Side Effects

Side Effects Public Media - Public health, personal stories.

A health news initiative exploring the impacts of place, policy and economics on America's health. Reporting sheds light on root causes of community-wide health problems—from chronic disease, to mental health and addiction, to infant mortality—and on new efforts to solve them.

Ways to Connect

After every mass violence incident, Barbara Thompson sees a pattern.

“You almost always hear that the people think that there was something wrong — that this person had a mental illness,” said Thompson, who is the executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Indiana. “And so it becomes something really difficult for people who are experiencing mental health conditions to feel like maybe they're being connected somehow to these tragic events.”

Myranda Tetzlaff is a 25-year-old who has two pit bull mixes named Bub and Goose. She takes them on long walks for exercise. But she recently caught herself backing out of a hike— because she was afraid of seeing other people on the trail.

Natalie Krebs/Side Effects Public Media

The Midwest is home to tens of thousands of immigrants — including refugees from countries like Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Iraq. And it’s been a challenge to provide information about COVID-19 and vaccines to those who don’t speak English.

Farah Yousry / Side Effects Public Media

On normal days, the gym at this Indianapolis school would be filled with kids in phys ed classes. But last Saturday it was the scene of a pop-up vaccination clinic.

And the mood was just as up-beat. One nurse brought her husband to the KIPP Indy Legacy High School to get vaccinated — to cheers from everyone around.

Lloyd "Lucky" Hall (at far right) died of Covid-19 in March 2020 at age 69. He leaves behind a wife and a family of children and grandchildren. (Photo courtesy Sirrea Whittaker)

Sirrea Whittaker describes her dad as the life of the party, an outspoken Black man with a love for his Omega Psi Phi fraternity and a sprawling network of friends.

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