New WRAL Documentary “Pandemic Generation: Kids in Crisis” Debuts April 20th

New WRAL Documentary investigates the lasting impacts of remote learning, quarantine, and the uncertainty children endured over the pandemic

WRAL Documentary: Pandemic Generation

COVID cases continue to be on the decline in North Carolina, but one lasting issue from the pandemic is what it did to our kids.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Surgeon General declared a national state of emergency in children’s mental health with one in five young people experiencing anxiety or depression.

The latest WRAL Documentary, Pandemic Generation: Kids in Crisis, shines a light on the real, lasting impacts of remote learning, quarantine and the uncertainty our kids endured over the past two years.

WRAL Investigative Documentary Reporter Cristin Severance and photojournalist Jay Jennings uncovered staffing shortages within the mental health profession in North Carolina leading to months-long wait times for life-saving services.

“I think the impact of the pandemic on kids’ mental health is the biggest and most underreported story out there,” Severance said.  “Pandemic Generation features real, honest conversations with young people and parents about what these last two years have been like and their continuing struggles as we all try to get back to ‘normal.’ More than one dozen experts called this a crisis and told us these mental health issues won’t just disappear as COVID continues to slow down.”

Pandemic Generation: Kids in Crisis also features interviews with the leading mental health experts in North Carolina who shared real advice and tangible ways parents, grandparents and caregivers can help their kids right now.

WRAL Mental Health Pros on Call

Mental Health Pros On Call

As part of our commitment to providing solutions and real help to the community, WRAL, in partnership with the National Association of Social Workers–NC and the North Carolina Psychological Association, will host a Mental Health Pros on Call hotline to help anyone struggling with mental health issues. Dozens of licensed professionals will be on hand to answer your questions about mental health issues and access to help. WRAL’s Mikaya Thurmond and Cristin Severance will host the phone bank. 

“Mental Health is an illness impacting 2 million adults and children across North Carolina. Still, experts tell us that it’s hard to ask for help,” WRAL Morning Anchor/Reporter, Mikaya Thurmond said. “WRAL is committing to an unbelievable service –offering free mental health resources to our community. Our hope is that this phone bank will help start critical conversations that will save lives. I am truly honored to be a part of such an important project.”
Mental Health Pros On Call will have phonelines open from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for free mental health help on Thursday, April 21. Anyone with questions or concerns about themselves or others can call 800-238-7791 to speak live with a licensed mental health professional.

When and How to Watch the Documentary


  • Premieres on WRAL-TV on Wednesday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Rebroadcast on WILM-TV in Wilmington on Saturday, April 23 at 6 p.m.
  • Rebroadcast on WRAZ FOX50 on Sunday, April 24 at 1 p.m.

Available for on-demand viewing on, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, Samsung Smart TV and YouTube beginning Wednesday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Social Media
Follow Pandemic Generation on social media using #wraldoc.

Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Catherine Fitzhenry & WRAL-TV’s Cristin Severance for this Capcom story, graphic & video.

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