“You’re Not Alone” Reporting Series Explores Mental Health Amidst Alarming Rise in Youth Suicide Rates Since the Pandemic

Gen Z and Alpha reporters power this 17-Part multimedia project developed by YR Media in collaboration with the California Youth Media Network

OAKLAND, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#YRMedia–Young people across the country, from different backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses, are experiencing mental challenges at an increased rate and many of them are suffering in silence.

Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that suicide rates among youth increased by more than 50% between 2007 and 2018, and that number has only continued to climb since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Another recent study from the National Institute of Mental Health revealed that one in six U.S. youth experience a mental health disorder each year, yet only half receive treatment.

In response to these staggering statistics, YR Media and members of the California Youth Media Network (CYMN) will launch 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. Most importantly, these stories are being told from the vantage point of the impacted: journalists between the ages of 16 and 26.

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 and promote 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.”

“We believe 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 honest and open dialogues 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.”

“You’re Not Alone” launches today, May 11, 2023, at https://californiayouthmedia.org. Funding for the series was provided by The California Endowment. Follow the hashtag #YoureNotAlone on social media or visit https://yr.media to read the series and other content developed by YR Media youth journalists.

About YR Media

YR Media (formerly Youth Radio), is an award-winning leading media, technology, and music training center and platform for emerging BIPOC content creators, who use their voices to change the world. Headquartered in downtown Oakland, California, the non-profit has invested almost 30 years in helping future generations build foundational skills in journalism and multimedia content creation. They produce journalism, music, graphic design, podcasts, and documentaries that disrupt and shape the mainstream narrative. For more information on YR Media visit yrmedia.org.

About The California Youth Media Network

The California Youth Media Network is a robust network, built over more than a decade, of youth-driven community journalism hubs around the state of California. Network groups work together to build youth skills and leadership, raise the visibility of youth voice statewide, bring more voices into high-profile media outlets that can influence policy, convene regularly to share best practices in media production, and build coalitions and impact. For more information visit the California Youth Media Network online.


Press Contact:
Heath Meyer


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