Dodd hosting live-stream panel on mental health during COVID pandemic

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Sen. Bill Dodd will host a virtual town hall June 1 on mental health during the pandemic featuring a panel discussion with experts from Stanford University, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and Napa-based Mentis. The town hall will be streamed live over multiple channels and broadcast on KSVY Sonoma. Panelists will take live and submitted questions. Panelists for the session hosted by Dodd, D-Napa, include Dr. Cerrene Cervantes, executive director of NAMI Solano County; Dr. Rona Hu, medical director of the Acute Psychiatric Inpatient Unit at Stanford Hospital; and Rob Weiss, executive director of Mentis. NAMI is an acronym for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, which has a chapter in Yolo County. People’s mental health became a concern after forced lockdowns in March 2020 kept people away from family and friends and saw millions of people lose their jobs either temporarily or permanently. Symptoms of anxiety disorder and depressive disorder increased considerably in the U.S. during April to June 2020 – amid the most expansive and restrictive lockdowns – when compared with the same period in 2019, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study by the CDC found that overall, 40 percent of adults in late June reporting that they were struggling with mental health or substance abuse: 31 percent reported symptoms of anxiety or depression; 26 percent reported symptoms of trauma/stressor-related disorder; 13 percent reported they started or increased substance use; and 11 percent said they seriously considered suicide. Mental health among both adults and children became more of a concern as the pandemic approached and passed the one-year mark and continues into its second summer. The CDC has posted a page online that’s dedicated to mental health during the pandemic, specifically to managing stress related to the pandemic. The page offers tips about ways to cope with stress in a healthy manner, and how to help others who are in distress. The page is available at Most people who have COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, experience only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. Some people, especially older adults and those with underlying health problems, experience more severe illness such as pneumonia and at times, death. The vast majority of people recover. The World Health Organization reports people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover. People may watch the live stream of the mental health panel discussion at and at Streaming live audio is available at The event also will be broadcast locally on KSVY 91.3 FM. Questions may be submitted in advance by email to People may ask questions during the live stream by calling 707-933-9133. People who are in crisis can get immediate help by calling 911 or through these resources: • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline; 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English, 1-888-628-9454 for Spanish; or Lifeline Crisis Chat at • National Domestic Violence Hotline; 1-800-799-7233; or text LOVEIS to 22522. • National Child Abuse Hotline; 1-800-4AChild (1-800-422-4453); or text 1-800-422-4453. • National Sexual Assault Hotline; 1-800-656-HOPE (4673); or online chat at • Veteran’s Crisis Line; 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or crisis chat at; or send a text message to 8388255. • Disaster Distress Helpline; or call or text 1-800-985-5990 (Press 2 for Spanish). • The Eldercare Locator; 1-800-677-1116. TTY instructions are available at

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