mental health


Nearly one year into the coronavirus pandemic, adults continue to suffer from mental health struggles brought on by the stresses of COVID-19.

Job loss and isolation are among those stressors. Some folks are having trouble sleeping and eating, or they’re drinking more, or using other substances to deal with their worries and stress.

That’s what health experts had to say on Wednesday during the state’s Black Legislative Caucus panel discussion about rising mental health struggles in communities of color during COVID-19.


Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a cyclical depressive disorder that occurs during parts of the year with minimal sunlight. SAD can cause people to feel fatigue, depression, hopelessness and to withdraw from their social life.

Short, cold winter days and a pandemic that keeps many people inside their home all day only compounds the affect that SAD has on people.


Gov. Tony Evers recently announced that he wants to invest more than $43 million in his biennial budget in Wisconsin’s agricultural economy.

One of the goals of the funding is to expand market opportunities — such as connecting Wisconsin farmers and producers with food banks,to help feed families experiencing food insecurity.

Another goal is supporting farmers’ mental health.


Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley is approaching one year in office. During this time, Crowley has made addressing mental health issues in the county’s Black community a main focus.

He says that mental health in the Black community has been overlooked and is a real public health crisis.

“This is really about making sure that people of color has access to mental health programs. But also making sure that we can do all that we can, having a hands-on deck approach is really eliminating many of the stigmas that is out there as it relates to mental health,” he says.

Chuck Quirmbach

Today, Bubbler Talk looks at the status of mental health care in the Milwaukee area. Our question comes from listener and Milwaukee resident Scott Bollen. He often drives by the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center in Wauwatosa and notices a disparity between one modern facility and one set of older buildings.

Amanda Edwards / Getty Images

Many people may be tuning to television Friday evening for the final episode in which Alex Trebek hosts the game show "Jeopardy!" Trebek died in November of cancer.

For all the years "Jeopardy!" has been on, and remember it existed before Trebek started as host, the program been a test of memory for both contestants and viewers. 

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The COVID-19 pandemic has been a community-wide traumatic event. On top of a health crisis, we’re also facing a mental health crisis as nearly every aspect of our lives is touched by the pandemic. Many of us are ready for the end of 2020, but the new year won’t necessarily bring clarity to help us move forward. And with the holidays coming up, there are additional stressors to face.

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Even in a normal year, the holidays can be stressful. This year health officials are recommending people who were planning to gather or travel for Thanksgiving stay home to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

For many of us this has been a year of sacrifice and family time might be exactly what we’re craving right now. As important as it is to show our loved ones that we are thinking of them, it’s equally as crucial to take care of our own mental and physical health.

Jessica Kaminsky

The pandemic has taken a toll on every aspect of our lives. We’re all experiencing a level of uncertainty that impacts our mental health, our relationships, and our work.

Jody Spiegelhoff

In 2017, Maricella Chairez died by suicide in her cell at the Racine County Juvenile Detention Center. Although she was only 16-years-old, her suicide was the culmination of many years of struggling with abuse and mismanaged mental health care.

New Study Aims To Understand Trauma In Milwaukee Youth

Sep 30, 2020
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Most people will have a traumatic experience at some point in their lives, and some of them will develop post-traumatic stress disorder. So how do you figure out who is at risk for developing PTSD? That's what Chris Larson's new study, called "Acute Predictors Of Long-Term Post-Trauma Outcomes In Youth Victims Of Violence," hopes to help figure out.

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There has been an on-going conversation about mental health care in the U.S. After tragedies like the school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary and Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School, some political actors are quick to blame mental health issues.

Despite these political talking points, public funding for mental health care has plummeted over the past few decades. And the history of mental health care in this country is fraught with mismanagement and abuse, often exacerbated by a lack of funding.


Thursday was World Suicide Prevention Day. Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley marked the date by unveiling an expansion of a program designed to prevent deaths from suicide. He says the numbers are growing at an “unsettling” rate.

“The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s office stated that current trends show we will likely surpass last year’s numbers for suicides, stating that there were 23 suicides last month alone," he says.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust many of us into isolation — both physically and in some cases socially. While this isolation can feel disheartening, for most of us it will be temporary. But that’s not the case for people with dementia.

Chuck Quirmbach

Updated Sunday at 6:43 p.m. CT

A bicycle ride in Milwaukee this Saturday called Riding Over Stigma will attempt to de-stigmatize mental illness, especially in the Black community. One of the sponsors of the ride is the local chapter of Red Bike and Green — riders who bring more diversity to biking.

