ITHACA, N.Y. — At a time when many people’s mental health is in decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a local radio program is giving students a platform to voice their experiences with mental illness and to break down stigmas attached to them.
In the fourth and fifth episodes of “Youth Voices,” a series that gives local youth a platform to discuss issues they are passionate about airing on the local station WRFI, nine Ithaca students ranging from middle school to college open up about their experiences with mental illness. “Youth Voices” is produced and hosted by Ithaca Voice contributor J.T. Stone.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 American adults experience a mental disorder every year, as well as 1 in 6 American children.
Despite its commonality, negative attitudes toward mental illness still persist, including the idea that people with mental health disorders are violent, unstable or dangerous.
Although it’s not always easy, talking about mental health and mental illness is the first step to normalizing one of the most stigmatized topics in American culture.