LA Times launches year-long mental health initiative

Press release | Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times has launched a year-long comprehensive mental health initiative to help readers cope with everyday stress, anxiety and more.

For your mind will include guides, company stories, videos and a database of culturally competent mental health providers to address emotional and psychological well-being and direct readers to resources for help.

Led by Associate Editor Jaclyn Cosgrove, the project is overseen by Managing Editor David Lauter and Large Editor Scott Kraft, and will include the work of dozens of Times newsroom reporters.

“As one of North America’s largest newspapers, we felt the issue of mental health should be a top priority,” said Cosgrove, who pitched the idea for the project. “It’s one of the biggest problems facing our society and very few are really tackling it in a comprehensive and meaningful way.”

The initiative will feature a host of articles on public policy on mental health, while other stories will focus on the journeys of people struggling with mental illness. “We want to make sure people’s lived experiences are captured in our reporting,” Cosgrove said.

Other components of the initiative will include:

  • A weekly newsletter, Group Therapy, written by editor Laura Newberry, due to launch next month.
  • A premium guide, to be released in the fall, that will offer tips and resources on how to help yourself and others who are dealing with mental health issues.
  • A comprehensive database, also released in the fall, where users can search for culturally competent mental health providers throughout Los Angeles County.
  • A puppet show produced in conjunction with the Bob Baker Marionette Theatre, which will be available on YouTube and the Times website in the fall, designed to help children and their parents or guardians talk about mental health issues, including including depression, grief, anxiety and homelessness.
  • An Instagram account where readers can post mental health-related questions for Times staff to answer.

The initiative will be partially funded by grants from two organizations. The Times was one of five newspapers to receive a grant under the Solutions Journalism Network health equity initiative. The grant will fund the provider database as well as several enterprise projects, including one focused on the challenges faced by Asian and Pacific Islander families in accessing linguistically and culturally appropriate mental health services. In addition, The Carter Center will help fund business projects focused on mental health.

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