Christine Herman

Reporter, WILL

Christine Herman is a Ph.D. chemist turned audio journalist. Her reporting has received awards from the Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association and has aired on national programs including All Things Considered and Here & Now. Christine is a mother of three and aspiring aerial artist. She's a recipient of the 2018-2019 Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism and has been working at Illinois Public Media since 2015. 

Ways to Connect

Illustration by Tamara Cubrilo

When José moved his family to the U.S. from Mexico nearly two decades ago, he had hopes of giving his children a better life.

But now he worries about the future of his 21-year-old-son, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder last year.


Christine Herman/Illinois Public Media

Losing a loved one to gun violence can cause anxiety, stress and other mental health symptoms. So can simply living in an environment where violence is common.

But experts say early intervention and support can help prevent some of those negative, long-term consequences.


Photo courtesy of Carrie Vickery.

A small but growing number of U.S. women are choosing to have their babies at home. In more than 30 states, including most of the Midwest, it’s legal for certified professional midwives – trained specifically in home birth – to assist them.

angel4leon/pixabay (CC0)

Across much of the Midwest, maternal and infant death rates are high—especially among African-Americans. So doctors, public health agencies and non-profit organizations are searching for solutions.

Among them is Sistering CU in Champaign-Urbana, Ill. It offers free home visits from trained volunteers to families with babies up to six months in age. It also recently launched a support group for new parents.


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An Illinois Senate bill aims to help children who are at risk of entering state custody because of issues caused by untreated mental illness. The measure comes as states grapple with ways to help parents who face a heartbreaking choice: giving up custody to obtain expensive treatment for a child.


Courtesy of Jessica Barnes

Measles is a potentially deadly illness that is spreading in many parts of the world. Thanks to vaccines, the disease was eliminated from the U.S. almost two decades ago.

But measles outbreaks have sprung up ever since.


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Research shows African-Americans are less likely to access treatment for mental illness.

Cultural norms and the stigma associated with having a mental illness are partly to blame, according to Shardé Smith, assistant professor of human development and family studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Christine Herman/Illinois Public Media

Ashoor Rasho has spent more than half of his life alone in a prison cell—22 to 24 hours a day. The cell was so narrow he could reach his arms out and touch both walls at once.

Photo by Parentingupstream is licensed under CC0. https://pixabay.com/en/doctor-hospital-bed-delivery-labor-840127/

A law professor in Illinois wants to put a stop to a medical practice that she says treats women’s bodies like cadavers. 

Across most of the U.S., teaching hospitals allow medical students to conduct pelvic exams on female patients without their knowledge or explicit consent. 


Photo by Silviarita/Pixabay is licensed under CC 0. https://pixabay.com/en/snow-landscape-winter-cold-nature-2952307/

Stress is a normal part of life. And there’s even such thing as a “good” level of stress that keeps us going, according to psychology researchers Sanda and Florin Dolcos at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

But severe stress can interfere with day-to-day living, and this can be particularly challenging during the holiday season, they say.

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