Exploring Mental Health
Nothing is more central to public television than education. Decades of research confirms that the high-quality educational television, internet, classroom and workshop content created by PBS KIDS helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills that help them succeed in school and in life. Beyond children, what's truly unique about public service media is its commitment to provide inspiring lifelong learning for adults, with topics as diverse as cooking, history, science, travel, politics, art, architecture and personal health. Never shying away from difficult subjects or conversations, Vegas PBS will present several programs this month that examine mental health and brain health issues - both nationally and locally.
The critically acclaimed documentary God Knows Where I Am follows the story of a well-educated New Hampshire mother who battled severe bipolar disorder and homelessness until her heartbreaking death. Immediately after the film, a panel discussion examines how law enforcement, the medical establishment and the justice system treat the mentally ill.
Following that national discussion, Vegas PBS explores mental health issues in Southern Nevada with two back-to-back episodes from our new public affairs show, Nevada Week: Mental Health Early Intervention and Nevada Week: Medicaid Changes to Mental Health. Treating these patients, building an adequate social safety net and funding care for the uninsured is a major under-reported public health topic.
We also mark one year since the tragic events of One October with rebroadcasts of two local specials that celebrate our medical and first responders and addresses the ongoing need for accessible mental health resources and assistance for those experiencing emotional and financial distress from this civic trauma. #VegasStrong: The Road Ahead, #VegasStrong: Mental Health and Money, and extended "web extra" conversations with mental health experts will have multiple airings throughout the month and are available on demand on VegasPBS.org.
Three additional specials will investigate America's opioid epidemic and examine the science behind how these drugs affect the brain to cause addiction. You can read more about NOVA: Addiction, FRONTLINE: Chasing Heroin, Understanding the Opioid Epidemic and other mental health specials airing this month.
Our exploration of brain science will continue next month as we debut a new Vegas PBS documentary that chronicles the life of Lou Ruvo, an influential member of the Las Vegas hospitality industry. Power of Love tells the story of Lou's diagnosis with Alzheimer's disease and his subsequent treatment journey that would eventually lead to the creation of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health — one of the most advanced brain research and treatment facilities in the country. Our two organizations are joining forces to present a special preview screening event on November 1. Please see page 20 for event and ticket details. We hope you will join us.
From the self-affirming words for children of Fred Rogers and Daniel Tiger, to celebration of hopeful scientific breakthroughs at the Lou Ruvo Center, your membership support allows Vegas PBS to produce and air programs that help tell the story of mental illness, substance abuse, degenerative brain disease, and support for victims of trauma. We thank you for watching, engaging with policy makers, and continuing to help Vegas PBS lead an informed community dialogue on these topics.