Traverse City News and Events

Local Youth-Led Mental Health Initiative Launches Original Podcast

March 8, 2024

The Youth Wellness Initiative (YWI), a local student-led project working to “better understand the mental health needs of high school youth across the region,” has launched an original podcast series in partnership with Interlochen Public Radio (IPR). The five-episode series, called “Re:Frame of Mind,” is now live and available for listening on the IPR website, as well as on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or other podcast platforms.

In the podcast, students from the YWI interview a variety of stakeholders from throughout the region about youth mental health. For instance, the first episode features conversations with an advanced grief recovery specialist and a school biology teacher about the importance of mental health education, while the second installment sees YWI members talking with their fellow classmates about the stressors of high school life. The episodes range from 20-40 minutes in length.

Convened and hosted by the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation (GTRCF) and funded by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, the YWI got its start by surveying students from throughout the five-county region about mental health challenges and supports. Based on that survey, the YWI “came up with 11 recommendations that schools, parents, or other organizations serving youth and families can consider while working to address the crisis around youth mental health,” GTRCF President and CEO Dave Mengebier told The Ticker last fall.

Students also used the survey results to brainstorm the major questions and topics explored in the podcast, which represents a new phase of the YWI project.

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