HomeHealthMental HealthSweetser produces new teen mental health podcast

Sweetser produces new teen mental health podcast

SACO – Sweetser, a statewide mental health organization, has launched a new mental health podcast specifically for young people in Maine.

The podcast, “Not Now Maybe Later,” is hosted by Emily Ostrow, a licensed Sweetser Clinical Social Worker based at MSAD #60.

According to the “2022 Kids Count Data Book,” children struggle with anxiety and depression at unprecedented levels, about one in nine nationally. Among Maine youth, their rates of anxiety and depression are higher than the national average, closer to one in six children experiencing these challenges.

Teenagers and their mental health take center stage in each episode. Topics include: what to expect from therapy, medications and seeing a psychiatrist, perspectives on mental health changes as you age, eating disorders and nutrition, LGBTQ+ and gender-affirming care, and when someone you love has a have a mental illness or addiction.

“I’ve been working with teens for almost 14 years and they are my favorite clients to work with,” said Ostrow. “Podcasts are a great way to make information relevant, personal and accessible. There has never been a more important time to meet Maine youth where they both validate their experiences and help them develop.

Ostrow earned a master’s degree in social work, clinical program, from Simmons University in Boston and is certified in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy. She specializes in working with teens who have experienced trauma.

“Sweetser is always looking for creative ways to connect critical resources and support to those we serve,” said Justin Chenette, Sweetser’s director of communications. “We hope this podcast provides a platform to continue to destigmatize mental health and help young people feel they are not alone with their feelings and fears.”

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The first episode focuses on the impact social media has on teen mental health, as research has shown that social media can cause or exacerbate loneliness, depression and lower self-esteem.

Future guests will be drawn from a variety of places and will showcase different mental health expertise.

“Not Now Maybe Later” is available on Spotify, Soundcloud and Youtube.

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