Darian Benson

Darian Benson is a reporter based at WFYI in Indianapolis. An Indy native, she is eager to report on public health in her hometown. Darian graduated with a journalism degree from Indiana Unviersity- Purdue University Indianapolis. Previously, she covered city and public policy for WFYI and statewide public health for Indiana Public Broadcasting. 

At Riley Hospital for Children there's been a jump in emergency room visits related to mental health and suicide. From March to December, these visits increased 61 percent compared to the same months in 2019.

Hilary Blake, a psychologist at the Indianapolis hospital, says there is a mental health crisis in Indiana.

On Dec. 4, Dr. Susan Moore posted a video from her hospital bed in the Indianapolis area. Short of breath and with an oxygen tube in her nose, she said that she was denied proper care while being treated for COVID-19.

Less than three weeks later, she died from the virus. 

For many mothers giving  birth during the pandemic, pregnancy has not gone as planned. To learn about these experiences, a pair of researchers is collecting pandemic birth stories from across the country. 

The new  COVID-19 vaccine is being rolled out across the country — a process that will take months. But there were hopeful signs Wednesday at an Indianapolis hospital where some of the first shots were given.

The continued stress from COVID-19 has heightened mental health problems nationwide. And some experts say that has led to an increase in drug overdoses.

Last of a four-part series. As we conclude our series on young activists, we meet Maria Duenas Lopez, a first generation Mexican-American who advocates for immigrants. Side Effects Public Media’s Darian Benson interviewed her about the importance of an inclusive democracy.  

America Amplified: Election 2020 is a national talk show that will dive into the challegnes facing America before and after election day on November 3. This six-part, one-hour weekly radio talk show will air Sundays on WFYI from 3 to 4 p.m. from October 11- November 15. Learn more about Episode 1 below. 

This episode of "America Amplified: Election 2020" explores what is dividing our country right now and what can be done to unite us. Guests include former mayor of Atlanta Shirley Franklin, Katherine Narvaez Mena, a DACA recipient, and Ben Barto, who sells Trump-related products in Wyoming.

Part 3 in a series. As we continue our series on young activists, we meet Tyshara Loynes, a college student working to protect a street with historic significance for Indianapolis' Black community. Side Effects Public Media’s Darian Benson interviewed her as part of an audio diary project for America Amplified. 

Part 2 in a series. Our series on young people driving community change continues with Dyna Martinez, an Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis student who was deeply influenced by her childhood in Honduras. Side Effects Public Media’s Darian Benson interviewed her as part of an audio diary project for America Amplified reporting initiative. 

Part 1 in a series. Voting is a big issue as we get closer to Election Day. But that isn’t the only way people are making their voices heard this year. Over the past few months, Side Effects Public Media’s Darian Benson has followed four young activists as part of an audio diary project for America Amplified reporting initiative. One of them is Taylor Hall, a 20-year-old who helped organize one of the summer’s largest protests in Indianapolis. 

Dani Hoover is a 26-year-old social worker in Indianapolis. She has battled depression and anxiety since high school, and the pandemic hasn’t made it any easier.

In August, Robert Pettigrew was working a series of odd jobs. While washing the windows of a cellphone store he saw a sign, one that he believes the "good Lord" placed there for him.

"Facing eviction?" the sign read. "You could be eligible for up to $3,000 in rent assistance. Apply today."

When the COVID shutdown hit, lots of people lost jobs and couldn’t pay their rent. States and cities responded by putting a moratorium on evictions, but those are ending. Housing advocates are now bracing for a flood of evictions — and a public health problem.

States continue to reopen, but the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, according to experts on Indiana Public Broadcasting’s All IN talk show. The experts discussed the current state of the pandemic and how state officials have responded — as well as the need for more data.

Dr. Blessing Ogbemudia graduated from Indiana University’s medical school in May. As he was celebrating with a few friends, he received an anonymous message on Instagram. It contained an audio clip of someone talking about him.