BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A teenager from Baltimore has a national platform to host a podcast series about mental health for teens, by teens.

Faiza Ashar, 16, is the co-host of the second season of ‘On Our Minds,’ a podcast by PBS NewHour’s Student Reporting Labs. The podcast is in partnership with WETA’s Well Beings, a long-term mental health awareness campaign that works with local PBS stations across the country.

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In the podcast, Ashar hosts beside 17-year-old Matt Suescun of New Jersey to talk about some of the most prominent mental health challenges facing youth today.

Those challenges range widely, including eating disorders, grief, racism, sexuality and gender identity, and the pressure to overachieve, according to a PBS spokesperson.

The hosts interview household names like filmmaker Ken Burns, singer Madison Beer, and Scripps National Spelling Bee winner Zaila Avant-Garde on the topics.

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“I hope the podcast will help teens who are struggling to better understand and process their mental health,” said host Faiza Ashar, “In today’s day and age, it can be easy to feel isolated or overwhelmed by your struggles. I want On Our Minds to remind people that sometimes we all need help – you’re never alone.”

The second season of ‘On Our Minds’ premiered in early May and consists of 15 episodes released twice weekly through the end of June. The season will be available on podcast streaming platforms, PBS said. See the trailer and first episode here.

PBS NewsHour’s Student Reporting Labs, which started in 2009, connects students with public broadcasting mentors and helps develop their communication and digital media skills.

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CBS Baltimore Staff