'They Are Us': A Series Exploring Mental Health Care In Vermont

Nov 9, 2018

They Are Us is a seven-part special series about mental health in Vermont, airing on VPR the week of Nov. 12. Each episode will highlight personal stories from inside the state's mental health care system.

In addition to the episodes below, Vermont Edition on Thursday, Nov. 15 will assemble some of the individuals featured in the series for a discussion about their experiences and perspectives. Listen at noon or to the rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

You can share feedback or a story of your own in the comments below, or contact VPR via email.

Episode Schedule

Part 1: Sarah

Airs Monday, Nov. 12 at 5:44 p.m. — listen online here.

In her early thirties, Sarah Holland started suffering from major depression, the result of childhood sexual trauma. In the years that followed, she lost her job and her family. This is the story of her struggle — and her recovery from major depression.

Featuring:

  • Sarah Holland, owner of River's Bend Design

Part 2: Home

Airs Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 5:44 p.m. — listen online here.

There are Vermonters who experience psychiatric crises for years — and repeated visits to emergency rooms and psychiatric hospitals. Where do they go when they leave the hospital? And why do they keep coming back? This is a story about the role housing plays in mental health.

Featuring:

  • Ken Libertoff, former director of the Vermont Association for Mental Health
  • Louis Josephson, president and CEO of Brattleboro Retreat
  • Brian Lincourt, night charge nurse at Brattleboro Retreat
  • Connie Stabler, mother and Howard Center board member
  • Karl Jeffries, unit chief for adult inpatient unit at Brattleboro Retreat

Part 3: Parents

Airs Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 5:44 p.m. — listen online here.

This is a story about what it’s like, day to day, year to year, to be a parent of an adult child living with schizophrenia.

Featuring:

  • Connie Stabler, a mother and Howard Center board member
  • Ron, a father (note: we are only using Ron's first name)

Part 4: They Are Us (Community Mental Health)

Airs Thursday, Nov. 15 at 5:44 p.m. — listen online here.

How should people live long-term in our state if they have a serious mental illness? The hope is that they’ll find ways to integrate into their communities with support, but that’s proven tough to accomplish. In this show we look at the challenges in our community mental health care system.

Featuring:

  • Ken Libertoff, former director of the Vermont Association for Mental Health
  • Anne Donahue, state representative from Northfield and Berlin, editor of Counterpoint
  • Greg Mairs, operational director of adult services at Counseling Service of Addison County
  • Mary Moulton, executive director of Washington County Mental Health Services
  • Michael Hartman, adult mental health director at Lamoille County Mental Health
  • Connie Stabler, mother and Howard Center board member
  • Louis Josephson, president and CEO of Brattleboro Retreat

Part 5: MyPad

Airs Friday, Nov. 16 at 7:50 a.m. — listen online here.

A story about Vermont’s only permanent, supervised housing for people with serious mental illness.

Featuring:

  • Anne Donahue, state representative from Northfield and Berlin, editor of Counterpoint
  • Graham Parker, MyPad director
  • Connie Stabler, mother and Howard Center board member

Part 6: I Could Be Well

Airs Friday, Nov. 16 at 5:44 p.m. — listen online here.

Leslie Nelson has heard voices for as long as she can remember. She sees things other people don’t see. This is a conversation about what it’s like to be normal, from Leslie’s point of view, and the incredible power of finding people like herself to talk with about their normal lives with mental illness.

Featuring:

  • Leslie Nelson, START Team Leader, Howard Center

Part 7: Work

Airs Saturday, Nov. 17 around 8:15 a.m. — listen online here.

Both Alexis and Steve were diagnosed with schizophrenia. This is the story about how meaningful, paid work plays a role in their recovery.

Featuring:

  • Paul Miller, co-coordinator of the Green Mountain Workforce, Washington County Mental Health
  • Louis Josephson, president and CEO of Brattleboro Retreat
  • Alexis Kyriak, artist
  • Steve, culinary worker (note: we are only using Steve's first name)

Resources

*VPR Underwriters

Credits

Series Associate Producers: Clare Dolan and Mark Davis

Series Editor: Sarah Ashworth

Series Consultant: Dillon Burns, mental health services director at Vermont Care Partners

VPR Advisers: Franny Bastian and John Dillon

Mixing: Chris Albertine

Digital Producer: Meg Malone

Music: Used with permission by Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Esmerine

Special thanks: M.T. Anderson, Melissa Bailey, Gretchen Brown, Seleem Choudhury, Anne Clement, Jimmy Dennison, Isabelle Desjardins, Laurie Emerson, Laura Flint, Al Gobeille, Alix Goldschmidt, Gary Gordon, Keith Grier, Heather Houle, Jenniflower, Karen Kurrle, Lt. Maurice Lamothe, Sabrina Leal, Fran Levine, Martie Majoros, Jack McCullough, Mark McGee, Megan McKeever, Betsy Morse, Bess O'Brien, Roxanne Pearson, Julie Potter, Malaika Puffer, Michael Rousse, Marla Simpson, Montpelier Senior Activity Center, Sandy Steingard, Tony Stevens, Cindy Tabor, Gloria Vandenberg, Konstantin von Krusenstiern.