Youth at Risk Town Hall Explores Issues Affecting Mental Health of Young People

The Nine Network Broadcast Includes Input From Parents, Teachers, Teens


St. Louis, MOApril 9, 2012Many circumstances can put the mental well-being of young people at risk. In the St. Louis area, the biggest risk factors are homelessness, addiction, and abuse and neglect.

The Nine Network explores these issues in Youth at Risk Town Hall, broadcast Monday, April 16 at 7:00 p.m. (repeated Sunday, April 22 at 10:30 a.m.).  The hour-long special, moderated by Nine Network producer Jim Kirchherr, identifies risk factors, the stigmas associated with mental health issues, and ways young people can connect with the services they need.

Youth at Risk Town Hall, which was recorded at the Nine Network on April 2, features discussion with a panel of three experts and a studio audience of 140 parents, teens, teachers and representatives from agencies that work directly with young people. The panelists are C.J. Strohm, a counselor at Bridges to Success, a program for adolescents struggling with substance abuse; Rhonda Gray, the executive director of Almost Home, a shelter and transitional housing program for homeless and abused teenage mothers and their children; and Tom Gaither-Ganim, a counselor from BJC Behavioral Health stationed at Kirkwood High School.

Even though the program was recorded earlier, during the broadcast Nine staff will be tweeting live. Viewers are invited to join the conversation by searching for the hash tag #help4youth on Twitter.

The Nine Network launched Youth at Risk: Finding Solutions Together early last year to address mental health issues faced by young people in metropolitan St. Louis. In addition to Youth at Risk Town Hall, Nine has broadcast Living St. Louis stories and multiple shorter pieces about mental health issues, and developed a Youth at Risk website ( and Facebook page to offer connections to resources. The broadcast will also be live streamed on Facebook.

Youth at Risk is a Nine Network initiative in partnership with the St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund with funding from the Brown Sisters Foundation and the Mary Ranken Jordan and Ettie A. Jordan Charitable Foundation. 

About the Nine Network of Public Media

The Nine Network of Public Media is a multifaceted public media organization creating a network of individuals and organizations empowered by public media to strengthen civic life. One of the nation’s most watched public television stations, Nine offers the people of the St. Louis region multiple ways to explore the world and become engaged in civic life, including the Nine Center for Public Engagement, nineAcademy,, and four distinct broadcast channels (Nine PBS, Nine World, Nine Create and Nine Kids). The Nine Network’s rich legacy of serving the community was launched in 1954 and continues through our mission of bringing St. Louis together as we connect our region to the world and the world to St. Louis.

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