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Photo of Chris Biehn, an Ithaca College Park Scholar student who is a mental health advocate and open about his struggles with bipolar disorder. Photo credit: Courtesy of Chris Biehn

The Loneliness Radio Project, Ep. 1: Top student shares struggles with bipolar disorder, medical leave [AUDIO]

Welcome to the premiere episode of The Loneliness Project, an audio production of WRFI and the Ithaca College Park Scholars Program. From mental health to social media, reporters throughout the Ithaca community are analyzing the issue of loneliness through multiple lenses. This piece is also part of a larger multimedia collaboration with The Ithaca Voice and The Cornell Daily Sun.

This week, we start with a story that is both personal and powerful. Our first episode focuses on someone who struggles with bipolar disorder. Some doctors say this person has one of the most severe cases of bipolar disorder they have ever observed. As a content warning, this episode will include mentions of suicide.

Reporters Elena Piech and Sophia Tulp reported this piece, with editorial supervision from WRFI’s Laura Rosbrow-Telem. Mars Booker and Elena Piech wrote and produced the theme music. All other music was provided by AudioBlock. We especially want to thank Engaged Cornell and The Sophie Fund for supporting this collaboration and The Park Foundation for supporting the Park Scholars Program and WRFI.

The Loneliness Project will explore more topics relating to loneliness and mental health in the next five weeks. Listen in on Fridays after WRFI Community Radio news headlines at 6 p.m. Tune in live at 88.1 FM in Ithaca and 91.9 FM in Watkins Glen. Or stream online at

If you feel like you are in crisis, or know someone who might be, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It is a free, 24-hour hotline, at 1.800.273.TALK, or 1.800.273.8255. If you are on Cornell University’s campus, you can reach their health center’s Crisis Counseling and Intervention line at 607-255-5155. Ithaca College students and members of the Ithaca community can call Ithaca’s Suicide Prevention and Crisis Service at 607-272-1616.

*This piece first aired on WRFI Community Radio News on Nov. 9. A transcript is soon to follow below. 

Episode 1: Top student shares struggles with bipolar disorder, medical leave