% of Americans will be diagnosed with *** mental illness or disorder in their lifetime. And one in five Americans will experience *** mental illness each year isn’t political. I’m just somebody that’s suffering from depression. One of those Americans United States Senator John Fetterman, the Pennsylvania Democrat just released from the hospital where he received treatment for depression. We sit down with the US surgeon general to learn the scope of the issue across the country. Also this morning connecting those struggling with solutions. My message is always the same. Just tell somebody, talk to somebody. The CEO of NAMI Keystone, Pennsylvania talks resources and the head of the Bradley Center walks us through tough conversations with kids talking about, I’m fine. Something we say when we’re not fine, unveiling emotions, one mask at *** time, the statewide project spreading awareness through art. United States surgeon general Vivek Murthy says the United States is dealing with *** mental health crisis. We sat down with Dr Murthy one on one to discuss how we got here and what comes next? Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us about this important topic. I want to start with this. You’ve said that mental health challenges have led to devastating effects in Children and even the defining health issue of our time. Can you elaborate on that *** little bit more? Well, so many of our kids are struggling right now with anxiety, with depression, with loneliness. And we’re seeing rates of suicide increase in the decade prior to the pandemic. There was *** 57% increase in the percentage in the suicide rate in America. And we’re now seeing that nearly half of high school students are saying that they feel persistently sad or hopeless. This has profound impacts, not just on how our kids feel, but it also impacts your physical health. It impacts how they do in school. Uh it impacts families and communities. So this is *** problem that has been building for years. It’s long past time that we looked at it squarely in the eye to see it for what it is, which is the defining health issue of our time and that we Mobilize all of our resources in government, in the health sector and in communities to address it. Are we doing that? Are we mobilizing adequately? We’re mobilizing *** lot more than we ever have before in the nearly 30 years, I’ve been in public health. I have never seen the amount of discussion publicly that we’re having around mental health and the reduction in stigma around mental health that we’ve seen. We’re investing billions of dollars, the greatest that I’ve ever seen, you know, from the government to increase access to care and to start investing in prevention. And I see more foundations and community organizations that are also turning their focus to mental health in the time that I’ve been here in Pittsburgh. I’ve had the privilege of meeting with many of these community organizations and they’ve been on, on, you know, on the ground for *** long time getting to know communities building trust, building relationships. And now they’re focusing on how to address trauma foundations are focusing on how to pour their resources into supporting mental health access. So, while I think there’s *** lot of good that’s happening. There’s *** lot more that we need because our kids are still struggling and we should not stop until every child has access to high quality care quickly. And also we shouldn’t stop until we’ve finally got to the root causes of what’s driving this crisis. What are the root causes? Well, for kids, there are multiple factors that are driving them to, to the mental health crisis that we’ve got today, we’ve got number one trauma, significant trauma that kids are experiencing that’s often induced by violence. Gun violence is *** public health crisis in our country and sadly has now become the leading cause of death among kids. Think about that for *** moment, gun violence is the leading cause of death among kids. And with that comes *** lot of trauma as well for kids, for their families and for communities. But in addition to that, we know that kids are experiencing bullying both offline and online, we know that for many Children, the experience of social media has not always been positive. In fact, many kids are experiencing more anxiety and depression and loneliness related to their use of social media. And finally, we know that kids are struggling with loneliness at record levels. About one in two adults in the country say that they are lonely. But the numbers are highest actually among kids and loneliness is more than *** bad feeling. It increases your risk for anxiety and for depression and for physical health struggles as well. So you put this all together, what you see is an array of forces that prior generations actually did not have to deal with in the same way. So this is why I believe there’s something uniquely different about this generation of Children. We’ve got to recognize that because it’s having *** profound impact on their mental health. You brought up gun violence and how that is impacting the mental health of our Children and the physical health as well. But let’s talk about the mental aspect. I’m not sure if you’ve heard. But last week here in Pittsburgh, we had *** swatting situation where *** caller made *** hoax call said that there were uh there was *** gunman at Central Catholic High school and then at Oakland Catholic in some other high schools around here. Thankfully, it was all *** hoax. But the stress of the Children and the teachers and the parents was real. The police response was real. Can you address that in terms of the mental anguish of *** situation like that, gun violence is taking *** heavy toll on our communities. It’s the lives that are lost, but it’s even more than that for survivors. They often end up dealing with PTSD for years, for people who are witnesses and for the community around this also is *** different form of trauma that can impact Children and adults for years. You know, so many Children talk about being afraid of going to school because they’re worried that that might be the day that an active shooter situation arises. So many parents that we talk to around the country also are worried about sending their kids to school because they don’t know what’s going to happen. The fear that’s instilled in *** community when violence goes unchecked. When gun violence is as rampant as it is. It’s hard to quantify just *** full measure of that impact and how much of *** cost we’re paying in society. This is why it’s so important that we treat gun violence as *** public health crisis that it is that we ensure that we’re taking measures to store guns safely and ensure that young Children in particular don’t have access to guns and end up, you know, harming themselves or others has unfortunately happens so often in society. That’s why it’s also so important that we take measures to ensure that we keep guns out of the hands of people who would harm themselves and others. Our Senator John Fetterman recently checked himself into *** hospital to be treated for depression. He has since been released and looking forward to getting back to work. How has that impacted the discussion around mental health? Him doing that? Well, I certainly heard the news about Senator Federman. I was sad to hear about his struggles, but glad to hear that he was so courageous and open about what he was going through and also very glad that he got the help that he needed. Look, this is *** story that is very common in families and communities across America. What he’s going through is what so many families have experienced. But what’s really important is that we help people know that number one, if they are struggling that they are not alone. Number two, they should also know that there’s no shame in asking for help. It doesn’t make you weak, it doesn’t make you broken in some way. The truth is that all of us are going to struggle at some point with our mental health and well being and you know, we don’t talk about that often. We don’t post about it *** lot on social media, but it’s part of living life. And if we can get the help we need, if we can talk more openly about this, I believe we can do *** lot better. And when people like Senator Fetterman share their experiences openly, what they’re doing is they’re helping reduce that stigma. They’re helping tell people that you know what it’s ok to ask for help. We are seeing an increase in individuals who are looking for treatment for themselves or for their Children, the resources available in our area to people of all ages. Welcome back to W E listens, experts say continuing *** conversation about mental health is crucial. The CEO of the National Alliance on mental Illness, Keystone, Pennsylvania tells us Senator John Federman decision to seek treatment is *** game changer. One of the things that, that we fight daily is the stigma around mental illness and the obstacle that stigma places from people seeking help. And when people at home can see on television that *** US senator um signed himself in basically for, for to to *** mental hospital for help. That that did so much like he couldn’t pass *** bill that would, that would do that much to, to uh to help eliminate the stigma that’s involved. Christine Michael says Federman is not alone. Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses along with anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and post traumatic stress disorder, no matter what we’re dealing with. Michael says we must reach out for help when we need it. Just tell somebody to talk to somebody because you’re gonna find out that, that you aren’t the only one out there with this, you know, that’s experiencing this. Um And I always say, you know, even if it’s just your, you know, tell your best friend, tell your mother. Um you know, I, I if you can, if, If you can pick up the phone and call for professional help by all means call and um you know, and, and see if you can get, you know, get some help since the 988 suicide. And crisis lifeline launch last year, we’re told demand in Pennsylvania has skyrocketed. The number gives people somewhere to call to get help immediately. What they’re developing in the states are call centers and, and there were like three call centers in Pennsylvania prior to 988. But most of the majority of the calls were pinging out of state and being answered by people from other states. Um Since the build up began with 988, we went from like 3 to 14 call centers in the state. Every county has *** call center. Now, youth resources are also working in overdrive at the Bradley Center. Staff are striving every day to help Children and teens experiencing trauma and mental illness. Right now, Lisa Fox from the Bradley Center is joining us, you are the Chief executive officer and so you’re kind of right in the thick of what we’re talking about today. Let’s start by asking what is the demand like right now at the Bradley Center and thanks for thanks for having me here today. Um You know, I have to say that uh the demand at the Bradley Center for our services um has greatly increased over this past year. Um you know, the Bradley Center has been in existence since 1905. So we’ve kind of ebbed and flowed with what the demand is, you know, in our community. And I have to say, um I’ve been at Bradley for almost 24 years. Um we are seeing an increase in um you know, individuals who are looking for treatment for themselves or for their Children in the areas of depression, anxiety and uh overall trauma. Uh our world is experiencing *** lot of different things right now and trauma is prevalent among Children and families and also in our community. So, do you think the world is changing or do you think we’re changing and asking for help? Well, that’s ***, that’s *** really good question. I think it’s *** combination of both, you know, unfortunately, the pandemic influenced everyone. The entire world went through COVID-19. And while Children were not necessarily the face of the pandemic, because their infection rates were lower than adults and older adults, the impact that the pandemic has had on our Children and the long term consequences could be profound. And to ask, is the, is the world changing or are we changing? You know, I always try to find the positive in the world. And one of the things because of the pandemic, it opened up conversation, it opened up *** conversation about the impact of trauma and the pandemic was *** traumatic end, is *** traumatic event that we’ve all experienced. But the conversation to talk about depression, anxiety and the impact on Children has really helped reduce what I think may have been *** stigma in the past. And let’s talk about stigma. I wanted to ask you that. Do you think we are at *** point where we’re getting beyond people being ashamed or worried about asking for help. I would like to say, absolutely yes. But, you know, we’re made up of individuals and we’re made up of different cultures, communities and ways of being in the world. Um I would hope that eventually, um, we can get to *** point where we all can be with one another in *** way that’s healthy and, and therapeutic and, and not be ashamed or not be afraid to discuss how we’re feeling. You know, overall, um I think we’ve made progress and, but I, I always feel that we need to continue to make sure that it stays front and foremost in our minds and that we remain cognizant of what individuals are facing right now in our world and in our community specifically. And when you say what they’re facing right now, one of the things that recently happened here in Pittsburgh were those fake calls swatting. Somebody was saying that someone at Central Catholic was shooting up classmates, several schools in our area were hit with those fake calls thankfully, they were fake, but the trauma mentally was so stressful for the kids and for parents. Oh, absolutely. You know, um I, I said it, you know, that we’ve been around at Bradley for *** very long time and since 19 oh five, you know, obviously there have been traumatic events, you know, wars and, you know, the Spanish flu all sorts of different things. But, but what were experiencing now, the community violence leaves an impact on, on all of us. And as adults, regardless of, we’re *** parents or *** neighbor or *** teacher or *** professional, we need to make sure that we are ok and that we’re addressing our impact to events that occur. So we can support our Children and kids depending on their developmental age. And the individual again, need us to really talk to them to listen. Every child needs something different. And we know our kids and to be able to, to really hear how is this impacting them and listen because, you know, kids experience things differently than adults and we can never assume that what we’re experiencing is the same thing that they are and *** lot of parents are googling. How do I talk to my child? What do I do in *** situation like that? And you really do have to be careful though what you’re reading. What advice do you have for parents about that? I always go back to say, live in the real world and interface with your kids. And regardless of what the internet says, you should know your Children and know if they’re behaving differently, know if they’re responding differently to something they may have heard or they have, they have seen, ask them, you know what they’ve read about. What did you see online? But if they continue to have experience, you know, depressive symptoms or anxiety. The best thing to do is talk to *** pediatrician, *** psychiatrist, *** psychologist or *** trained professional about what your child is experiencing. And don’t just assume that if you’ve read something online that you can follow *** cookie cutter approach to your own child, what mask do you wear in order to portray, hide or minimize maybe your own mental health struggles. Still ahead, molding masks and breaking the stigma, the creative project that might be coming to your community. Welcome back. I’m fine. It’s something we often say when we’re usually not, two Pennsylvania artists are using clay to help people cope with those emotions. Right here in Pittsburgh, here at the Manchester Craftsman’s Guild. This wall of Art is unmasking the stigma around mental illness, making that mask. You can enter into this your own conversation, but *** community conversation about mental health. The display is part of the I’m Fine project co curators, Carrie Brey and Maureen Jo are the artist behind it. We give them *** prompt and that prompt is what mask do you wear in order to portray, hide or minimize maybe your own mental health struggles. And it’s about being able to articulate that through the process of art. You know, many times when you’re in adolescence, you know, You’re struggling with expression, you’re struggling with how to talk about these things. And art gives you *** way to talk about it in, in maybe unconventional way, something that you’re not used to for them. The mission is deeply personal. I’m fine, began in 2019. After I lost my son, he completed his life. And in the sadness of as you can imagine, I wasn’t able to function as *** teacher, an artist and *** friend. I took me *** long time. But finally I went out to my studio and I started working with the clay. And in that process, I realized how helpful that was to me, Joyce and bres say at first, it was just going to be one workshop, but that quickly changed. That one workshop has now turned into four years of about 70 workshops. And we realized how much this world needs the conversation about mental health and mental illness and how much teens really need to talk about it. These masks were made during residencies at Preser high school and university prep. Next spring, their work will travel across the state to join more than 1500 other masks in one big exhibit. I think it’s really empowering for the artists to come to those exhibits and see their mask and share their mask with their families, their families, many of them had no idea that they were working on such projects. Joy says I’m fine has let her share her son’s story while helping other people heal too. You never know who’s struggling. And Pat has helped us realize that if we just reach out and help one person and we’re succeeding in our project if you’d like to bring the, I’m fine project to your community. We have information on our website W T *** E dot com. You’re watching W T *** E listens, we’ll be right back. Whether you live in one of Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods or any surrounding communities. Tell us about what’s wrong and what’s right in your area. So we can listen, you can send us an email W T *** E listens at hearst dot com. Thank you for joining us. Have *** good week.

