Focus

WILL - Focus - April 25, 2014

Unmet Needs: “Folk Wisdom” about health perpetuates stereotypes

Talking about mental health and mental illness is hard; sometimes it awkward. Most of the time it’s uncomfortable. Should it be?

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(Duration: 15:35)

Joey Ramp and her ex-husband in WILL's studios.

Joey Ramp gets uncomfortable in large crowds of people. New places also make her uneasy. It’s her service dog, Theo, and her highly regimented schedule that helps her handle her anxiety and cope with her post-traumatic stress disorder. Theo is always with her, and since her disability isn’t visible, she says people are curious. Sometimes they ask; sometimes they don’t. “Most often, when people ask and I say I have PTSD, people want to thank me for my service.”

That makes it awkward for Ramp to explain that she never served in the military.


WILL - Focus - April 14, 2014

Unmet Needs: three things we learned during our #WILLchat on Twitter

As a part of our series, "Unmet Needs: living with mental illness in central Illinois," we convened what we hope is the first of many Twitterchats. Here's a recap.

As a part of our series exploring difficulties in accessing mental health care in central Illinois, we convened what we hope is the first of many Twitterchats with WILL’s newsroom Friday morning. 

We wanted to talk with you to find out if we are accurately characterizing problems with stigma through our reporting and wanted to find out more about the problems you and others in the area are having trying to find care. Sean Powers, and I learned a lot

Categories: Health, Mental Health

WILL - Focus - April 11, 2014

Unmet Needs: Look onscreen, the doctor will see you now

In many places in Illinois, providers are looking to telemedicine to expand access to psychiatric care. Friday on Focus, we take a look at the nuances of treating patients via a computer screen as a part of our series “Unmet Needs: Living with mental illness in central Illinois.”

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(Duration: 52:06)

Harry Wolin manages Mason District Hospital in Havana, Illinois, one of many clinics in Illinois that provide care to medically underserved areas. The hospital has been treating patients via telepsychiatry, when a patient meets with a doctor via a computer screen, for about four years now. Wolin says they started offering appointments that way after the county mental health center shut down due to lack of funding.

“If we wouldn’t have started offering this service, many of our patients would have had to travel an hour or more to see somebody,” he explains.

In an evolving health care system where cost control and efficiency are key, some are looking to telepsychiatry as a solution; some are more skeptical. Could the technology a way to offer more patients quicker access to a doctor? Is that really the best solution? 

Categories: Health, Mental Health

WILL - Focus - April 10, 2014

Talk to us: Twitterchat Friday at 11:00 a.m. CT

Friday, April 11 at 11:00 a.m. central time, Lindsey Mooon @lindseysmoon will be hosting a Twitterchat with reporter Sean Powers @SeanCPow at the hashtag #WILLchat to talk about mental illness and the associated stigmas that exist in Illinois.

Friday, April 11 at 11:00 a.m. central time, I’ll be hosting a Twitterchat with reporter Sean Powers @SeanCPow at the hashtag #WILLchat to talk about mental illness and the associated stigmas that exist in Illinois.

Categories: Health, Mental Health

WILL - Focus - January 13, 2014

The Answer to the Riddle is Me

Have you ever forgotten something? Can you imagine what it would be like to forget nearly every detail about your life? 

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(Duration: 51:25)

David Stuart MacLean

About a decade ago, David Stuart MacLean woke up on a train platform in India. He had no idea who or where he was and had no money and no passport. He came to believe he was a drug addict and spent two days in a psychiatric hospital in India chain smoking, writing poetry and hallucinating. 

When his parents showed up and told him about what he was actually doing in India, he was floored. It was after his parents took him back to his hometown in Ohio that he was told his memory loss was caused by a rare reaction to a preventative malaria medication he had been taking. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with MacLean about what it was like to rediscover who he was.

Have you ever suffered from amnesia or do you know someone who has? What was it like trying to remember things? Give us a call this hour on Focus!


