This Week’s “Life Interrupted: Couples” Explores How to Best Cope with Pandemic Life Together
Join us this Thursday, June 18, at 1 p.m. for a talk-story session on how to survive and thrive through the challenges of COVID-19 with your partner.
Some couples found themselves learning new sides of their partners when stay-at-home orders forced many of us to work, live, eat and sleep in the same place with the same people for weeks that stretched into months.
Even as restrictions are lifting, most people can expect to spend a lot more time with fewer people in the coming months. Some people found ways to celebrate the togetherness by cooking, working out, gardening or getting outside to walk together. Others competed for resources and space while worrying about finances. And some found work keeping them physically apart.
We talk to the experts about how couples can be pulled together or apart, tips for connecting, routines, rituals, strategies that might help. More of the community is opening up, yet even these changes seem to make us more anxious. We get some help for all these complicated feelings. And we’ll ask our panelists for what’s worked (or hasn’t!) in their own lives.
Mestisa Gass is the Program Director for Mental Health America of Hawai‘i. She is a member of the Mental Health Task Force, the Statewide and O‘ahu Suicide Prevention Task Forces and a board member for the Waipahu Aloha Clubhouse.
Retired Judge Michael Broderick has been CEO of the YMCA of Honolulu since 2010. The Y has nine branches, 1,400 employees, a 30-million-dollar budget and provides services and programs to more than 100,000 people a year. As a family court judge, he presided over more than 10,000 cases. He also was the director of the state Judiciary, responsible for the day-to-day operations of the court system. Prior to that, he was the special assistant to Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley. He serves on a wide range of community boards. Mike received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University and his law degree from UCLA. He has been married to Maile Meyer for 38 years, and they have three adult children.
Kainoa Kāneakua runs a private practice as a marriage and family therapist in Honolulu. He earned a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from Argosy University – Hawai‘i and a doctorate in clinical psychology from the Hawai‘i School of Professional Psychology. He’s enjoyed teaching graduate-level classes in subjects such as advanced theoretical orientations, group counseling, and marriage and couples counseling. He enjoys playing volleyball (less as he gets older) and is transitioning into playing more doubles tennis.
Kathleen Rhoads Merriam has been in the mental health field for 36 years and has worked in four states. She came to Hawai‘i in 2003 to assist with the development of clubhouses, or psychosocial rehabilitation programs. She was the international trainer at Fountain House in NYC. Since then, she has had various positions with the adult mental health division. Currently she is the supervisor at the Windward Community Mental Health Center. She is active in suicide prevention, and an active member of the National Alliance for Mental Illness, National Association of Social Workers and Rotary.
Robbie Dingeman is editor at large of HONOLULU Magazine. The award-winning journalist has more than 25 years of experience telling the stories of Hawai‘i in daily newspapers, magazines, television and on the web. She co-authored two books about crime in Hawai‘i and serves as co-artistic director of the semi-annual Gridiron show, which riffs on the news to raise money for internships for the Society of Professional Journalists.
And tune in next week live for “Life Interrupted: Home.”