In this assignment, you will learn how to make your own podcast segment about an issue related to mental health. You will learn how to create an audio story, write a script, and edit audio. The result: a 3-5 minute audio story about a young person and their experience with mental health. Click on the Assignment Tab above to view the project.
Global and national events plus all that is going on in our homes and neighborhoods affect our MENTAL HEALTH.
What is mental health? Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices [source]. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including: biological factors (such as genes or brain chemistry), life experiences, and family history.
Mental illness is on the rise among adolescents, with 1 in 5 teenagers living with a severe mental disorder [source]. And 70% of teens say that anxiety and depression are major problems among people their age in their community [source]. That means that mental concerns are really common. There are many resources available, though young people may not always know where to go for help.
Why report on mental health? The media plays a crucial role in advancing our understanding of mental health and reducing stigmas around these conditions. Youth journalists, in particular, have a unique perspective and opportunity to show what mental health really looks like for young people, what kind of services are available to them, and the real stories behind the statistics.
Before embarking with your students on generating story ideas and diving into production, it is important to first:
TEACHERS: USE THESE CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES TO START THE CONVERSATION
External Podcast Resources:
Some great podcasts to listen to with your students:
Students leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving, and demonstrating competency in their learning goals, informed by the learning sciences. (ISTE)
Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals. (ISTE)
Create an AUDIO STORY about yourself or a student(s) in your community who experiences mental health challenges. What has their experience been like? What resources, tips, or tactics have they found to help them deal with these challenges?
Edited audio stories should be max. 5 minutes in length.
**IMPORTANT: In your story, please use FIRST names only for young people under 18.**
OPTION 1: Personal Story (all levels)
OPTION 2: Conversation (intermediate)
OPTION 3: Investigative Story (intermediate/advanced)
Step One: Find a subject and ask if they’d like to participate
Step Two: Fill out the SRL AUDIO PITCH SHEET and return it to your teacher
Step Three: Write your interview questions or plan out your audio diary
Step Four: SCHEDULE your interview and PREPARE your subject
READ TO YOUR SUBJECT:
Before we begin, I want you to know that your story will be edited and may be included in a series by PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs. This podcast will be available to the public. That’s why it’s so important for you to only share what you’re comfortable with everybody knowing about you. If I ask you any questions that make you feel uncomfortable, you don’t need to answer them. And if you want to stop at any time, just let me know.
Also, we have a lot of resources at https://studentreportinglabs.org/mentalhealthresources/. To provide additional support, my teacher (or Youth Media Producer) is on this interview with us. Does all of this sound OK? Do you have any questions or concerns before we start?” [If subject is under 18, add:] “And how would you like to be named in the edited audio story--first name only? Or do you prefer to remain completely anonymous?”
Step Five: RECORD your interview or audio diary
Step Six: Record AUDIO SCENES
Step Seven: TRANSCRIBE your interview or audio diary
Step Eight: Write and record your voiceover/VOICE TRACK. Voice track should include:
Example: “Before we get started, we want to let you know that we talk about depression in this story. If you or someone you know is experiencing mental health issues, we have a list of resources available to help. It’s at the website [insert SRL website page]”.
Step Nine: EDIT your audio story using any audio or video software or app
Step Ten: SUBMIT the script AND rough cut to your teacher
This challenge/project does not have an active deadline to submit to PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs. However, students are encouraged to publish their stories on their school/club/program website or through video/social platforms such as YouTube, Instagram or Twitter and tag Student Reporting Labs. The On Our Minds podcast is an ongoing series with new episodes every year so don't forget to tag us if you'd like for us to hear your story. Check with your teacher to find out instructions for class submissions.