WILL - Focus - May 30, 2013

The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry

The fifth edition of the Diagnostics and Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders, which is used to diagnose mental illness, has been the subject of much debate. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk with author and psychotherapist Gary Greenberg about the DSM-5 and why it’s so much more controversial than the DSM-4.

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(Duration: 51:28)

book cover

The usefulness of the fifth version of the Diagnostics and Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders, which has traditionally played a large role in the diagnosis of mental disease, has been a huge point of controversy within the psychological science community lately.  The National Institute for Mental Health, the largest funder for mental health research in the US, has officially withdrawn its support for the new version. The NIMH says  there is no objective laboratory measure for diagnosis in the new manual and that it “lacks validity.” This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with author and psychotherapist Gary Greenberg about the controversy over the new manual and why it’s an issue that so many mental health professionals have questions about the manual’s validity.

Categories: Health, Mental Health

WILL - Focus - March 18, 2013

Quantifying Happiness

What makes you happy? Can you quantify it? This hour on Focus, we talked with Ed Diener, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois, who is a pioneer in the study of happiness. He’s the recipient of the 2012 William James Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Psychological Science.

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(Duration: 50:24)

Ed Diener giving a lecture

This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with “Dr. Happiness.” Ed Diener, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois, has written extensively about what factors influence psychological wealth and well-being. We’ll talk with him about his research, how he got others in the field to take him seriously when he started trying to quantify something so abstract, and what makes life satisfaction so vital to our health.


WILL - Focus - February 20, 2013

Mental Health and Gun Violence

Mental illness, gun violence, tragedy. What now? Today on Focus, we talked about the intersection of mental health and gun violence and what area mental health providers and policy makers are doing to protect our students and communities. Find the podcast here.

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(Duration: 50:32)

Ryanne Mace at high school graducation

This hour on Focus Mary Kay Mace, whose only daughter was killed in the shooting on campus at Northern Illinois University five years ago, joins us. She’ll tell us about the tragedy and what she has and hasn’t seen change since it happened. We’ll also talk with Dorothy Espelage, a Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who studies adolescent aggressive behavior, about what resources are available to young adults and what protocols are in place in case of an emergency on campus. Thom Pollock, Executive Director of Crosspoint Human Services in Danville will also be here to talk about the unmet need for mental health services in Champaign county and the surrounding area.

WILL also aired this video Tuesday evening during PBS' After Newtown programing. What's your reaction? Have you been personally affected by gun violence? Join our conversation on Facebook and Twitter, email will-talk@illinois.edu or post in the comments section below.


WILL - Focus - January 02, 2013

Making and Keeping New Year’s Resolutions

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(Duration: 51:27)

The start of the new year inspires many to set goals and make resolutions.  What do we know about human behavior that can help us turn our goals into achievements?  What are some of the tools available to us?  How can we solicit a community of friends for support to help us be accountable for our goals and to cheer us on when we want to give up or to remind us that we can start anew, no matter where we are in the new year?  We invite you to share your resolutions and what's helped you stick with them.


WILL - Focus - November 12, 2012

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Related Anxiety Disorders

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(Duration: 50:42)

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a form of anxiety disorder -- obsessions can consist of images or unwanted thoughts that cause anxiety or distress and compulsions can be mental and or physical actions. The line between personal habits or rituals and OCD is whether or not and how much these interfere with one's ability to function in daily life.

Diagnoses of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder have been on the rise over the past two decades as more attention is being paid to the disorder in clinical research. But because the symptoms can be very subtle, the time between onset of OCD symptoms and treatment is often very long, years or even decades if it is treated at all.

We'll talk about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and related anxiety disorders with Shayla Parker, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with Kevin Elliot Counseling in Champaign. Parker has 11 years of experience in counseling and has treated a wide variety of mental health issues while working at inpatient and outpatient levels of care.

Categories: Health, Mental Health, Science

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