WTAE Listens: A spotlight on mental health

Top officials call it the defining health issue of our time: mental health.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 50% of Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder in their lifetime.If you don’t experience a mental illness, statistics show you likely know someone who does. And experts say it’s time we talk about it.This week, we talk one-on-one with U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy about why this issue needs attention right now, particularly with kids. We also hear from the CEO of NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania, and CEO of the Bradley Center, to learn what the current demand is for mental health resources. And we talk to the creators of the I’m Fine Project, who are working to expand the mental health conversation through art across the state.If you or someone you know are struggling with a mental health battle, there is help available: Call or text 988 Mental Health Resources by County The Bradley Center The I’m Fine Project Watch this week’s episode of WTAE Listens above

Top officials call it the defining health issue of our time: mental health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 50% of Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder in their lifetime.

If you don’t experience a mental illness, statistics show you likely know someone who does. And experts say it’s time we talk about it.

This week, we talk one-on-one with U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy about why this issue needs attention right now, particularly with kids. We also hear from the CEO of NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania, and CEO of the Bradley Center, to learn what the current demand is for mental health resources. And we talk to the creators of the I’m Fine Project, who are working to expand the mental health conversation through art across the state.

If you or someone you know are struggling with a mental health battle, there is help available:

Watch this week’s episode of WTAE Listens above