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NPT Explores the Mental Well-Being of Tennessee’s Youth in Latest Installment of ‘Children’s Health Crisis.’

NPT Explores the Mental Well-Being of Tennessee’s Youth in Latest Installment of ‘Children’s Health Crisis.’
by Nashville Public Television | Jun 24, 2011

NASHVILLE – According to a recent study, more than 27% of youth In Tennessee report having felt so sad and hopeless for two or more weeks, that they stopped doing some of their usual activities. In “NPT Reports: Children’s Health Crisis: Mental Health,” the fifth installment in the Emmy® Award-winning public affairs series, Nashville Public Television looks at the mental well-being of Tennessee’s youth. Premiering Wednesday, June 29 at 9:00 p.m., the program explores what it means to be mentally healthy and how to recognize children who are struggling with social, emotional and behavioral health issues.

Produced by Mary Makley, who also produced the “Overview” and “Obesity” episodes of the series, and hosted by Kimberly Williams-Paisley, the documentary also examines the root causes of mental health problems, what works in treating children, and the challenges facing children and families who need help. It will be followed by a panel discussion taped in front of a live audience in NPT’s Studio A.

“One of the most surprising things I learned was how effective treatment can be for children with mental health disorders and how important it is to seek out help as early as possible,” said Makley. “We really need to work hard as a community to debunk the myths and stereotypes about mental health that prevent or delay families from getting help.”

Experts interviewed in the documentary include Millie Sweeney, M.S., assistant director for programs, Tennessee Voices for Children; Linda O’Neal, executive director, TN Commission on Children &Youth; Doug Varney; commissioner, TN Department of Mental Health; Harsh K. Trivedi, M.D., executive medical director & chief of staff, Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital; and Victor Carrion, M.D., director, Stanford Early Life Stress Research Program, Stanford University/Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

During the broadcast, viewers are encouraged to engage each other in discussion on Twitter with hashtag #childrenshealth.

NPT’s Children’s Health Crisis Project is a three-year initiative built around a series of seven documentaries on the state of children’s health in Tennessee. Other elements of the project include follow-up discussion programs, daily on-air health updates, an extensive project website at and community outreach on related topics. At the 25th MidSouth Regional Emmy® Awards in January 2011, the “Overview” episode won the award for best topical documentary, and the “Infant Mortality” episode took home the Emmy® for best public affairs program.

All episodes of the series, as well as bonus interviews and extended segments are available for free streaming at

“NPT Reports: Children’s Health Crisis” is made possible through major support by the Healthways Foundation, the Nashville Health Care Council, the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics and the Baptist Healing Trust, with additional funding by the Orrin H. Ingram Fund. A multitude of community partnerships have provided invaluable support to the project, most notably Alignment Nashville, whose “5 Pillars of Children’s Health” provided the initial outline for the project.

About Nashville Public Television                                                                    Nashville Public Television is available free and over the air to nearly 2.4 million people throughout the Middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky viewing area, and is watched by more than 600,000 households every week. The mission of NPT is to provide, through the power of traditional television and interactive telecommunications, high quality educational, cultural and civic experiences that address issues and concerns of the people of the Nashville region, and which thereby help improve the lives of those we serve.

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