A listening guide to the News + Record/Our Chatham’s ‘The Chatcast’

Posted 1/17/20

The 10 episodes of “The Age of Anxiety,” the first season of the podcast “The Chatcast,” have been downloaded more than 500 times collectively in the month since it was released.

The joint …

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A listening guide to the News + Record/Our Chatham’s ‘The Chatcast’

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The 10 episodes of “The Age of Anxiety,” the first season of the podcast “The Chatcast,” have been downloaded more than 500 times collectively in the month since it was released.

The joint project between the News + Record and Our Chatham project of the Reese News Labs of the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media is available for free now wherever podcasts are available. If you haven’t listened yet, but want to give it a try or are not familiar with podcasts, here’s an episode-by-episode guide to “The Chatcast.” Each episode does build off the episodes before it, but each was also designed to cover a topic on its own and be listened to separately.

Additionally, you still have time to listen to all the episodes before January 29, the day the next One Chatham forum is scheduled. “The Age of Anxiety” will be the topic of the discussion, slated to begin at 7 p.m. in the Holmes Meeting Room of the Chatham Community Library in Pittsboro.

1) Living in the Age of Anxiety: In the first episode, we meet Abigail Holmes, a sophomore at Chatham Charter School who has struggled with depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. We also look at the state of mental health among Chatham County teens and explain why we’re doing the podcast.

2) Neuro: Episode 2 serves as a bit of a glossary, a place you can go to define mental health disorders as well as get a baseline for why teenagers struggle with mental health issues more than most populations.

3) The School Strain: In Episode 3, we focus in on the relationship between school, academics and mental health for teenagers, particularly when it comes to paying for college and peer relationships. We also get to meet Pittsboro teenager Elijah Roebuck, a freshman at Northwood High School.

4) The Age of Instant Information: Social media and online influences can make adolescents feel like they’re constantly plugged in. In this episode, we explore this question: Could all that connectedness take a toll on mental health?

5) External: Episode 5’s focus is external factors that can affect adolescent mental health, including family situations, school shootings, gender expectations and the political climate.

6) On the Margins: In this episode, we explore why the rate of mental health issues is higher among teens in “marginalized populations,” especially LGBTQ youth and ethnic minorities. We also get to meet Chatham teens Kevin Manzanarez, Chloe Rayno and Quinn Hennessey.

7) Self-Med: We look into different methods teens use to deal with their mental health struggles, including substance abuse, self-harm and even suicide, getting input from community figures like state Rep. Robert Reives II and Chatham Drug Free’s George Greger-Holt.

8) Stuck in the Gap: This episode focuses on policy and access to mental health care and the various challenges and burdens in that arena. We also get to hear the story of Ken Howard and his son Jack, who’s battling bipolar disorder.

9) What to Do, What to Do: Adolescents spend a huge percentage of their lives at school. In this episode of “The Age of Anxiety,” we talk with school officials and community influencers about how Chatham County Schools are helping students with mental and emotional needs.

10) Connection: In the final episode of “The Age of Anxiety,” we chat with community members, teens and parents about how best the community can support adolescents with mental health disorders and issues.

To find the podcast, visit chathamnewsrecord.com/chatcast or search “The Chatcast” on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you find podcasts.

Reporter Zachary Horner is one of the creators and producers of “The Chatcast” and can be contacted at zhorner@chathamnr.com or on Twitter at @ZachHornerCNR.

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