Coping 101 – a student-led podcast destigmatizing Mental Health


In 2019 mental health disorders surpassed physical conditions as the most common issues causing “impairment and limitation” among adolescents. In December 2021 the U.S. Surgeon General, in a rare public advisory, warned of a “devastating” mental health crisis among American teens.

Coping 101 launched in mid-2021 as a collaborative effort between Seattle Children’s Hospital & C89.5 – a Seattle high school radio station – to destigmatize Mental Health conversations as led by authentic student voices. The series’ mission is to improve the Mental Health of the Puget Sound community through the broadcast of consistent self-care messaging, publishing of monthly podcast episodes and online curation of basic education & resources to simplify a range of common disorders and the related steps to recovery. The first ever podcast in C89.5’s 50+ year history, it has expanded KNHC’s student curriculum with new podcast, journalism and storytelling practices to attract & develop the next generation of media professionals.

With increased resources from a growing number of sponsors, the Coping 101 series tackles a new angle of mental health in each episode – with topics like Therapy, Gender Identity, BIPOC Mental Health, Social Anxiety, Suicide Prevention, Bullying and Depression.

Hosted by students in Nathan Hale High School’s Advanced Radio class, these conversations provide a powerful platform for local mental health experts and influential King County artists, functioning as a critical connection point to improve the mental wellness of our community.

Inclusion is at the forefront in selection of artist guests with criteria for racial equity and variety of discipline, along with guidance from cultural community partners to maintain diversity in voices, background, perspectives and audience. Participants have included Queer, Indigenous, Black, Asian & Latinx artists whose communities are traditionally underrepresented in public media.

As ‘Seattle’s Home for Dance’ with a heritage of uplifting the Queer community, approximately 1/3 of C89.5’s audience identifies as LGBTQIA+. Thus, much of Coping 101’s content is geared toward this historically marginalized population – especially its younger members.

This series shows the C89.5 audience, its students and the community the vital role that both art and clinical education play in our collective mental health, and presents new ideas about public mental wellness along with basic, life-saving tips for coping and self care.