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Mind Over Matter

Combating stigma & increasing awareness, prevention, and treatment of mental illnesses

Those suffering from mental health issues often become victims of discrimination and social isolation due to the stigma attached to these disorders. This stigma is a significant public health issue and can inhibit those with mental illness to seek proper treatment and recovery.

In order to combat the stigma and increase awareness, prevention, treatment and management of a range of mental Illnesses, WVIA and Geisinger are presenting a new mental health initiative called Mind Over Matter. Like WVIA’s successful Battling Opioids series, this public health initiative aims to improve the mental and physical health of our community through a multi-platform approach that will include TV, radio and digital content.

Join host Tracy Matisak for the brand new Mind Over Matter podcast series. Each week, we'll talk to leading experts who will provide helpful information on a variety of mental health disorders, including anxiety, depression, grief and substance use.

Jamie Donnelly discusses the impact of Mind Over Matter on his life

Next Episode: Breaking Point: Poverty & Mental Health

Watch Thursday, May 23rd at 7pm on WVIA TV

Thursday, May 23 at 7PM on WVIA-TV
"Mind Over Matter: Breaking Point: Poverty & Mental Health" delves into the intricate relationship between financial status and mental well-being, shedding light on the profound impact of financial struggles on one's mental health. The lack of essential resources such as food, housing, transportation, and healthcare can significantly impact mental health. It not only directly affects physical health but also contributes to chronic stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. Addressing these socioeconomic determinants is crucial for promoting mental wellness and mitigating the negative impact of poverty on individuals' overall health and quality of life. Through a blend of personal narratives and professional perspectives, the program aims to raise awareness and foster understanding of this critical issue today. Mind Over Matter Presents - Breaking Point: Poverty & Mental Health

Next Episode: Youth Mental Health, Pt. 2

In northeastern and central Pennsylvania, the pressing concern of youth mental health comes to the forefront as "Mind Over Matter," a regional initiative, endeavors to illuminate the challenges faced by the younger generation. Through compelling narratives and informative discussions, the show aims to amplify awareness to address the mental health needs of the youth in these regions.


Mind Over Matter - Youth Mental Health Panelitsts

  • Julie Petrin, Director of Behavioral Health Support Services at CSIU
  • Erin Demcher, Behavioral Health Support Services IMPACT Grant Project Coordinator and Board-Certified Behavior Analyst
  • Dr. Angelica Kloos, Chief of Outpatient Services and a Child Psychiatrist at Geisinger
  • Kelly Feiler, President of the Regional Engagement Center in Selinsgrove
Hear the story of how Delaney was affected by isolation and anxiety due to the pandemic
Colby Hughes shares her story about her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder diagnosis

Substance Use Disorder

Nearly 34 percent of Pennsylvanians have a mental health or substance use disorder. On the next Mind Over Matter, join moderator Tracey Matisak and a panel of regional experts as they discuss the challenges in overcoming substance use disorders and hear inspiring stories of those who are on the road to recovery. We'll provide resources and information on how to identify the warning signs and where to get help.


Meet Jah, a resilient individual who battled substance use disorder
James Monahan battled addiction for 20+ years, losing just about everything in the process
Marcella Garvin, Lead Case Manager of the Healthy Moms Program, shares her journey

Joseph Valdez, MD

Addiction Medicine Fellowship Director
Joseph Valdez, MD, MPH, FASAM, has a medical degree from Jefferson Medical College and a master of public health degree from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Valdez completed a residency in family medicine prior to completing a fellowship in addiction medicine at Geisinger. Prior to working at Geisinger, Dr. Valdez served as the medical director for outpatient addiction medicine services at Mercy Hospital in Portland, Maine. He currently works at outpatient addiction clinics for Geisinger in Wilkes-Barre and via telemedicine in Lewistown, Pa., and serves as the program director for Geisinger’s Addiction Medicine Fellowship. Dr. Valdez additionally holds a teaching appointment as a clinical assistant professor of medicine at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine in Scranton, Pa.

Janice Mecca

Dr. Janice Mecca is the Director of Assertive Community Treatment at the Scranton Counseling Center. She has been working with individuals living with mental illness for nearly a decade in both residential and outpatient settings.

Youth Mental Health Matters

In Pennsylvania, an estimated 1 in 5 youth experienced poor mental health. Join Tracey Matisak and a panel of regional experts on the next edition of Mind Over Matter as they discuss the challenges children and teens face today. They'll provide resources and information on how to identify the warning signs when your child is in crisis.

A discussion about the challenges children and teens face today.
Abby Shaffer's struggles with depression led her to become a suicide prevention advocate.
A space where children reeling from the trauma of high addiction & violence rates can heal
Digital tools are helping to address the mental health crisis among America's young people

Veterans: Wounded Within

Our panel includes Dr. Brian Keller, clinical psychologist and a veteran of both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army; Brigadier General (PA) Maureen Weigl, Deputy Adjutant General for Veterans Affairs; Dave Eisele, Director of Lackawanna County Veterans Affairs

Amber & Jim
Since transitioning from active duty to veteran status, Amber Viola and Jim McLain have each taken up leadership positions at American Legion Post 274 and are using their respective platforms to build an inclusive community of veterans - shifting the mental health conversation from one of shame and secrecy to one of communal support.

Joseph Barna
United States Marine Corps veteran Joseph Barna of Freeland, Pennsylvania served for over a year in Korea. He found himself doing things he never imagined he was capable of and wasn't sure he could live with when he returned home. To help quiet the "devils in his mind," Barna turned to write about his experiences. The many essays and poems which have followed, along with the published memoir "God Makes Angels and Navy Corpsmen," have helped Barna and his fellow veterans heal the scars on the inside, as well as on the outside.

Chris Smith
Meet Chris Smith, Iraq Freedom veteran and team lead of Scranton Warrior Strong. Chris was deployed in 2003, and missed out on his daughters growing up. He was separated from his children, and ended up homeless, suffering from PTSD and traumatic brain injury. Hear the story on where he turned to for help, and how he used these setbacks to change the path of his life.

Upcoming Episodes

Lives Well Lived
Thursday, April 20th 7pm

Lives Well Lived celebrates the incredible wit and wisdom of people aged 75-100, who reveal their secrets for living a meaningful life. Encompassing 3,000 years of collective life experience, diverse people share life lessons about perseverance, the human spirit, and staying positive in the midst of life's greatest challenges. Their stories will make you laugh, perhaps cry, but mostly inspire you.

Quest of Beauty
Thursday, June 15th 7pm

Our need to fit into a society, to be loved and accepted, create an abyss between who we are and who we become. Cris Saur was bullied in school for being taller and skinnier than the rest of the girls. Later she became a model for the exact same features she was bullied for. The pressure for the perfect look left her with a very low self-esteem, and she only realized how damaged her self-esteem was after being physically abused by a former partner. Her distorted ideas of her role as a woman in our society, topped with her low self-esteem were the main reasons why she stayed so long in the abusive relationship. The abuse followed by depression and panic attacks were the catalyst of her quest for beauty.

If you would like to speak with someone about mental health issues, get connected to help:
Dial 211 or text your zip code to 898-211

Mental Health Hotlines and Resources

The National Institute of Mental Health
Family Service Association of NEPA
Crisis Text Line: text the word 'Home' to 741-741
The Trevor Lifeline for LGBTQ Youth: call 1-866-488-7386
The Trans Lifeline: call 1-877-565-8860
Scranton Counseling Center
The Wright Center for Community Health