ABC

Jacob Young Opens up About His Inspiring New Podcast (EXCLUSIVE)

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Last month, Daytime Emmy winner Jacob Young saw a longtime dream come to fruition: hosting his own podcast, where he discusses pop culture and current events as well as tackling serious issues like mental health and relationships. The actor — familiar to soap viewers for his runs as THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL’s Rick, GENERAL HOSPITAL’s Lucky and ALL MY CHILDREN’s JR — told Soaps In Depth that his new side hustle, Real Conversations with Jacob Young, is very special to him because it hits close to home. “I’ve struggled with mental health in my life, I know my mother is struggling with mental health,” he confessed. “It may be in our DNA. And I wanted to not only create awareness, but I also want to be helping myself simultaneously.”

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Since debuting just before Christmas, Young has dropped three episodes of his series. Not only does he talk about his own struggles, but he has had celebrity guests like AMC co-stars Cameron Mathison (Ryan) and Eva LaRue (Maria) and Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Billy Gilman open up about their own personal battles. ”I have to say, everybody’s been willing to talk and open up about how they might be going through depression, or they’ve had an eating disorder, or dealt with racism, and how that really had an impact on their lives. With how things are changing due to COVID, I think people are more willing to talk about what they’re going through,” he mused. “And this is a great way to vent.”

The actor adds that the coronavirus pandemic very well may have provided the prime opportunity for him to launch his show. Confessing that the podcast idea was always on the backburner of his mind, he decided to move it to the top of his to-do list during lockdown. “There’s been a major impact on people’s psychological normalcy that they wouldn’t have every day,” he shared. “I have anxiety every day, hoping I’m doing the right thing. Even if it makes a difference in one person’s life, [it’s worth it.]”

But in putting together a podcast to raise awareness about mental health and hopefully help others who are struggling, Young knew that he needed to partner with a reputable organization to offer further resources. “That’s where Boys Town comes in,” he said of his partner, the non-profit organization based in Nebraska that assists families and children in need. “I had done charitable work with them, and I knew that they had an outsource way of helping young people and adults and parents. I wanted to make sure I was sponsored by an organization that had access to helplines and dotcoms where listeners can explore a website instead of feeling like they can’t talk to somebody.”

Through the Boys Town national crisis hotline and website, YourLifeYourVoice.org, Young is able to provide his listeners with such additional resources. “It’s chock-full of parenting tips and exercises to deal with depression and anxiety,” said the father of three. “As parents, if we’re going through it, our children are going to be sensing it, too. Your Life Your Voice is a great website for families to find all sorts of helpful ways to cope with what they’re going through.”

Up next for Young’s Real Conversations is a chat with Seattle Seahawks tight end Jacob Hollister, as well as a dual interview with Obba Bubbatundé (Julius, B&B) and The Supremes’ Mary Wilson. “They’ll talk about how the arts helped them survive and what that meant for their mental health, and I’ll bring in an expert who works with Boys Town to share ways they’ve found the arts to help the displaced children that have come through their program. This one’s going to be really cool.”

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