Mental Health

Salt Lake City Police Department

This is the first story in the Mountain West News Bureau series "Elevated Risk," a project powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

Last summer, parks and streets across the country filled with the sound of violins. They were played by people protesting the death of 23-year-old violinist Elijah McClain. The young black man was walking home from a convenience store in Aurora, Colo. when he was stopped by the police after someone called saying he looked "sketchy."

The Idaho State Board of Education is hosting a digital mental health summit tomorrow, December 8th. Audrey Regan has more on how educators around the state are working to take care of their students’ wellbeing.

Gabrielle Davis

My name is Gabrielle Davis. I am the owner and counselor for Equitable Counseling and Consulting based in Boise.

When I came here, I was looking for a way to serve my community. So I started to volunteer at ALPHA Idaho, which is a clinic, then I also volunteer at Youth Alliance for Diversity, which is a local LGBT youth social support group here in Boise.

Megan Skelly / Flickr Creative Commons

The pandemic has impacted us all in different ways. But a nearly universal impact has come to our mental health. For students and educators, the importance of tending to mental health needs in order to be able to learn and teach is critical. 

Earlier this week, Boise State University hosted a national summit on mental health, meant to help campus communities identify areas of need and direct people to resources for help. On Tuesday, Dec. 8, the Idaho State Board of Education will host its own digital mental health summit.

St. Luke’s Health System

With record breaking numbers of new COVID-19 cases and fatalities, Idaho is in the worst phase of the pandemic so far. The coronavirus is having an effect on all aspects of life. Even if you or your loved ones never get sick with COVID, there's no way to avoid the economic, political and public health effects in Idaho. 

National Cancer Institute/Unsplash

 

Over the last eight months, we’ve talked often about the mental health issues that folks are experiencing during the pandemic. Many people are accessing mental health care for the first time during COVID-19, using video chat and telehealth options that weren’t as widely available before. 

Janine Vincent / Newton County Schools via AP

This interview originally aired Aug. 13, 2020.

Amehime / Shutterstock

A new study underscores disproportionately high firearm suicide rates in rural areas, including across Idaho.


David Goldman / AP Images

 

The coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll, not just on people’s physical health, but also their mental health.

The coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll, not just on people’s physical health, but also their mental health.

For some people, long-term planning or routine tasks that were easier last year are now roadblocks that are hard to get around. Others are suddenly overly focused on cleaning or washing their hands.

Boise Parks & Recreation / via Facebook

 

As the coronavirus forced people inside this spring and asked them to isolate themselves at home, in some case from loved ones and friends, experts across the country raised concerns about the possible mental health crisis to come. In Idaho, pre-existing rates of suicide put folks here on high alert for an increase in anxiety, depression and other disorders.

Children have fewer serious physical symptoms from COVID-19 than adults. But experts say the virus could be taking a toll on their mental health. Tess Goodwin has more on how parents may be able to help combat kids’ anxiety.


Janine Vincent / Newton County Schools via AP

 

Even though COVID-19 seems to be not affecting children’s bodies as much as it is adults, the disease is not being so kind to children’s minds. No one is immune to the stress that comes with a pandemic and related quarantining. However, many mental health experts believe children may be at a particular risk.

Elaine Thompson / AP Images

Well, we've made it to Friday and it's time for the weekly Reporter Roundtable. This week, our panel discusses the latest with Idaho's coronavirus casesmental health and COVID-19local reaction to President Trump's suggestion that the November election could be delayed, folks showing up at Black Lives Matters protests with firearms, and how Idahoans are dealing with the expiration of a federal moratorium on evictions. 

NAMI Wood River Valley

How are our law enforcement — nationally and locally — handling high-risk calls with individuals who are experiencing a mental health crisis? And what if that person was Hispanic/Latinx?

National Cancer Institute / Unsplash


Dr. Bret Frey is an emergency room physician in Reno, Nevada, and he likens working in health care right now to fighting in a war. 

"I always thought that there was a good chance that World War III would happen in some form in my lifetime, I just didn't appreciate it was going to come in the form of a virus," Frey says.

Original art by Deirdre Barrett

 

Your eyes close, and you’re asleep. Suddenly you’re out in public without a mask on. Or, you’re wearing a mask, but no one around you is and they’re getting way too close to you. 

 

These are a couple of common dreams that Harvard Medical School Psychology professor Deirdre Barrett says many people experienced in the first phase of coronavirus anxiety.  

National Cancer Institute / Unsplash

A few weeks ago, Lesley Dickson, a psychiatrist in Las Vegas, says she started feeling concerned for the hospital workers treating COVID-19 patients. 

Boise Parks & Recreation / via Facebook

 

When the coronavirus first began spreading in Idaho, the health care system was primarily focused on the physical health of folks. While those concerns continue, some are also raising alarm bells about the mental health challenges that come with a pandemic. 

via America Amplified

On Saturday, May 9 Idaho Matters and the Mountain West News Bureau helped produce a national call-in show in collaboration with America Amplified as part of the series "Life, Community and COVID-19." Listen to the full show here: 

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