Eyewitness News Investigates: The Silent Struggle

ABC11 kicked off Mental Health Awareness Month with Eyewitness News Investigates: The Silent Struggle.

The half-hour of special coverage explored COVID-19 loss to loneliness and repeated racial trauma.

Then, in a town hall conversation called the "Silent Struggle," Amber Rupinta and a panel of experts answered questions including how to cope with grief and how to talk to children who are struggling during the pandemic.

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ABC11 is kicking off Mental Health Awareness Month with Eyewitness News Investigates: The Silent Struggle.



Panelists include:

  • Dr. Mehul Mankad: Chief Medical Officer with Alliance Health
  • Dr. Nerissa Price: Medical Director of WakeMed's Behavioral Community Case Management
  • Dr. Ashly Gaskin-Wasson: Owner of PACT in Durham and is both a Psychologist and a Racial Trauma Therapist
  • Dr. Katherine Knutson: UnitedHealthcare (Sponsor)


Mental Health Awareness: How a guided meditation works
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Dr. Mehul Mankad, Chief Medical Officer with Alliance Health, leads a guided meditation.




Provider Bio - Dr. Katherine Knutson
Katherine Hobbs Knutson, MD MPH is a Senior Vice President at United Health Group and CEO of Optum Behavioral Care. She is an Adult and Child Psychiatrist and adjunct Assistant Professor at the Duke University School of Medicine. Through Optum Behavioral Care, Katherine is redesigning behavioral health care delivery, creating a scalable model to improve efficiency, quality, and access. Prior to Optum, Katherine was the Chief of Behavioral Health and Blue Cross North Carolina and drove value transformation through integrated care, quality improvement, and the development of alternative payment models for behavioral health. At Duke Health, she practices in integrated care settings treating individuals with serious mental illness and substance use disorders. Katherine was the Chief Medical Officer at Alliance Behavioral Healthcare (2017-18), Director of Community Psychiatry at the Children's National Health System (2014-15), and Associate Medical Director for Psychiatry for the Massachusetts Medicaid program (2013-14). She has conducted health services research on psychiatry telephone consultation programs, behavioral health predictive modeling, and care management interventions that incorporate peer and family support.
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