Flashpoint: I'm Listening, a special on mental health and suicide prevention in the age of COVID-19

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — This week on Flashpoint: Host and KYW Community Affairs reporter Cherri Gregg asks the burning questions about the mental health and suicide prevention in the age of COVID-19.

In this special edition of the show, "I'm Listening," we explore the impact that the pandemic, job loss, racial unrest and more are having on mental health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued a report saying that one in four young adults has reported suicidal thoughts.

Some experts fear that the trauma from these unprecedented times could cause a tsunami effect, where society does not actually see a mental health crisis until months, perhaps years after the pandemic subsides.

So how do we mitigate the issues that are brewing and save lives? Julie Peticca, director of crisis intervention at Montgomery County Emergency Services joins D. Trevor Evans, a licensed clinical social worker from the Men's Center, Phillip J. Roundtree, a social worker and mental health coach and founder of Quadify LLC and Sarah-Ashley Andrews, who founded Dare to Hope after losing a friend to suicide.

The newsmaker of the week is Yolanda Johnson-Young, a Philadelphia mother turned filmmaker. Her award-winning documentary, "Finding Elijah," tells the story of the son she lost to suicide in 2017. Elijah was 20 years old when he took his own life after suffering from mental illness. The film is Johnson-Young's journey of finding out about the son, she realized, she barely knew.

The documentary won 10 awards at various film festivals and has helped Johnson-Young not only process her grief, but help other families struggling after the death of a loved one to suicide. Johnson-Young is now an advocate for suicide prevention and walks with AASP. The film will air on WHYY-TV on September 29 at 7:30 p.m.

The Patriot Home Care Changemaker of the week is the Philly Hopeline. Launched in May of 2020, the Hopeline is the result of a partnership between Uplift Philadelphia's Center for Grieving Children and the School District of Philadelphia.

The purpose is to provide counseling and referral services for Philadelphia students and caregivers during the survivors. Meghan Szafran and Lamya Broussard of the Uplift Center for Grieving Children are guests. To access the Hopeline, call 1-833-PHL-HOPE (1-833-745-4673).

Flashpoint airs every Saturday at 9:30 p.m. and Sunday at 8:30 a.m. on 1060AM. It also airs at 5 a.m. Sundays on B101FM and WPHT 1210AM and at 6 a.m. on WOGL 98.1 and TDY 96.5.

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