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mental health

Courtesy of the Office of Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan

Kingston, New York is now home to a mental health, substance use urgent care facility. It comes as the county is reeling from an escalation of mental health and drug addiction issues during COVID and the reduction of related inpatient beds.

Ellis Mental Health Clinic
Jesse King / WAMC

Ellis Medicine is opening a new mental health clinic for children and adolescents in Schenectady, New York.

Rep. Paul Tonko speaks Thursday over Zoom
Zoom/screen capture by WAMC

A group of bipartisan lawmakers in the House and Senate have introduced legislation that would support research to investigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health. 

Growing up on Cape Cod in the 1960s, Liza Rodman was a lonely little girl. During the summers, while her mother worked days in a local motel and danced most nights in the Provincetown bars, her babysitter—the kind, handsome handyman at the motel where her mother worked—took her and her sister on adventures in his truck.

He bought them popsicles and together, they visited his “secret garden” in the Truro woods. To Liza, he was one of the few kind and understanding adults in her life. Everyone thought he was just a “great guy.” But there was one thing she didn’t know; their babysitter was a serial killer.

Liza never made the connection between her friendly babysitter and the infamous killer of numerous women, including four in Massachusetts, until decades later. The Babysitter reveals the chilling and unforgettable true story of a charming but brutal psychopath through the eyes of a young girl who once called him her friend.

Liza Rodman and Jennifer Jordan are now telling the story in the new book, "The Babysitter."

Gabriella Romero
twitter @gabriellaforalb

Gabriella Romero is an attorney in the Albany County Public Defender's office. Now, the advocate and activist is also one of several candidates vying for the 6th ward Common Council seat.

Book cover for "Nobody's Normal"
W. W. Norton & Company / W. W. Norton & Company

Roy Richard Grinker is professor of anthropology and international affairs at the George Washington University. He is the author of several books, including "Unstrange Minds: Remapping the World of Autism."

His latest is "Nobody’s Normal: How Culture Created the Stigma of Mental Illness." The book charts the progress and setbacks in the struggle against mental-illness stigma, from the early industrial revolution, through America’s major wars, and into the high-tech economy.

We will discuss the book as well as COVID’s impact on the experience of mental illness, including its disruptions in mental health care, social isolation, depression, and grieving. Grinker is co-leading a yearlong study of changing funeral practices during the pandemic.

a brick medical building
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

         A new initiative has launched in western Massachusetts to respond to the soaring mental health issues brought about by the pandemic.

Albany County Legislature Chair Andrew Joyce speaks at the podium
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Albany County will roll out a new program to deploy trained mental health workers to crisis situations. 

Book cover artwork for "The Bridge"
Scholastic / Scholastic

Bill Konigsberg is the author of six books for young adults, which have won awards including the Stonewall Book Award, the Sid Fleischman Award for Humor, and the Lambda Literary Award.

In his new book, "The Bridge," Aaron and Tillie don't know each other, but they are both feeling suicidal, and arrive at the George Washington Bridge at the same time, intending to jump. Aaron is a gay misfit struggling with depression and loneliness. Tillie isn't sure what her problem is -- only that she will never be good enough.

County Jail Now Has An Acute Mental Health Unit

Sep 29, 2020
Westchester County jail
Courtesy of Google maps via

There’s now a special housing unit at a county jail in New York’s Hudson Valley to support mental health treatment.

9/4/20 Panel

Sep 4, 2020
Microphone in radio studio


    The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Former EPA Regional Administrator, Visiting Professor at Bennington College, President of Beyond Plastics Judith Enck, President and CEO of The Business Council of New York State Heather Briccetti, and Bard Center for Civic Engagement Senior Fellow and Dean of the School of Continuing Education at the American University Cairo Jim Ketterer.

This is a picture of a teacher's classroom desk
Adobe Stock

As school districts prepare to welcome back students for in-person teaching and remote learning in New York, the Mental Health Association in New York State is offering expanded resources for teachers, students, parents and guardians. 

One-third (33%) of U.S. adults reported stress, anxiety, and great sadness that was difficult to cope with by themselves, compared to about a quarter or less in other countries.
The Commonwealth Fund

A new survey finds COVID-19 is taking a toll on Americans' physical and mental well-being.

Sarah LaDuke: May is Mental Health Awareness Month - and it seems like the topic of mental health and mental health treatment is surging to the forefront of many conversations as we face ... I don't think I really need to restate what we, as a planet, are facing.

What follows is an honest discussion about depression and suicide.

