Local TV show tackles hard mental health issues affecting kids and educators

May is “Mental Health Month” and the goal of many organizations in St. Louis and around the nation is to raise awareness of trauma and the impact it can have on the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of children, families, and communities. Mental Health Month has been around much longer than you might realize, having been established in 1949 to increase awareness of the importance of mental health and wellness in Americans’ lives, and to celebrate recovery from mental illness.

Nine PBS and mental health

One of the biggest consequences of the pandemic—struggles with staying mentally healthy—has been particularly acute for kids and educators. Next week, on Monday, May 23, at 7 pm, Nine PBS will broadcast Living St. Louis Special: Kids, Families, and Mental Health.  

Now in its 19th season, Living St. Louis uncovers the remarkable in the everyday life of St. Louisans every Monday evening and streaming on the Nine PBS Video App and online.  

In this special, the Living St. Louis team looks at the soaring rates of anxiety, stress, and depression in educators and what resources are being deployed to help. The pressure to educate kids online or socially distanced and masked, while worrying about their own health and the safety of their loved ones, is driving burnout and resignations.  

“We visit United 4 Children’s Social Emotional Early Childhood Project to uncover preventative strategies for those at risk for social-emotional delays and ways for families to intervene if a child is exhibiting challenging behaviors,” wrote Sarah Brandt, Nine PBS’ Director of Communications in a statement. “Viewers will hear the voices of area parents as they share about what these challenges look like in their homes, and look at anxiety and social development through the eyes of Easterseal’s Applied Behavioral Analysis program, which helps children with autism build social skills.”


The “Living St. Louis Special: Kids, Families, and Mental Health” special will air Monday, May 23, at 7 pm, on Nine PBS.