K-12 NewsPBS LearningMedia News

KET raising awareness of youth mental health

KET’s Renee Shaw and Laura Krueger, producers of You are Not Alone, took part in the annual Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day on May 9 in Frankfort. They offered KET’s youth mental health educational resources to teachers, parents, and community members who attended the event.

You Are Not Alone, a six-part series on youth mental health, is being rebroadcast this month as KET continues to raise awareness on the critical issues of suicide prevention, trauma and toxic stress, and depression and anxiety. KET’s free educational resources are available online on PBS LearningMedia:  https://ket.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/youth-mental-health/ .

The topic at the Frankfort event, sponsored by the Kentucky Partnership for Families and Children, was suicide prevention. Shaw served as moderator of a panel discussion on “Suicide Prevention is Everybody’s Business.”

Experts emphasized the importance of ending stigma and normalizing conversations about suicide. Krueger said attendees heard from several people who had attempted or considered suicide—as well as two mothers who lost their sons to suicide.

Statewide youth surveys show an increase in suicide attempts in the past two years among the state’s 6th, 8th, and 12th graders, according to Patti Clark, program manager for the prevention and promotion branch of the Department for Behavioral Health.

“This data shows that prevention efforts should focus on all middle and high school students,” Clark said.

You Are Not Alone premiered in 2018 and is being rebroadcast this month on Mondays at 9/8 pm on KET.  It’s also available to watch online anytime at  https://www.ket.org/health/youth-mental-health.

The series was funded in part by a grant from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Project AWARE.