Kids in Crisis: You're Not Alone Documentary
TJ EsserWhen he was 13, TJ told his family he was transgender. With support from his family and friends through his transition, he now feels comfortable being himself and dreaming of his future. At 16, he is sharing his story out of concern for his transgender peers, who don't experience as much acceptance, who experience higher levels of mental health challenges and suicidal thoughts.
This Racine teen uses his creativity to cope with the difficult parts of his life, including homelessness and bullying. Alex has also turned his talent into a business, designing bow ties to help support his non-profit, Build-a-Bow.
Barrett PoetkerNow in her first year at college, this Brookfield East graduate is trying to put her high school years behind her, especially the emotional scars. For Barrett, high school was hard. She struggled with her parents’ divorce, bullying, and diagnosis of OCD, anxiety and depression.
Since the age of 4, Reyna grew up in the “system” – first bouncing between foster homes and then, due to her violent behavior, treatment facilities and detention centers. Her mental health issues are most likely the result of severe childhood trauma she experienced. Reyna’s been diagnosed with depression, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Documentary on youth mental health produced in partnership with the USA TODAY Network-Wisconsin and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Four young people share their mental health journeys in hopes of encouraging others to get help for their mental health challenges.
The second half of the program features interactive discussions with mental health professionals and others.
"I must say that the documentary is AMAZING and very well done.
The same themes heard in the documentary I hear in my practice with teens, which is very impactful. I plan to incorporate this documentary within my sessions with teens and parents.“ -- Patrice Griffin, Behavioral Health Clinician, Central Virginia Health Services
--I wanted to say thank you for bringing this amazing documentary to Pius XI. The resilience and strength shown in this group of young people is commendable. It was wonderful to host the event. Thank you for your dedication to the de-stigmatization of mental health issues in high school. -- Kara Rogatzki, Assistant Principal of Academics, Pius XI Catholic High School
Impact in the news
2019 Speaker's Task Force on Suicide Prevention - Part 1 - Ripon, WI
On June 17, 2019, the Assembly Speaker's Task Force on Suicide Prevention held an informational hearing and a public hearing in Ripon, WI. This is part one of two parts, and features the screening of Kids in Crisis: You're Not Alone, A documentary about youth mental health produced by Milwaukee PBS in partnership with USA TODAY NETWORK Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Following the screening, the task force held a panel conversation about the documentary.
Lawmakers Recommend Funding for Suicide Prevention Director, Grants, State Hotline
As reported in the September 25, edition of the Wisconsin State Journal, lawmakers met to recommend funding for suicide prevention programs. The session included Milwaukee PBS producers and crew members, along with the four young people featured in the documentary. Lawmakers were invited to the state Capitol by Wisconsin State Representative Joan Ballweg who had viewed the documentary earlier and decided it was time to take action. As a result, the Assembly Speaker's Task Force on Suicide Prevention proposed 10 bills to improve mental health outcomes throughout the state.