The Daily Gamecock

Students produce weekly podcast highlighting mental health resources, student experiences

<p>Co-hosts Timothy (left) and Bridget (middle) with guest Kaitlin Agrons (right).</p>

Co-hosts Timothy (left) and Bridget (middle) with guest Kaitlin Agrons (right).

"Hear Me Out" is a weekly podcast hosted and produced by University of South Carolina students sharing, “Gamecock’s stories of resilience, hope and mental health,” according to the podcast’s Instagram account. 

The show is in its fourth season and is currently co-hosted by Bridget Hughes, a third-year psychology and criminal justice student, and Timothy Simmons, a fourth-year psychology and women and gender studies student. This is Hughes' inaugural season as a co-host, while Simmons joined the podcast during season three. 

Hughes said the goal of the podcast is to, “try to make other students feel more comfortable, more included and let them know that they’re not alone.”

In addition to providing mental health resource information on the podcast, Simmons and Hughes share a “Mental Health Resource of the Week,” a #MondayMantra and “Bridget’s Health Tip of the Week” on Instagram. 

Simmons' advice to podcast listeners is to, “rely on their support systems for help." 

"You definitely have friends and family and support there for your benefit,” Simmons said.  

Hughes said her personal goal for the podcast is to help even just one student. 

“We’re never going to reach every student on campus, but even if we just got one person to seek out therapy, if they feel like they need it, or to utilize the mental health resources that we have because they heard the podcast. I feel like  — for me  — one is enough,” Hughes said. 

The co-hosts invite a different guest to share their experiences with the audience every week. The guests are invited to speak openly about mental health. Recently, Hughes and Simmons had the opportunity to talk with USC Interim President, Harris Pastides. 

“I think talking to Pastides was really cool, because he was someone in such a position of leadership. Hearing him talk about failure and things like that was really impactful,” Hughes said. 

In season four, episode six of the podcast, Pastides discussed healthy coping mechanisms and how to deal with stress and failure. 

"Don't be afraid to get professional help, you know sometimes it will prevent a smaller issue from escalating to be a bigger problem," Pastides said in the episode. 

Another recent guest of the podcast was Kaitlin Agrons, a third-year public health student. Agrons is a member of Mental Health Ambassadors at the university, an organization that gives presentations and spreads awareness about mental health resources. 

April Scott, assistant director of mental health initiatives, is one of the coordinators of the organization and was involved with the beginning of the podcast. She is the one who encouraged Agrons to open up about her experience. 

“I wanted to share my story with others but also to be better at public speaking,” Agrons said. “It's something that I wanted to do. It's something that I’m passionate about. I wanted to go on the podcast. I wanted to share my story.”

After Agrons expressed her interest in being a guest, Hughes and Simmons reached out to schedule a time to record and give Agrons a list of pre-emptive questions that would be included in the interview. Agrons is featured on season four, episode seven of the podcast. 

The co-hosts record the podcast on Mondays, and new episodes are released regularly. Audiences can listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. 


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