- Associated Press - Thursday, December 21, 2017

MIDLAND, Texas (AP) - A Midland-based online radio show is spreading information about mental health, one broadcast at a time.

The “Eyes on Psych” program offers commentary to the visually impaired and other listeners.

The Midland Reporter-Telegram reports Chris Brown, station manager at Recording Library of West Texas (RLWT), conceived the show more than one year ago. The nonprofit mainly serves people who are blind, and Brown said that population sometimes faces psychological difficulties.

“Some of these people are absolutely alone, and it’s nice to have not only a voice of reason, but to get a good laugh out of it from time to time, too,” he said.

During 30-minute recordings, some of the insight comes from Lewis Busbee, a local licensed professional counselor. He agreed to participate in the show because he has known Brown for years and thinks the broadcast can help people understand how to cope with depression or anxiety.

“I think it’s very valuable, and I think it’s good to help people that need help,” Busbee said. “Chris made it very clear that a lot of his listeners - they have a disability of one sort or another. Usually they’re blind, and they’re stuck in (the) house.”

Busbee said he has noticed the need for affordable mental health resources locally. He said “Eyes on Psych” shares with listeners the services that are available in the community.

The broadcasts have covered a variety of topics, ranging from addiction to relationships. One recent on-air guest, Cory Maxwell, offered comments about healthy eating habits. He said being on the show informed him about RLWT.

“We’ve talked about any way that I can be involved in the future,” Maxwell said. “I’m just so excited because what is being done here, I think is fantastic.”

RLWT is a nonprofit that serves clients who have reading disabilities because of visual, physical or learning impairments. The organization creates audio recordings and operates a 24-hour radio station that broadcasts printed materials.

Brown said “Eyes on Psych” fits with the station’s mission to reach a broad audience while addressing the experiences that clients face. He said the mental health radio show is a break from some of the informational content in the RLWT lineup.

“Ours kind of cuts through all of that,” Brown said. “It’s a real radio show, something that you would listen to for entertainment value.”

Ideas for “Eyes on Psych” broadcasts come from current events and client experiences, according to Brown. The recordings are streamed most Friday afternoons on Facebook Live, giving those who tune in the chance to ask questions in real time.

Sarah January, administrative assistant at RLWT, said listeners have provided feedback about the show’s approach.

“The conversational style is something that people comment on a lot,” she said. “They say that it’s really fun because it’s like they’re having a conversation with somebody right there in their home.”

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Information from: Midland Reporter-Telegram, http://www.mywesttexas.com


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