• Child and Adolescent Mental Health in the COVID-19-Era with Gayani DeSilva

    Air Dates: October 5-11, 2020

    Pandemic, social unrest–Americans of every age are coping with the mental health consequences of this era.  Dr. Gayani DeSilva cautions that the challenges of being a child or adolescent currently poses special health risks.

    DeSilva has been a psychiatrist for 15 years and focusses on enhancing the mental health of children and adolescents and their families.  Much of her work addresses the complex array of needs with adolescent and young adult criminal and violent offenders to understand the interplay between mental illness, societal factors, and interpersonal issues.  She is the author of “A Psychiatrist’s Guide: Helping Parents Reach Their Depressed Tween,” and “A Psychiatrist’s Guide: Stop Teen Addiction Before It Starts.”  DeSilva obtained her medical training at Albany Medical College and completed her internship at Brown University, and her residency at Harvard University.  She holds numerous awards and citations, and currently is on volunteer faculty at the University of California-Irvine and is Medical Director of Behavioral Health at Inland Empire Health Plan.  DeSilva also co-hosts the podcast, “Chat and Chai,” which consists of 13 episodes, including “A Candid Conversation on Racism,” “A Discussion on Suicide, Warning Signs, Myths and More,” and “COVID-19 & Loneliness.”

    On this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” DeSilva encourages parents to remain transparent and model healthy modes of coping with stressful situations like the pandemic.  She suggests inviting children and young adults to be participants in healthy coping strategies, thus helping families to handle difficult situations collectively.

    “Story in the Public Square” broadcasts each week on public television stations across the United States. A full listing of the national television distribution is available at this link. In Rhode Island and southeastern New England, the show is broadcast on Rhode Island PBS on Sundays at 11 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program airs Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. & 6:30 p.m. ET, Sundays at 3:30 a.m. & 11:30 p.m. ET on SiriusXM’s popular P.O.T.U.S. (Politics of the United States), channel 124. “Story in the Public Square” is a partnership between the Pell Center and The Providence Journal. The initiative aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.

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