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May 18, 2023
In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month this month, local television and radio broadcasters are highlighting this important issue, offering information on resources and reducing the stigma of getting help.
Sinclair Broadcast Group’s WJAC-TV Johnstown, Pa., spoke with local mental health professionals about their concerns regarding social media and mental health, specifically with children. Social media can be a good tool if used in moderation, and the mental health professionals stressed the importance of engaging with children from the outset and looking for warning signs.
Nexstar Media Group’s FOX4 in Kansas City, Mo., spotlighted a local business owned by two mothers that aims to help remind fellow mothers that it’s okay to ask for help and to take time to care for their themselves. Lauren Hays and Megan Dalton created The Matrescence site as a place where moms can go to connect with others and get advice on almost every aspect of motherhood before, during and after the baby comes.
In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, Audacy’s KLUC-FM Las Vegas, Nev., shared a list of 10 helpful tips from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to create more positive spaces while also taking into consideration the different mental health challenges each person faces on a daily basis. AFSP’s tips included drinking plenty of water, taking daily breaks, extending compassion to yourself and setting small, daily goals to feel a sense of accomplishment and taking the time to acknowledge the “little wins,” no matter how small. Audacy's “I’m Listening” initiative also aims to encourage those who are dealing with mental health issues to understand they are not alone and to reach out to someone for support.
TEGNA’s 11Alive Atlanta, Ga., aired a mental health special aimed at helping raise awareness about trauma, the impact it can have on physical, emotional and mental health, and the importance of getting help and having as many resources as possible. One segment offered tips regarding addressing mental health with kids, highlighting the increase in suicide rates among young people, specifically young girls. Another segment profiled a local 11-year-old who wrote a book about his mental health journey that will soon be a part of his school’s library. “Snap It,” which refers to snapping a rubber band bracelet in times of anxiety and stress, also includes a foreword by Chesley McNeil, 11Alive’s meteorologist.
Urban One’s Hot Spot ATL 107.9 Hampton, Ga., is working to increase awareness of the importance of mental health and wellbeing. Throughout May, the station will have interviews from mental health professionals and provide support by educating the public and advocate for policies that support people with mental health and substance use challenges. In addition, the station also highlighted symptoms of clinical depression and emphasized that due to cultural backgrounds, depression may be exhibited differently among Black Americans.
Cox Media Group’s KIRO 7 Seattle, Wash., reported on the efforts of Washington state officials to modernize and improve the availability of mental health facilities. Right now, Washington State has limited resources for anyone experiencing a mental health episode. In response, both state and local governments are pumping billions into behavioral health care. The goal is to move more patients out of the state’s large psychiatric hospitals and into smaller facilities.
More than 2.47 million American jobs depend on broadcasting, and the local broadcast radio and television industry - and the businesses that depend on it - generate $1.17 trillion annually for the nation's economy.