One-Hour Conversation Moderated by PBS NewsHour West Anchor Stephanie Sy Features Participants of Documentary Tell My Story Jason Reid, M Abeo and Mark Goulston
Tell My Story Airs Locally on WETA PBS on Sunday, September 26 at 6:30 P.M. ET
Washington, D.C., September 15, 2021 – WETA and Well Beings, a multiplatform health campaign created by WETA, will host a one-hour virtual conversation, Tell My Story: Identifying and Preventing Teen Suicide, on Thursday, September 23 at 7 P.M. ET/ 4 P.M. PT on WellBeings.org. Convened as part of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, the panel will focus on the critically acclaimed film Tell My Story, currently streaming on WellBeings.org, which documents the journey of a grieving father, Jason Reid, who seeks answers after his 14-year-old son dies by suicide. PBS NewsHour West anchor Stephanie Sy will moderate the discussion, which will feature panelists Jason Reid, father and founder of ChooseLife.org; M Abeo, writer, public speaker and photographer; and Mark Goulston, M.D., psychiatrist and originator of Surgical Empathy.
"This vital conversation and the encore presentation of Tell My Story are timely, considering the many psychological challenges that young people continue to face during the pandemic," said Sharon Percy Rockefeller, president and CEO of WETA Greater Washington. “The powerful film emphasizes the importance of remaining hopeful and reaching out for help when in need.”
“I’m so grateful that WETA has chosen to focus on youth and suicide prevention and to program the film which will amplify the message that parents need to own their kids’ mental health,” remarked Jason Reid.
The Tell My Story: Identifying and Preventing Teen Suicide virtual event participants include:
- Stephanie Sy, a PBS NewsHour correspondent and anchor of PBS NewsHour West. Throughout her career, she served in anchor and correspondent capacities for ABC News, Al Jazeera America, CBSN, CNN International and PBS NewsHour Weekend. Prior to joining NewsHour, Sy was with Yahoo News where she anchored coverage of the 2018 Midterm Elections.
- Jason Reid’, whose project to end teen suicide by 2030 stems from the loss of his 14-year-old son, Ryan. Reid, the founder of ChooseLife.org, and is on a mission to help young people heal. Chooselife.org’s first project is Tell My Story, which Reid developed to ensure every parent in the US knows how to talk to their children about depression and suicide.
- M Abeo, a mental health advocate, speaker, podcast host, producer and photographer/creator of the Faces of Fortitude movement. Faces of Fortitude began as a series of portraits documenting the healing of those affected by suicide. It has since grown into a movement that spans TEDx and other speaking events, traveling gallery exhibits, the Face to Faces Podcast, portrait sessions and two upcoming books.
- Mark Goulston, M.D., a UCLA- trained psychiatrist and former professor at their Neuropsychiatric Institute who focused on suicide prevention in his clinical practice spanning 40 years. He is the originator of Surgical Empathy and author or co/author of nine books with Just Listen, becoming the top book on Listening in the World.
WETA, the leading public broadcasting station in the nation’s capital, will air the documentary on Sunday, September 26 at 6:30 PM ET. The feature-length film chronicles the heartbreaking journey of Jason Reid as he looks for the signals he may have missed with his son while uncovering painful truths about the lives of teens in the process. The broadcast presentation is part of the Well Beings Youth Mental Health Project – a program that is part of the larger Well Beings multiplatform campaign and is designed to specifically address the critical youth mental health needs in America, raise awareness, and shed stigma through candid conversations and storytelling.
Tell My Story explores the impact of unfettered access to the internet and social media and the shocking rise of depression among America’s youth. The journey brings Reid together with young suicide survivors, prevention experts, and parents trying to understand the 70% increase in adolescent suicide. Closer to home, with his family fractured, Reid examines his son’s technology to discover what no parent wants to find. Seeking to learn the warning signs that were missed, he instead finds ways to reverse the isolation and disconnectedness that is killing our youth.
Tell My Story is production of Cinema Libre Studio and Oak Hollow Studios. Directed by David Fried and produced by Philippe Diaz and Beth Portello. The film is edited by Tom Von Doom with original music by Reid Willis.
Complete funding by Cinema Libre Studio and Oak Hollow Studios.
For more information, please visit WellBeings.org. Press materials can be found on WETA.org.
The Well Beings Youth Mental Health Project is made possible by Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc., Kaiser Permanente, Bank of America, Liberty Mutual Insurance, American Psychiatric Association Foundation, One Mind, Movember, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Dana Foundation, Dauten Family Foundation, The Hersh Foundation, Mental Health Services Oversight & Accountability Commission, John & Frances Von Schlegell, Sutter Health, Robina Riccitiello, and Jackson Family Enterprises. The project sponsors and partner are leveraging their organizational resources, chapters and affiliates at the local and national levels to support Well Beings and have created a video, available to view here.
WETA has assembled a wide range of partners to collaborate on the project, both for digital content and the Well Beings Tour, a series of community-based outreach events hosted by local public media stations across the country to demystify and normalize mental health matters. In addition to local public media stations, project partners include Call To Mind at American Public Media, PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs, Forbes, People, Mental Health America, National Council for Mental Wellbeing, The Steve Fund, and The Jed Foundation.
ABOUT CINEMA LIBRE STUDIO
Cinema Libre Studio is a mini studio known for producing and distributing high-quality feature films and social impact documentaries. The company is in pre-production on a feature film about the Angola 3 and a feature-length documentary on CNN camerawoman Margaret Moth. Headquartered in the Los Angeles area, the team has released over 200 films, including The End Of Poverty?, Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving The Police, and Canada’s 2020 Oscar ® submission, Antigone. Visit: www.cinemalibrestudio.com, https://www.facebook.com/cinemalibrestudio or find us @CinemaLibre on Twitter and Instagram.
ABOUT WELL BEINGS
Well Beings is a multi-platform, multi-year campaign from public media to address the critical health needs in America through original broadcast and digital content, engagement campaigns, and impactful local events. The campaign begins with the Youth Mental Health Project, engaging youth voices to create a national conversation, raise awareness, address stigma and discrimination, and encourage compassion. Well Beings was created by WETA Washington, D.C., the flagship public media station in the nation’s capital, and brings together partners from across the country, including youth with lived experience of mental health challenges, families, caregivers, educators, medical and mental health professionals, social service agencies, private foundations, filmmakers, corporations and media sponsors, to create awareness and resources for better health and wellbeing. The public can join the conversation on youth mental health by using #WellBeings, visiting WellBeings.org, or following @WellBeingsOrg on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.
WETA is the leading public broadcaster in the nation’s capital, serving Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia with educational initiatives and with high-quality programming on television, radio and digital. WETA Washington, D.C., is the second-largest producing-station for public television in the United States, with news and public affairs programs including PBS NewsHour and Washington Week; films by Ken Burns such as Muhammed Ali and Hemmingway; series and documentaries by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., including Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song; and performance specials including The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize and The Library Of Congress Gershwin Prize For Popular Song. More information on WETA and its programs and services is available at www.weta.org. Visit www.facebook.com/wetatvfm on Facebook or follow @WETAtvfm on Twitter.