Alicia Quarles Addresses Her Recent Public Mental Health Crisis On ‘Tamron Hall Show’

In a broadcast exclusive interview on the Friday, September 8 edition of  “Tamron Hall,” Emmy Award-winning journalist Alicia Quarles detailed her live-streamed mental health crisis and the healing journey that followed. Tamron held an intimate and powerful conversation as Alicia opened up about her experience with workplace burnout, her unexpected pregnancy and the mental state that led to her arrest. Alicia shared touching moments of her family’s support throughout her recovery and the raw emotions behind losing her mother. Later, Tamron brought out award-winning author of “The Burnout Epidemic: The Rise of Chronic Stress and How We Can Fix It” Jennifer Moss to speak on the importance of combating institutional stress. See more inside and video clip….


Alicia on the moments following her arrest and the support she received from her mother:

“So I get arrested and I wake up in the ER chained to the hospital bed. I’m telling them I’m pregnant and there’s an officer with me, he switched shifts, another officer comes, my officer comes back and he goes ‘You’re still here?’ We’re talking hours. They take me to get an ultrasound, I never got it. Hours later I’m in this room. So I get transferred to a jail – I’m saying ‘Hey, I’m pregnant can I have any food?’ Eventually, hours later a bag of chips. From there I go get arraigned. I have on no shoes – it was inhumane – I have on no shoes, my contacts are now out because they wouldn’t give me saline so I really can’t see and I’m in this holding cell and I walk out I have very bad vision but I see my mom and I can see my aunt and that’s when it all got real. ‘Oh, did I mess up?’ You just think, ‘Did I embarrass my family? Did I mess up?’ That overwhelmed me but my mother was right by my side. She never ever wavered – ever. That’s a mom.”  


Alicia on her losing her mom:

“I lost my mother four days before Mother’s Day and we were planning our first Mother’s Day together – we were so excited. But Tamron, I’m finding meaning in this and Robin Roberts says ‘make a message out of your mess,’ but I’m really turning my pain into triumph. My mother lived long enough to meet my babies. She lived and she was there for me through the hardest part of my life. At a time when so many people weren’t celebrating my pregnancy, my mother did, my father did, my family did. And you know I was talking to my mother the day before she passed, beautiful things, and when she passed, my father, sister and I were there and we kissed her and we saw her over and we prayed her into the next life. I miss my mom but I’m at peace because there was nothing left unsaid between us. And I mean, that’s a mom.” 

Alicia speaks on the raw experience of going through her mental health crisis:

“In that moment, I know that I was panicked and I know people started calling, but the more people started calling, the more anxiety I felt. My phone was ringing nonstop and then my phone was ringing through my computer and it was just constant. So then by the time police came, one of my friends was at the door – it was scary. Another one came and then one was very calm, but what I posted and which freaked me out, if somebody’s in a mental health state the police put a baton through my door and they were banging on the door and that scared me even worse.”


Alicia talks about how the hormones from her pregnancy further impacted her mental health:

“As I’ve spoken to my therapist, professionals, anything else that I was usually built to deal with – the stress right – put that amount of hormones in your body, times two – remember, now I’m just thinking it’s one baby – times two knowing you’re pregnant. It was a recipe for a breakdown.” 


Alicia Quarles opens up about workplace burnout in her experience as a journalist:

“In our industry, I think a lot of industries, it’s feast or famine. So at the time I was working for three different on-air places. My schedule had changed that summer – I was getting up at 4 AM, was on-air at one outlet at 7 AM, would leave that outlet, go to another outlet – film there, go to my other job – film there. I’ve been in New York for 20 years so I had philanthropic causes. There was always something. There were interviews, there were red carpets, there were charities and then nonstop working so I wasn’t going to bed until midnight and I was waking up at 4 AM…I thought you were doing what you’re supposed to be doing and hustle hard.”   

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