My younger sister, Jen, has been living with severe depression for years, possibly for her entire life. She's had some counseling, tried medication, and leaned hard on primarily our mother. Before I continue, I did ask her if I could talk about her in the context of this interview on the radio - and she said, "Sure, I struggle with this every day. Tell some people."

NYS Senator Pete Harckham on the phone with the governor's office coordinating local assistance, March 23, 2020
Courtesy of the NYS Senator Pete Harckham's office

A New York state senator from the Hudson Valley says the House coronavirus aid package fails to address the pandemic’s behavioral health crisis.

A white building stands against a blue sky with puffy white clouds
Josh Landes / WAMC

The COVID-19 pandemic is transforming the landscape for the mental and emotional health professionals of Berkshire County.

Positive COVID-19 cases in Montgomery County have more than doubled in the last week. With warm weather coming and religious holidays here, officials are urging residents to comply with social distancing in communities that have not yet reached peak spread of the virus.

Access Launches Virtual Mental Health Care

Mar 31, 2020
Courtesy of Access: Supports for Living

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, a nonprofit organization that offers mental health and substance use urgent care in New York’s Hudson Valley has gone virtual.

Guests view work on display at the Art Pantry kickoff party at Transitional Services Association in Saratoga Springs
Lucas Willard / WAMC

A Saratoga Springs non-profit that provides support services to people living with mental health and substance abuse disorders has launched a new effort to promote art therapy.

Jim Davies is a professor at the Institute of Cognitive Science at Carleton University. He is the director of the Science of Imagination Laboratory. His new book, “Imagination,” is the first-ever book on the science of imagination, which sheds light on both the complex inner-workings of our mind and the ways in which we can channel imagination for a better life.

Steven C. Hayes, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno. The author of forty-three books and more than six hundred scientific articles, he has served as president of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy and the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, and is one of the most cited psychologists in the world.

Dr. Hayes initiated the development of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and of Relational Frame Theory (RFT), the approach to cognition on which ACT is based.

His new book is "A Liberated Mind: How to Pivot Toward What Matters."

Jesse King / WAMC

Students at the University at Albany have an on-campus medical center for the first time in over a decade. As WAMC’s Jesse King reports, the new Health & Counseling Services Center is now open.

Jessica Laurel Kane joins us to talk about her new book, “The Girl Who Was Born with Glue in Her Brain.” It is a picture book/memoir about a girl with a handful of thoughts that keep her from being able to enjoy life as much as she would like to, and tells the story of what she eventually decides to do about it.

Jessica Kane is the author-illustrator of four books for children: "The Butterfly Who Was Afraid to Fly and Other Stories," "Feed It to the Worms," "A Book of Hearts."

Why spend countless hours indoors in front of screens when being in nature feels so good? In learning why and how to nurture our emotional connection with nature, we can also regenerate the ecosystems on which we depend for our survival.

"Renewal: How Nature Awakens Our Creativity, Compassion, and Joy" by Andrés R. Edwards explores the science behind why being in nature makes us feel alive and helps us thrive.

The conference “Migration & Mental Health” will be held at SUNY New Paltz on October 11.

The conference focuses on providing psychological and psycho-social support for immigrants, especially those living in extreme situations. The theme of this eighth annual conference is “Gender, Place and Identity.”

Director of Athena Network New York Maria Elena Ferrer and Athena Network New York member/part of the conference steering committee Gerry Harrington.

A movie premiering this weekend at the Woodstock Film Festival focuses on topics society grapples with daily: addiction and mental health.

Dr. James Gordon is a Harvard-trained psychiatrist, former researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health and, Chair of the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy, and a clinical professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine at Georgetown Medical School.

From the refugee crisis to public shootings, we are bombarded with news daily, events large and small, that cause trauma, both on an interpersonal and an international landscape.

In his latest book, "The Transformation: Discovering Wholeness and Healing After Trauma," renowned expert, Dr. Gordon helps us understand that trauma is a human experience, not a pathological anomaly.

Glens Falls Hospital is changing its approach to mental healthcare in Warren and Washington Counties. The hospital says it cannot meet the demand for outpatient behavioral health services and is looking for potential new providers.

Dr. Leslie Fishbein
Jim Levulis

Dr. Leslie Fishbein, a supervising psychiatrist with Community Health Programs in the Berkshires, joins Medical Monday to discuss psychiatry and mental health. WAMC's Ray Graf hosts.

Access Opens Mental Health, Substance Use Urgent Care

May 13, 2019
Courtesy of Access: Supports for Living

An agency that offers disability and mental health services in New York’s Hudson Valley has opened two urgent care centers in Orange County. The agency’s president believes they are the first of their kind in the region, if not the state.