National Day Of Action – Community Radio Testimonies: Kathryn Yan
I first started listening to SYN when I was 14. I had been diagnosed with clinical depression, and I wasn’t going to school at the time. I spent most of the day sleeping, and at night, I would listen to the SYN graveyard shifts from 2 – 6 AM. Apart from my own family, that was my only real contact with other people. One night, I heard a presenter talking about radio training, and I found out that anybody could complete training, and have their voice heard on radio too. Signing up for radio training was one of the first proactive steps I took that year to overcome my depression, and having a reason to leave the house each weekend added a lot of structure to my life, and made it easier for me to be outside and around other people.There are many things that people get passionate about, and SYN was one of those things for me. At a time where I felt little passion about anything else, it really helped to have the support of the volunteers at SYN, and the sense of a family outside of home. Previously, I had felt insignificant and useless; I felt that my opinions and my thoughts weren’t worth sharing, or even worth having. Getting involved in community radio taught me that I didn’t need profound or deep insights into the nature of the world (which no 14-year-old can really hope to have), and that people would still care about what I had to say.Small victories are important, and SYN gave me a lot of small victories; listeners would commend my music choices, or interact with us on a topic that I cared about. Going to SYN regularly also instilled a degree of ‘normality’ in my life. Slowly, as I increased my level of engagement with the outside world, I started going back to school, and found it to be not so bad after all. SYN was really integral in helping me take the necessary steps to come out of that stage in my life, and I’m glad that SYN is still a part of my life now.I know that there are many other young people out there who struggle with depression, and I hope that SYN can play a part in helping them find a passion again, as SYN did for me. I hope that young people can realise, through SYN, that they too have a voice, and that other people care enough to listen to what they have to say to the world.