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Aspen Public Radio is talking about mental health. We started this discussion with a focus on the collision of pandemic depression and seasonal depression. However, mountain communities have specific mental health issues, including higher rates of suicide, and we're continuing the conversation to examine how we can develop better overall community mental health habits as we navigate through the pandemic and beyond.We’ll be talking with local experts, but the Aspen Public Radio newsroom also wants to hear directly from our listeners. We encourage you to contact us with any questions, comments or stories by emailing news@aspenpublicradio.org and putting "Mental Health Project" in the subject line.

High Risk At High Altitude: How Do Kids And Their Families Find Balance In The Middle Of A Storm?

Kim Zimmer
Aspen School District
A student at Aspen High School learning in a socially-distanced classroom. “I feel the worst for these kids and the stuff that they’re not getting to do. I think our kids are the real heroes of this thing,” said district superintendent, Dave Baugh.";s:3:

For many of us, the ongoing pandemic has impacted our mental health in surprising ways, and this includes young people.

In the latest conversation from our “High Risk At High Altitude" series, Aspen Public Radio talked with local behavioral intervention specialist Sonja Linman about what she’s learned from her work with local kids and their families.

Linman worked at Yampah Mountain High School for 26 years before joining the Roaring Fork School District as an intervention and prevention specialist at Glenwood Middle School in 2017. During the pandemic, she has been working with special education students at Glenwood High School.

Morning Edition Host Eleanor Bennett spoke with Linman and asked her what changes she’s seen in the last few decades in terms of the mental health challenges that young people face.

Eleanor is an award-winning journalist and "Morning Edition" anchor. She has reported on a wide range of topics in her community, including the impacts of federal immigration policies on local DACA recipients, creative efforts to solve the valley's affordable housing crisis, and hungry goats fighting climate change across the West through targeted grazing. Connecting with people from all walks of life and creating empathic spaces for them to tell their stories fuels her work.
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