In early 2019, discussions were held with friends, family and professionals employed in the mental health field. The problems confronting persons suffering from mental health issues were legion. Stigma. Lack of treatment options. Lack of awareness. No public voice. Limited financing of research and few research grants. Politicization of communities. Purported leaders more concerned with perpetuating their own image rather than building the power behind the message.
When faced with overwhelming problems, one can allow despair to dictate future conduct. Or, one can take those problems and use them as inspiration to enact change. We determined that a weekly radio show could provide an opportunity to address some of these issues in a public forum. Mental health issues have been locked in families’ dark closets of despair, being held in shame-filled ignorance for far too long. Thus, The Mental Health Moment was born. The name itself was the brainchild of Patti Geolat, the founder of the Something for Kelly Foundation. With this, the search for like-minded persons commenced.
Judge John Payton has been hosting a radio talk show in morning drive time for a number of years in North Texas. With his history of helping troubled adolescents and commitment of service, Judge Payton was a natural ally. When approached with the idea of having a weekly 30 minute segment on mental health, Judge Payton enthusiastically got on board. So now, The Mental Health Moment had a public forum platform. The next task would be to find a broad list of experienced, mental health providers respected in their fields.
Enter Professor Carolyn Black Becker from Trinity University. Dr. Becker introduced us to the Psychology Expert Media Panel from the Coalition for the Advancement and Application of Psychological Science. With this, we now had a list of mental health experts.
The Mental Health Moment now with a public platform and a list of expert mental health providers sought financial support. To obtain this initial funding, Acadia Healthcare stepped to the plate. And on September 3, 2019, The Mental Health Moment aired its first program, stumbling and staggering a bit but with great enthusiasm and verve.
Each week has brought new insights, informative guests, moments of humor, moments of tears. We wanted to touch hearts, minds and souls. As time continues to march on, we hope to be able to continue to bring future guests on various aspects of mental health. To educate, to inform, to entertain and to help.
Our past guests have included [click on their names for the hyperlink to their talk]:
Eating Disorders and Genetics
Dr. Bulik spoke on eating disorders, the genetic and biological aspects of the disease, the ANGI initiative, and the possible future of the industry.
Dr. Stephen Hollon, from Vanderbilt University spoke about depression, early symptoms to watch for and treatments for addressing and lessening depression symptoms.
Suicide, Addiction and Mental Health Resources
North Texas mental health icon, Phillip Van Guilder discussed mental health resources available in North Texas, addiction issues and suicide prevention.
Complex Mood Disorders
Dr. Chhatwal, from Sierra Tucson spoke about complex mood disorders, early intervention and integrative medical treatment.
Eating Disorders Organizations and Treatment
Ms. Elissa Myers, the Executive Director of the Academy for Eating Disorders spoke of the organizations within the eating disorder industry, treatment modules and future needs.
Dr. Teachman, from the University of Virginia spoke on anxiety, anxiety related issues, treatment of these issues and provided on-line resources to consult.
Mental Health Check Ups
Dr. Jonen spoke on the importance of annual mental health check ups, the manner in which this could lessen the impact of anxiety, depression and stress.
Mental Health Resources for the Disenfranchised
Mr. Quiroga, Director at the Dallas Behavioral Hospital spoke of mental health services and hospitalization for those without resources, on government subsidies and the need for greater access.
Obesity and Weight Stigma
Dr. Peat, Director of the National Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders, spoke of obesity, weight stigma and issues surrounding BMI.
Ms. Cheri Garcia, Founder of Cornbread Hustle, spoke of her journey addressing alcoholism and drug addiction and her work with felons and those needing mental health treatment.
Dr. Ortiz spoke about the complex nature of bipolar disorders, common co-occurring conditions, stigma and being proactive in seeking recovery.
Eating Disorders and Thanksgiving
Dr. Lutter spoke of the many issues of eating disorders and Thanksgiving. He gave information and knowledge to both those who suffer and their caregivers regarding dealing with triggers and how to not just survive, but thrive during the holidays.
Suicide and North Texas Resources
North Texas mental health guru, Ms. Halliburton spoke on teenaged suicide and resources to help those afflicted with mental health issues.
Anxiety and Stress during the Holidays
Michael Webb spoke to us about anxiety and stress during the Holiday Season and how we can approach and address these topics to allow us to better embrace happiness and love.
The future of The Mental Health Moment for the rest of 2019 and 2020 is bright. We are going to showcase Dr. Stephanie Setliff from ERC Dallas, Diana Leburn from The Refuge, Bianca Jackson from New Friends New Life talking about human trafficking and the mental health toll resulting therefrom, Don Blackwell discussing an upcoming Legacy of Hope and many other guests on wide and varying topics.
No topic regarding mental health care will be off limits. We recognize that some subjects may be difficult and even painful for some people. But, as a society, we can no longer allow mental health issues to remain in the closet, to fester, to grow and to destroy.
We ask you to walk this path with us, to embrace your own soulful journey, to live life to the fullest and to reach out one helping hand to those less fortunate, to those who need our help, to those whose lives can be changed through love, compassion, joy and understanding. Help us Save Lives … One Precious Life at a Time.
[We welcome any suggestions as to future speakers who you believe will be inspirational and who can help spread a message of hope.]