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    Podcasts capture young people's mental health experiences

    Recently, Radio Workshop brought nine of its South African youth reporters together to produce a podcast episode that captured personal experiences about mental health.
    Image supplied. Abigail Maedza, from Alex FM, one of the young reporters - the youth reporters produced three intimate audio stories over six days
    Image supplied. Abigail Maedza, from Alex FM, one of the young reporters - the youth reporters produced three intimate audio stories over six days

    The episode, Listen To Me, includes three stories and explores a range of mental health topics - including the challenges of living with bipolar disorder, growing up with an absent father, and the impact of trauma.

    Their stories help to understand the struggles of young people across the country and can be powerful tools to spark conversation and action.

    Radio Workshop’s 2022 Annual Report showed South Africa was the lowest-ranked country worldwide for mental well-being with young people, especially young girls, being the most vulnerable.

    Currently, in this regard, South Africa is still amongst the lowest-ranked countries worldwide.

    Research on mental health suggests that children and youth need to be encouraged to speak openly about mental health issues and that they benefit from hearing the experiences of others.

    Radio Workshop’s broadcasts and podcast opens up space for conversations that chip away at the stigma around mental health and encourage youth to access services.

    “This was an opportunity for me to be on the other side of the story, to know what goes into making a story and to learn the vocabulary to describe it,” says Abigail Maedza, from Alex FM, one of the young reporters.

    The youth reporters produced three intimate audio stories over six days during which they also furthered their reporting skills, sharpened their interview technique, and learned new ways to report on mental health topics.

    “The experience has made me realise that it's okay if you don't know something. That opens the door to learning,” adds Maedza

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