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Coming up on Connections: Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Incoming Rochester Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano.
Incoming Rochester Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano.

First hour: Stefano Napolitano, Rochester's new fire chief

Second hour: How can we have more open conversations about mental illness, including suicidal ideation?

Rochester has a new fire chief. Stefano Napolitano will lead the department; he comes to Rochester with nearly four decades of experience. He arrives at a time when the department is looking to recruit more candidates, while healing from recent controversies; retired firefighter and City Council member Willie Lightfoot has urged the new chief to go after institutional racism. That comes after a 15-year veteran of the department alleged that his then-captain forced him to attend a party with racist themes. Napolitano has experience in several parts of the state, and comes to Rochester to make sure the RFD continues to be "one of the nation's premier fire service agencies." He's our guest for the hour. In studio:

  • Stefano Napolitano, chief of the Rochester Fire Department

Then in our second hour, we build on Tuesday’s discussion about the stigma of mental illness. During this conversation*, we talk about destigmatizing suicide and suicidal ideation. The Reel Mind Film Festival is back. This year’s films include one man’s story of overcoming addiction and suicidal thoughts told through a theatrical monologue, and a documentary about three sisters in Sweden who lost their mother to suicide when they were young. Our guests help us explore how to have more open conversations about mental illness – as individuals, families, and communities. Our guests:

  • Laurence Guttmacher, M.D., co-founder of the Reel Mind Film Festival, director of psychiatry residency education, and professor of clinical psychiatry and clinical medical humanities and bioethics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
  • Padraic Lillis, monologist in the film, “Get to Eleven”
  • Sofia Staiger, featured in the film, “Daughters”

*This discussion was rescheduled from last week, after it had to be moved for live NPR coverage from Washington.

Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.

Connections with Evan Dawson

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