Commentary...Terri Lee Freeman | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Commentary...Terri Lee Freeman

Play associated audio

For more information, visit www.thecommunityfoundation.org.

Losing a job, facing foreclosure or not being able to afford prescriptions can be overwhelming, even life-threatening.

That’s why commentator Terri Lee Freeman says it’s important to consider the mental health and well being of our region’s most vulnerable individuals and families.

Freeman is president of The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region.

What do you think? Tell us at Conversation dot WAMU,org. Click on "Commentary Forum"

SCRIPT:

If you are like me, you might be planning vacation. We work hard all year, juggling work, family and other demands. Vacation provides much-needed time to decompress and rejuvenate.

But this year, as I pack my bags, I am particularly mindful that vacation in these times is a luxury that many in our region can’t afford.

The economic crisis continues to pose major challenges to our region’s families and nonprofit organizations. In addition to the need for food, shelter and clothing, we can’t overlook the psychological impact of losing one’s livelihood, home or health insurance, not to mention the emotional toll of the economic crisis on those who didn’t have homes or jobs to begin with.

With that in mind, The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region recently awarded grants, through its Neighbors in Need Fund, in support of mental health programs throughout the region.

Since the recession began, more people, including the “new poor,” have been showing up at community health clinics, many without health insurance and many in need of mental health services. Non-profits have been reporting alarming trends, such as an increase in substance abuse, domestic violence and the number of calls to local suicide hotlines.

Community Foundation grants have helped organizations serve uninsured residents, provide culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health services, extend clinic hours and restore staff positions that had been cut. They have also provided mental health services to homeless individuals and families, reached underserved neighborhoods in Southeast Washington and Prince George’s County, supported mental health services for Latino families and provided access to prescriptions.

There’s a saying, says Satira Streeter, the only licensed clinical psychologist in Ward 8, “When rich people catch a cold, poor folk catch pneumonia." Well, we’re definitely seeing pneumonia.

Yet, Dr. Streeter adds, “By recognizing that good mental health care is a necessity and not an option, The Community Foundation is truly helping our neighbors in need rebuild their lives and their families.”

As you plan your vacation, I encourage you to consider your neighbors and join me in ensuring the well being of all our residents.

I’m Terri Lee Freeman

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, March 3, 2015

You can see paintings that speak to an ongoing overseas conflict or see a comedy about mistaken identity and love.

NPR

Sandwich Monday: The Funnel Cake Corn Dog

For this week's Sandwich Monday, we try a new twist on a classic. It's a corn dog that uses funnel cake in place of corn meal to encase a hot dog.
WAMU 88.5

For 'Senator Barb' And Maryland Politicians, The Future Is Wide Open

Sen. Barbara Mikulski hasn't made any plans yet for what she'll be doing in 2017. Meanwhile, Maryland's Republicans see an opportunity, and Democrats see a chance to reassert their dominance in the state.

NPR

Free Wi-Fi On Buses Offers A Link To Future Of 'Smart Cities'

A new service in a Portuguese city not only provides commuters with free Internet connections but it also helps collect data that makes the municipality run more efficiently.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.