Protect our children: Mental and physical stress

NEW YORK — WABC-TV, New York’s number one and most-watched television network in the country, will air “Protect Our Children: Mental & Physical Stress” on SATURDAY, APRIL 30 (7:30 p.m. EDT). It will re-air on Sunday, May 1 (5:30 p.m. EDT). Hosted by Eyewitness News anchor Shirleen Allicot, the special focuses on what child health experts have been reporting – unprecedented levels of stress among children and adolescents. Whether it’s drug abuse, obesity or violence, the indicators are alarming.

The special tells stories of teenagers and young adults bravely sharing their ongoing mental and physical stress. Some of the featured stories include the following:

  • A 23-year-old struggling with anxiety and relationship issues sought help related to her mental health despite the stigma in the community.
  • A 17-year-old transgender youth shares his experience of discrimination in sport. He talks about the cultural climate that encourages censorship and how this exacerbates problems for those facing problems on the home front and in their schools.
  • A 17-year-old high school senior talks about gaining weight during the pandemic despite bariatric surgery and how she’s coping with her struggles.
  • A family of four children, ages 5 to 14, shares their family’s challenges of dealing with excessive internet and phone usage. Screen usage rates have increased from 61 to 87 percent, impacting brain development and mental health.

“Protect Our Children: Mental & Physical Stress” highlights experts including clinicians and researchers from Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center, GLSEN Youth Programs, NYU Langone’s Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital and Stony Brook Medicine Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Services

WABC-TV has long been dedicated to providing coverage of the most important youth health and safety issues in the community. The WABC Protect Our Children campaign, launched in 1998, includes informative safety messages, a dedicated website and a missing children campaign featured on every WABC Eyewitness News program. The channel has produced several compelling local programs addressing the stress-related issues afflicting a vulnerable demographic – children. The series has received six Emmy Awards, six Gracie Awards from American Women in Radio-TV-Movie (AWRT), and awards from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Learn more about Protect Our Children at

About WABC
WABC-TV has been a leader in local news and entertainment programming in the New York City area for more than 60 years. Channel 7 Eyewitness News produces more than 45 hours of live, local and weather news each week, making it the most watched local news in New York and the United States. WABC-TV also produces “Live with Kelly and Ryan” weekdays at 9:00 am, which airs in more than 200 markets across the United States. High-quality news and programming, cutting-edge technology, and ongoing public relations are the hallmarks of excellence that have consistently maintained WABC-TV as New York’s #1 station and the nation’s most-watched television station.


Resources seen on our show:

Mount Sinai Youth Health Center

Administration of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Referral referral service
800-662-HELP (4357) 24/7 national hotline

Mental Health America
For resources and expert advice

Text/call/chat to discuss stress, depression, anxiety or drug/alcohol abuse
888-692-9355 24/7

crisis text line
To text with a trained crisis counselor


National Center for Transgender Equality ID Documents Center

Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone
(646) 929-7970

Healthy Weight Program for Teens at NYU Langone

Stony Brook Children’s Hospital
631-444-CHILDREN (5437)

Stony Brook Medicine – Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

American Academy of Pediatrics
How to create a family media usage plan

Prevention Links
[email protected]

Report child abuse
For Emergencies – Call 911
Call the statewide NYS Central Register

ChildHelp National Child Abuse Helpline 24 hours a day
800-4-A-KIND (800-422-4453)

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
888-333-AFSP (2377)
1-800-273-TALK (8255) hotline

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
24-hour hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)
800-THE LOST (843-5678)


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