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L.A. Times Launches Year-Long Mental Health Initiative

"For Your Mind" will include guides and resources to address emotional well-being.
(Ashley Lukashevsky / For The Times)

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

For Your Mind will include guides, enterprise stories, videos and a database of culturally-competent mental healthcare providers to address emotional and psychological well-being and point readers to resources to get help.

Spearheaded by Assistant Editor Jaclyn Cosgrove, the project is overseen by Senior Editor David Lauter and Editor at Large Scott Kraft, and will include work from dozens of journalists across the Times’ newsroom.

“As one of the largest newspapers in North America, we thought taking on 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 issues facing our society and very few are really tackling it in a comprehensive, meaningful way.”

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

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Other components of the initiative will include:

  • A weekly newsletter, Group Therapy, penned by Staff Writer Laura Newberry that’s set to launch next month.
  • A premium guide, to be published in the fall, that will offer advice and resources on how to help yourself, and others, who are facing mental health challenges.
  • A comprehensive database, also publishing 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 Theater, which will be available on YouTube and The Times’ website in the fall, designed to help children and their parents or caregivers talk about mental health issues, including depression, grief, anxiety and homelessness.
  • An Instagram account where readers can pose mental health-related questions for Times staff to answer.

The initiative will be partially funded with grants from two organizations. The Times was one of five newspapers to receive a grant as part of the Solutions Journalism Network health equity initiative. The grant will go toward funding the database of providers plus several enterprise projects, including one that’s focused on the difficulties that Asian and Pacific Islander families have in accessing linguistically and culturally appropriate mental health services. Additionally, The Carter Center will help fund enterprise projects focusing on mental health.

Learn more at latimes.com/mentalhealth.


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