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Connections: How to help people struggling with mental health or substance abuse challenges

The recent summer-like weather won’t stick around too long, and with the cold months approaching – and no end to the pandemic in sight – the way we live and socialize will change. In March, when the pandemic began, we had a conversation on this program about how to help people who may feel isolated or lonely. Those issues are still a concern for many people, and especially individuals who struggle with mental health challenges and substance abuse disorders.

Research from July shows that more than half of U.S. adults reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the coronavirus, and separate studies link social isolation and loneliness to poor mental health and an increase in substance abuse.

This hour, we’re joined by guests from East House who help us understand how to provide different forms of support for people struggling with these issues. Maybe you or someone you know has been feeling disconnected, depressed, or has relapsed. We talk about how to have those conversations, how to find assistance, and how to prepare for the months ahead.  We also preview an upcoming virtual event hosted by East House. Our guests:

  • Kim Brumber, president and CEO of East House
  • Cheri Reed-Watt, residential program director for East House who is living in recovery
  • Sabrina May, program manger for East House’s Affinity Place Peer Respite Program who is living in recovery
  • Dr. Aaron Olden, M.D., physician and owner of Mindful Medicine Rochester

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.
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