“When teachers and students asked us for help, we were anxious to step in,” says Curtis Miles, WAOW’s GM.
WAOW, Allen Media’s ABC affiliate in Wausau, Wis., produced a special half-hour program helping families cope with a mental health crisis in Central Wisconsin.
Our Kids in Crisis: A Mental Health Emergency, aired April 22, and shared stories from local students, teachers, administrators and mental health experts on the crisis facing the community.
“This problem is heartbreaking in so many ways,” says Curtis Miles, WAOW’s GM. “So, when teachers and students asked us for help, we were anxious to step in. I am so proud of how our community and the team at WAOW came together to offer solutions and to offer hope.”
WAOW anchors Melissa Langbehn and Brad Hanson hosted the program that was focused on offering solutions while highlighting how the community has come together to take on this mental health emergency.
The station says the response from the community has been incredible. Families, community leaders, students, school administrators and counselors have thanked WAOW for exposing this problem and for highlighting an important conversation.
Courtney Terlecki, WAOW’s news director, was the driving force behind the project. She and Langbehn talked to area students, counselors and administrators to determine the content for the show. Then Terlecki spent weeks producing the program and creating the content that might help save a life.
“The kids we talked to were truly inspiring,” Terlecki says. “Their honesty and their willingness to share their struggles drove us to help. They were amazing.”
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