Teen Connection Offers Support to Youth Affected by Mental Health Issues

June 2, 2015

For More Information:

David Glisczinski, publicist, david.glisczinski@wpt.org

Joel Waldinger, executive producer, joel.waldinger@wpt.org

Teen Connection Offers Support to Youth Affected by Mental Health Issues

The next episode of Teen Connection will examine what's being done to assist Wisconsin youth who are affected by mental health issues. The live television program will focus on parent peer specialists and school- and community-based mental health services — two methods being implemented by the Wisconsin Office of Children's Mental Health (OCMH).

Teen Connection “Mental Health and Youth” airs statewide 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 10 on Wisconsin Public Television (WPT) and on MPTV Channel 10 in Milwaukee.

In a recent report to the Wisconsin Legislature, the OCMH indicated that approximately one in four high school students experience symptoms of depression. The report also noted Wisconsin's high rate of children's psychiatric hospitalization and a suicide rate among youth that is 40 percent higher than the national average.

The OCMH, which was created as part of the 2013-2015 biennial budget, is tasked with improving children and families' access to mental health services.

Guests on Teen Connection will include OCMH Family Relations Coordinator Joann Stephens and Wisconsin Council of Administrators of Special Services Executive Director Gary Myrah.

Additional guests include Bellin Health Pediatrician Dr. Joseph Kellner, Wisconsin Family Ties Regional Coordinator and Parent Peer Specialist Deb Ramacher, Green Bay Police Department Community Crisis Intervention Officer and District Captain Jeremy Muraski and American Foundation of Counseling Services Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Rebecca Beall.

Teenagers, including Miss Wisconsin Jr. Teen United States Brittany Georgia, will also share their personal experiences.

Crisis counselors will be available to talk during the live broadcast. Anyone who is depressed, despairing, going through a hard time or just needs to talk may call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255).

Teen Connection is a production of Educational TV Productions of Northeast Wisconsin (ETP-NEW) and WPT. Host Kathryn Bracho appears courtesy of WBAY-Channel 2 in Green Bay.

The live program features a call-in option at 877-988-2888. It is a toll-free call. The service will be provided courtesy of Nsight Teleservices. For more resources, including streaming video of this and previous broadcasts, check wpt.org/TeenConnection.

Viewers can text in their questions to 920-288-2574. Standard text message rates apply. Viewers can also submit questions on Teen Connection's Facebook page before or during the program at facebook.com/WisconsinTeenConnection.

Joel Waldinger of WPT is the executive producer of Teen Connection. Dean Leisgang of Educational Television Productions of Northeastern Wisconsin and Eileen Littig, NEWIST/CESA #7, are co-producers.

WPT is a service of the Educational Communications Board and University of Wisconsin-Extension.

Wisconsin Public Television is a place to grow through learning on WHA-TV, Madison; WPNE-TV, Green Bay; WHRM-TV, Wausau; WLEF-TV, Park Falls; WHLA-TV, La Crosse; and WHWC-TV, Menomonie-Eau Claire.

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