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The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic can’t be overstated. At least 5 million Americans have been diagnosed with the infectious disease, which some experts believe is a massive undercount. Unemployment has skyrocketed and the economy is struggling to hang on.

Courtesy of Healthy Minds Innovations

Local medical experts say they're worried about the mental health of people in the Milwaukee area after dealing with months of COVID-19 and economic challenges related to the pandemic.  

Counselors are recommending various ways to positively cope with additional stress. Some Wisconsin researchers have even developed a free app, designed to help through meditation.

Courtesy of Beny Perez-Reyes

Minority Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed each July since 2008. Formally known as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, it honors the late American author, journalist and teacher Bebe Moore Campbell. Her work centered on bringing awareness to the unique struggles that underrepresented groups face regarding mental illness in the United States.

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Drug and alcohol abuse and addiction are a nationwide problem. Wisconsin is no exception. 

To help address this issue in Ripon, Wis., the Ripon Police Department is bringing in outside help as a part of the Fond du Lac County Opioid Initiative. In partnership with WisHope, police officers now have 24/7 access to a peer recovery coach with lived addiction experience to help provide support and treatment options to those who need it.

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Americans are more unhappy today than they've been in 50 years, according to a recent study from the NORC at the University of Chicago.

The survey was conducted in late May, before the death of George Floyd sparked international protests. It tries to understand how American’s beliefs, mental health and outlook have shaped their attitudes during the coronavirus pandemic.  

Misha Friedman / Getty Images

Many health care workers risk their physical and mental health to do their jobs. The coronavirus pandemic has intensified these challenges.

Just last month, emergency department medical director Dr. Lorna M. Breen committed suicide. Her family cites her work helping COVID-19 patients as the reason.

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COVID-19 has implemented immediate challenges to our health care system and the health of the country. And these immediate and long-term changes pose an exponential risk to those with addiction.

Social distancing, working and teaching children from home, unemployment — all of those can be a triggering stressor for those in recovery. Spending more time at home could dramatically increase relapse rates, especially as access to recovery care is limited or changed.

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For many, work is already pretty stressful. But during the coronavirus pandemic — whether you’re still employed or not — the stress has multiplied. 

This pandemic has revealed some of the harmful aspects of work-life balance that have been around for years. For example: why does our isolated-at-home social life feel so much like work?

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The coronavirus pandemic has been stressful. Fear and anxiety surrounding it can be overwhelming at times for people of all ages.

While we worry about the health and safety of ourselves and others, stress can manifest in many ways: trouble sleeping, changes in eating patterns, having a hard time concentrating, and could worsen existing mental or physical health conditions.

Abigail Phillips / Courtesy

All 14 branches of the Milwaukee Public Library system have been closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus — and for good reason. In healthy times, people from all walks of life congregate at the public library.

Libraries usually provide an important social service, in addition to being a place for information, literature, and entertainment. But a librarian’s training mostly focuses on organizational skills. They are often ill-equipped to handle so much social interaction — especially among the vulnerable populations who depend on libraries for computers and meeting spaces.

Milwaukee's 'Guitars For Vets' Helps Veterans With PTSD One Guitar At A Time

Nov 11, 2019
Courtesy of Guitars for Vets

During World War I, soldiers coined the term "shell shock" to describe their post-traumatic reactions to war. "Battle fatigue" came along during World War II and Korea, and by Vietnam it was called "combat stress reaction." It was all post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

There's fresh evidence that eating a healthy diet, one that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables and limits highly processed foods, can help reduce symptoms of depression.

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It's Mental Health Awareness Week. For many in the Latino community, despite progress made, mental health remains a taboo topic.

Amy Osorio-Ayala and Amira Rupnick are both students in Milwaukee. Both are passionate about raising awareness around mental health, especially in the Latino community.

Osorio-Ayala believes one reason mental health isn’t spoken about much in the Latino community is because people aren’t educated on it. And it’s seen as a bad thing.

carlycassano / Flickr

Mental health issues like depression and anxiety are a growing concern for college students. Demand for counseling services at University of Wisconsin campuses has increased by more than 50% since 2010. According to the World Health Organization, most lifetime mental disorders manifest before the age of 24. 

Brainspotting: A Body-Based Treatment For PTSD

Aug 28, 2019
Let Grow Therapy and Counseling - Helping Children to Thrive /

People who have endured childhood abuse or battlefield conditions often suffer from PTSD. And they often find it difficult to set the trauma aside — even long after the traumatic event(s) end. "Trauma-informed care" is a newer treatment protocol that takes a patient's past trauma into account to help them feel more comfortable and in control.