COVID-19's Impact On Mental Health In Wyoming


COVID-19 has made an impact on Wyoming communities, but one thing that doesn’t seem talked about enough is the effect a pandemic can have on mental health. Wyoming remains one of the highest states in the nation for suicides per capita, and many rural communities face extreme difficulty finding support in a mental health crisis.

On September 28th, 2021 Wyoming Public Media hosted a live panel of experts discussing the state of mental health in Wyoming hospitals, self-care, telehealth resources, and questions from people in your communities. News Director Bob Beck moderated this discussion.


Dr. David Martorano obtained his medical degree from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York and completed his residency in psychiatry at the University of California Neuropsychiatric Institute. He specializes in addictions and is affiliated with the American Society of Addiction Medicine and the California Society of Addiction Medicine. Dr. Martorano is a second-generation psychiatrist raised near New York City.

Julio Brionez, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist, works at the University of Wyoming counseling center. Dr. Brionez is a first-generation college student, identifies as Latino, male, uses he/him pronouns. Dr. Brionez specializes in the prevention of suicide and uses interventions from acceptance and commitment therapy and brief psychodynamic therapy.

Dr. Kilwein is a clinical psychologist licensed in the states of Wyoming, Colorado, and North Dakota. She works full-time at the University of Wyoming, where she is both the trauma specialist and director of clinical training, as well as part-time as the founder/private practice provider at Tess M. Kilwein, LLC. Her clinical interests include trauma/PTSD, substance use/addiction, behavioral health consultation, transgender care, and sports psychology. In addition to providing clinical services to the University of Wyoming and Laramie community, Dr. Kilwein is active in both clinical research examining risk behaviors (e.g., substance use, sexual behaviors) and community activism/organizing. More recently, she is involved in efforts at the intersection of mental health and policing, including the implementation of an alternative crisis response team and a police oversight board.

Dr. Cynthia Hartung teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in developmental psychopathology, psychology of gender, and the assessment and treatment of attention and learning problems across the lifespan. Dr. Hartung is the director of The Psychology Center for Training in Assessment, Treatment, and Clinical Research. She also supervises doctoral student therapists and mentors graduate student research in the department’s APA-accredited clinical psychology Ph.D. program. Her research interests include sex and gender differences in psychopathology and the assessment and treatment of ADHD in adolescents and emerging adults with a focus on healthy lifestyle interventions.


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