Newsmakers for Jan. 7: Mental health help for Harvey victims

Komen Race; Houston Grand Opera wins Emmy

HOUSTON – As we start 2018, the challenges created by Hurricane Harvey remain.

The recovery process is still slow for some and stressful for all. That’s where Texans Recovering Together can help those dealing with problems that can lead to serious mental health concerns.

“The main thing is to reach out (and) communicate,” said Leondre LeDoux, the assistant program manager for Texans Recovering Together. “Let us know what’s going on (and) the issues that you’re experiencing. The feelings or the emotions (are) normal. The area has gone through three consecutive disasters within the last three years.”

Kimberly Pate is a crisis counselor for Harris Mental Health and said there are several signs to fo which to watch.

"Depression, anxiety, frustration, sleep problems, eating problems, energy level going down, negative thoughts," Pate said. "All of those create emotional distress.”  

Komen Race more than a run

Hurricane Harvey also caused postponement of October’s Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. That event is now scheduled for Jan. 27.

Komen Houston executive director Emelda Douglas said the event is actually much more than just a race.

“The proceeds from this race will be used to provide screenings, education, breast cancer treatments, transportation, child-care, anything that a woman would need during her breast cancer journey,” Douglas said.

Molly Bobrow is the race co-chair and a two-time 20-year cancer survivor. She said this event may have saved her life.

“It’s important for me to be able to give back, and the best way to give back is to fundraise," Bobrow said. "I can’t help but think that if it weren’t for Komen and all the great things that they do for research and to help people, I may not be with you today.”

Displaced by Harvey, Houston Grand Opera thrives

The Houston Grand Opera is also starting 2018 in the George R. Brown Convention Center because of damage caused by Harvey.

HGO’s conductor Patrick Summers and managing director Perryn Leech said the show must go on.

“We’re outside of our normal performing situation,” Summers said. “There’s no orchestra pit, so we’ve put the orchestra in various places -- behind the set, to the side of the set--  creating new and creative ways to perform opera, but it’s very exciting.”

“People love opera and they come to see opera,” Leech said. “The fact that after Harvey they were wondering whether they would have opera, the relief of having opera in their lives and great art in their lives, is huge.”

A bonus from the past year was a Lone Star Emmy won by the HGO and Sculpting with Time Productions for the promotion campaign produced for the “Ring Cycle."

Watch the winning entry produced by Alex Douglas here.

Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marhshall airs Sundays at 10:30 a.m.

More information

Leondre LeDoux, assistant program manager of Texans Recovering Together

Kimberly Pate, crisis counselor at Harris Mental Health

Molly Bobrow, co-race director of Komen Race for the Cure

Emelda Douglas, executive director of Susan G. Komen Houston

Patrick Summers, conductor of Houston Grand Opera

Perryn Leech, managing director of Houston Grand Opera

Alex Douglas, Sculpting with Time Productions

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