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 towards 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.

In the fifth episode of Youth Voices, WRFI's J.T. Stone interviews local students Sophia Rakovich, Deena Houissa, Leo Brisson and Bethany Mortlock about what it's like living with mental health issues such as panic disorder and dermatillomania, bipolar disorder and OCD, and anorexia and depression. Zoe Gras also recites an original poem about experiencing suicidal ideations. 

This episode originally aired on WRFI on April 7, 2021. Previous episodes of Youth Voices can be found here.