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.

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As 25-year-old Torian Jones sorted out the fresh produce section at Cleo’s Bodega grocery store, he put the bad tomatoes in a small box. Part of his work as manager of inventory is to gather and take them for composting at a nearby farm.

Working at the grocery store makes Jones feel good because, “the store is part of the community; it’s a nonprofit and we are offering an important service.”

Janette Lems said the trouble for her kids really began when they started school last fall.

Her 7-year-old daughter struggled with being limited to interacting with just several kids who didn’t include her friends, and her 5-year-old son was displaying a lot of anger and aggression.

Noelle Broughton is an accomplished student. She’s in a graduate program at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and is headed for a PhD.

She also struggles with anxiety and self-doubt. As a child, she had a few therapy sessions, but they didn’t last. Now, at 25, she wants to try treatment again before heading to the University of Kansas for her doctorate in public administration.

Steve Burger / WNIN-FM

Archie Thomas is a church organist who grew up attending the Greater St. James Missionary Baptist Church in Evansville, Indiana. He still plays here occasionally.

But on this warm spring day, the 49-year-old is visiting for another reason — to get his first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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.”

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