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WUCF and Heart of Florida United Way Partner on Mental Wellness TV Special
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Nancy Alvarez and Steve Mort on the set of From Chaos to Resiliency: COVID Two Years Later.

WUCF TV, Central Florida’s PBS station, is partnering with Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW) on a 30-minute TV special leading community conversations about mental health. From Chaos to Resiliency: COVID Two Years Later premieres Monday, April 18, 2022, at 10 p.m.

From Chaos to Resiliency: COVID Two Years Later looks at the impact the pandemic had on children, seniors and the workforce and its influence in the long-term. HFUW’s Senior Vice President of Community Relations and Equity Impact Nancy Alvarez, along with WUCF’s NewsNight producer Steve Mort, will lead the discussion with mental health expert Dwight Bain.

“As Central Florida’s Storytellers, we want to make sure we are telling all the stories,” said Jennifer Cook, WUCF Executive Director. “Being two years removed from the beginning of the pandemic, we have learned a lot but still have a lot to learn about the long-term effects on our community and mental wellness. That is why partnerships such as this with Heart of Florida United Way are important in telling the community’s story.”

“This is a first of what we hope are more collaborations between our nonprofits,” said Alvarez during a press conference on March 9. “Maintaining an open, authentic conversation about mental wellness is essential to healing.”

During the past year, United Way’s 211 Information & Referral Crisis Line received more than 104,300 calls for help. Of that, more than 7,300 calls were for mental health and addiction support with more than 2,100 for crisis and suicide intervention calls; more than 3,200 for mental health service referrals; and 850 for mental health facilities. Call specialists handle an average of six (6) suicide calls a day just from Orange County alone.

“Pre-COVID you already had loneliness as a significant mental health issue… and then we have lock down and we have isolation, and we have ‘two weeks to stop the spread.’ And that was 102 weeks ago,” Bain says during the TV special while discussing the senior population. “You have some people who have not seen their loved ones in two years. And isolation can sometimes turn to desperation.”

From Chaos to Resiliency: COVID Two Years Later will also air Friday, April 22 at 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 24 at 12 p.m.

Visit hfuw.org for more information about Heart of Florida United Way and to learn more about how to get involved.