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Mental Health of Young People Gets Booster From SoundItOutTogether.org


The web site, a project of the Ad Council and Melinda Gates, has music designed to ease the way for kids to talk to their parents about their struggles during the pandemic.

The pandemic is taking an enormous toll on young people —- isolated from friends, unable at times to go to school and do many other kinds of activities.

Experts have found that music can help - help kids and their parents talk through the hard times.

SoundItOutTogether.org, a product of the Ad Council and a company started by Melinda Gates, has music geared toward this.

Youth mental health expert Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble talked about one of the songs.

“The music of the artist really speaking to what’s weighing on this child, what the heaviness is about, and the child can’t necessarily even explain what that heaviness is about,” she said. “It’s almost a visual and lyrical representation in many ways of depression and what depression looks like in a teenager.”

Dr. Alfiee, as she likes to be called, said if you see changes in your child’s behavior that last a few weeks, it may be time to talk — and listen.

“If your child is normally pretty even keeled and even tempered, or one of my children is very sunny and bright all the time, you know that there is something you might want to look into if over a period of say 10-12, 14 days your child stops looking like that,” she said.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has declared a state of emergency in children’s mental health because of the pandemic.

“It always helps if we always have those lines of communication already open,” said Dr. Alfiee, “so the child expects us to come and talk to them when we think it’s time, and that’s what Sound It Out Together can do, it can give you some tools and some tips for how to initiate those conversations.”