Blue Valley teen starts podcast on quarantine help

Podcast focuses on teens' mental health
Posted at 4:19 PM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 21:07:38-04

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Teenagers in the Kansas City metro are working to help others during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Because I can't be there for my friends and my peers, I thought this was a different way to do that," said Pooja Jain, a senior at Blue Valley West High School.

Jain serves as a teen ambassador for Zero Reasons Why, a group of teens that are working to combat and prevent teen suicide in Kansas and Missouri.

With school now taking place at home, Jain started to get concerned about her friends' stress levels.

"Mental health in general has seen a little bit of a spike, not just in teens but everyone. So that is something that I worry about," Jain said.

She got an idea to help those struggling by starting a podcast titled "Inside the Mind of Quaran-Teens."

"This one is about quarantine in general, like how we are coping with it, what are we doing and just advice on what we would give others to fill the time and stuff like that," Jain said in describing her first episode, which came out on Monday.

Her first guest was Will Gurley. 41 Action News first told you his story back in September. At one point, he contemplated taking his own life as he struggled with anxiety and depression. Now, he is giving hope to others.

"I want to try to share my story and try to help people feel more open about speaking," said Gurley, a junior at Kansas City Christian School. "This is just another opportunity to help push people in the right direction of talking about their struggles."

These teens know these are difficult and uncertain times. But they hope that this podcast will prevent a student from making a life-altering decision.

"What you are going through is not exclusive to you. Everybody is going through this right now, and having those other positive messages coming out of this is going to be really important," Gurley said.

"Just to try to prevent that from happening and to show people it's okay to feel how you are feeling and it's super normal," Jain said.

To listen to Jain's podcast, "Inside the Mind of Quaran-Teens," click here for Google Podcasts and click here for Spotify.