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Rose Wong - Mental Health Reporter

Mental Health Reporter

As a 2021 Report for America fellow, I cover health care with a focus on mental health. As a cancer survivor, I have seen firsthand the complexities of life as a patient in the American health care system, thereby developing an interest in contributing clarity and justice through health journalism. I graduated from Duke University, where I served as senior editor for The Duke Chronicle and wrote extensively about the university's failing student health center. I have no single hometown — I grew up in Canada, Hong Kong, and the suburbs of Detroit. Beach sunsets, fish tacos, and a wonderful internship experience at the Times have brought me to my new home. I'm excited to listen and tell your stories, Tampa Bay.

  1. This hurricane season, get the latest information about storms and how to get ready at tampabay.com/hurricane
  2. Tyler Dumouchel, 5, is pictured playing May 6 at We Rock the Spectrum Playground in Clearwater. Tyler is autistic and the indoor gym is a safe space for him to run around. Some Florida parents complain that they have to wait months for their children to get diagnosed with autism, which then delays needed therapies.
  3. Joanna Huxster, an assistant professor of environmental studies at Eckerd College, poses for a portrait at the campus beach on April 19 in St. Petersburg.  She teaches an environmental communications course and dedicates the last week of class to teaching her students how to deal with eco-anxiety and grief. Eco-anxiety, or the “chronic fear of environmental doom,” is affecting the mental health of more and more people as they grapple with the realities of climate change.
  4. Dr. Brittany Peters, a licensed clinical social worker chats remotely with a client providing clinical supervision to a masters’ level registered intern on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022 in Tampa.
  5. Tampa will be home to the state's first neuropsychiatric hospital for women.
  6. Shawn Thomas, who was the pastor at Galilee Missionary Baptist Church, died Friday, March 18, after a boating accident on Lake Seminole.
  7. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates.
  8. Children's Network of Southwest Florida has offices in Cape Coral. The Florida Department of Children and Families has tabbed the Fort Myers nonprofit to run Hillsborough County's child welfare system.
  9. LEAP Tampa Bay created the website YourCollegeCares.com to help Tampa Bay college students access mental health resources.
  10. On the anniversary of the day they left their abuser, a mother and her daughters stand at their kitchen counter, the kind of quiet moment they have only enjoyed in the last year.
  11. The Higi station at the BayCare Health Education Center inside Feeding Tampa Bay's warehouse on Friday. The Higi station employs a state-of-the-art device that allows people to check their weight, blood pressure and heart rate.
  12. In this photo from the early 2000s, Dr. Paul Farmer treats a patient in Haiti at the clinic he helped found there. The internationally-renowned doctor, humanitarian, anthropologist, author and professor who grew up in Brooksville and attended Hernando High School died Feb. 21 at the age of 62.
  13. The first lady Jill Biden took a tour of a research lab in Moffitt Cancer Center on Friday.
  14. High school volunteers promoted Tampa Bay Thrives' "Let's Talk" helpline during a University of South Florida football game in Tampa last year.
  15. Ivermectin, used to treat infections caused by parasitic worms as well as head lice, rosacea and scabies, is one of the medications being tested as a treatment for COVID-19 by the National Institute of Health’s Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Intervention and Vaccines public-private partnership. The University of South Florida and Tampa General Hospital are running the Tampa Bay study group.
  16. Manuel Pego, 61, of St. Petersburg donates blood at OneBlood in St. Petersburg on Jan. 24, which he does frequently. “It’s not so bad, it’s mostly psychological,” Pego said of the process. “At the end of the day the big incentive is getting to help other people.”
  17. Sen. Danny Burgess, R-Zephyrhills, left, and Rep. Ben Diamond, D-St. Petersburg, have sponsored a bill that aims to prevent veteran suicides by training those handling veteran benefits claims to recognize former service members in distress and offer crisis counseling.
  18. A record 1,101 manatees died in 2021 — the most deaths in a year since 830 manatees in 2013 — and officials have long feared that toll will grow this winter.
  19. Travelers wait in line to get tested for COVID-19 at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, Monday. Demand for testing in Florida has soared in the past two weeks. with more than 100,000 tests reported to the federal government in just one week.
  20. Miguel Medina, 34, a former Sunstar paramedic who left his job working in Pinellas County due to mental health stress, poses for a portrait on Oct. 4 in Largo.
  21. Veronica DaSilva, 63, (left) and Julie Stenstrom, 64, sit on their front porch and look through letters addressed to Santa, which are left in Santa’s mailbox the couple set up in their front yard. They then answer each letter as Santa, on special themed paper, Monday, Dec.20, 2021 in Gulfport.
  22. Tampa Bay domestic violence organizations have reduced capacity in their shelters by nearly 50 percent since the pandemic started in March 2020, but the annual number of families served has remained consistent, said Community Action Stops Abuse CEO Lariana Forsythe, seen in her St. Petersburg office last month. CASA is a domestic violence agency serving Pinellas County.
  23. Kameela George, an intervention specialist at the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, answers calls to 211 during the COVID-19 crisis in April 2020. The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay plans to open a rape crisis facility in south Hillsborough County in August 2022 to expand access to sexual assault services there.
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