Postponed proms. A year of Zoom classes. High school students have been disappointed and disconnected by the coronavirus pandemic, which ruined their routines and kept them isolated from friends and teachers.
So Cincinnati Edition's Michael Monks will host a free live virtual program talking with teens and mental health experts about the impact of COVID-19 on their mental health 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 16.
"Call to Mind Live: Preventing Teen Suicide in a Pandemic of Isolation" is co-produced by Cincinnati Public Radio and Call to Mind, American Public Media’s mental health initiative, as part of the Well Beings Youth Mental Health Project and its Well Beings Tour, a national project led by public media organization WETA addressing youth mental health needs.
"Statistics show suicidal thoughts and actions have been on the rise among teens for several years, leaving parents and teachers desperate for ways to help," according to the media release for the virtual event.
Among the participants will be Dr. Courtney M. Cinko from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and an assistant professor in the University of Cincinnati Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience. Audience members may question the experts during the program.
Teens, teachers, other school staffers and parents are encouraged to register for the digital event here. The program will be recorded for a radio broadcast at a later date.
American Public Media, the largest station-based public radio organization in the U.S., created Call To Mind to prompt conversations about mental health, increase public knowledge and engagement, and empower people to find the support they want and need.
Cincinnati Public Radio also has partnered with WETA and Call To Mind to produce a Well Beings' Greater Cincinnati Area Mental Health Resource Toolkit PDF listing services in Hamilton County, Southwestern Ohio, Northern Kentucky and Southeastern Indiana.
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a hotline for individuals in crisis or for those looking to help someone else, at 1-800-273-8255 to be connected with a certified counselor.
John Kiesewetter's reporting is independent. Cincinnati Public Radio only edits his stories for style and grammar.