In response to alarming mental health statistics, YR Media and members of the California Youth Media Network (CYMN) launched “You’re Not Alone,” a new reporting series aimed at shedding light on the challenges facing younger generations. With contributions from across California, the “You’re Not Alone” reporting project offers a compassionate and informative look at a range of topics from anxiety and depression, to the impact of climate change on mental health.
“We hope that this series will serve as a valuable resource for youth, families, educators, and policymakers grappling with these critical issues,” said Kyra Kyles, CEO of YR Media. “With suicide and depression rates continuing to increase, it is more important than ever to have an honest and open dialogue about mental health, particularly in underrepresented BIPOC and LGBTQIA communities. It is even more important for younger generations to tell these stories on their own terms.”
Young people across the country from different backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses are experiencing mental challenges at an increased rate, while many of them are suffering in silence. The National Institute of Mental Health revealed that 1 in 6 U.S. youth experience a mental health disorder yearly, yet only half receive treatment. Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that suicide rates among youth increased by more than 50% from 2007 to 2018, and that number has only continued to climb since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
In response to these staggering statistics, Gen Z and Alpha reports have set on a mission to offer profound knowledge on promoting mental health wellness across communities. Journalists between ages 16 and 26 will tell their stories from the vantage point of the impacted. Featuring writers from the Boyle Heights Beat, The kNOw, Richmond Pulse, We’Ced, Coachella Unincorporated, Voices of Monterey Bay and YR Media, the series aims to raise awareness about the experiences of younger generations while promoting greater understanding and empathy for their struggles.
“By elevating the voices of content creators, we hope to break down barriers and start conversations that debunk misconceptions about mental health,” said Nykeya Woods, YR Media Entertainment & Culture Editor/Producer and editorial project manager for ‘You’re Not Alone.’ “Our hope is that these stories will inspire others to speak about their experiences and ask for the support they need.”
“You’re Not Alone” is available at californiayouthmedia.org/. Follow the hashtag #yourenotalone on social media or visit YR Media to read the series and other content developed by YR Media youth journalists.