DFWHC sponsors “I’m Listening” broadcast to raise awareness on mental health

Set your radio dials on September 8 for the two-hour broadcast “I’m Listening,” a program to inspire community awareness on depression while highlighting the start of National Suicide Prevention Week. For the second straight year, the event will be locally sponsored by the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council (DFWHC) in a continuation of its mental health and substance misuse efforts in the community.

The live broadcast will air commercial-free from 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. on local Entercom radio stations 100.3 Jack FM, 105.3 The Fan FM, 98.7 K-LUV FM, Alt 103.7 FM and 1080 KRLD AM. A Spanish language broadcast will also air this Friday, September 6 from 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. on 107.5 La Grande FM.

“DFWHC and Entercom wants to remove the stigma of seeking help for behavioral health and substance use disorders. We are proud to participate in this campaign to prevent suicide,” said W. Stephen Love, president/CEO of DFWHC. “While the program will originate from Seattle and feature national celebrities, it will also include local medical professionals who will share personal stories and resources. Our goal is to unite on the same day, at the same time, to ultimately save lives. If we help just one person, our time will have been well spent.”

Local hospital employees were recruited to tape personal and promotional messages for the radio broadcast including:

Sue Schell, vice president and clinical director of behavioral health at Children’s Health;
Candace Thompson, community outreach manager at Baylor Scott & White Health;
Sherry Cusumano, executive director of community education at Medical City Green Oaks Hospital;
Jenny Esparza, lead social worker in the Psychiatric Emergency Department at Parkland Health & Hospital System;
Julie Wright, community impact program manager at Texas Health Resources.

National celebrities to participate include Michael Ray, Shawn Mendes and Lizzo.

In addition to narratives from celebrity guests and medical experts, the special will feature how to discuss mental health and suicide with family and friends, what we can do to prevent suicide, what to do if you or someone you know is struggling with depression, how to get involved in suicide prevention in your local community and where to go for help.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), one in five or 46.6 million adults in America experience mental illness within a given year. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death overall in the U.S., claiming the lives of over 47,000 people. More than 50 percent of people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their life. Mental health affects everyone regardless of culture, race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.

For more information about the campaign, please visit ImListening.org. Follow the conversation on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #ImListening.

If someone you know is going through a crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.

Sherry Cusumano

Julie Wright (left) and Jenny Esparza