The Child Mind Institute, an organization dedicated to transforming mental health care for children, hosts its annual Speak Up for Kids campaign and encourages people everywhere to share stories about mental health issues during #SpeakUpSundays in May.
More than 15 million American children have a psychiatric or learning disorder, and less than half of them get help, according to NYC-based Child Mind Institute. Stigma and the status quo thrive when we’re silent. The only way to de-stigmatize mental illness is to hear about people's struggles and how they overcame them, says Rachel Busman, Psy.D., clinical director of the Child and Adolescent Outpatient Department at CMI.
Speaking out (loudly!) matters. Sharing stories about mental health issues connects people. Whether you hear them from professionals, average families, or celebrities—who we tend to look up to—you often see a person who has struggles with mental health, and while the struggle isn’t over, the individual is doing wonderful things. Speaking out promotes mental health awareness. The more you know, the more likely you are to identify the behaviors in your home, classroom, or workplace.
What’s your story? Whether it’s you, your child, a parent, a partner, or a friend, we are all affected by psychiatric and learning problems in some way. You have a story to tell.
There’s no need to stand on a rooftop, but you can wear a button, post on Facebook, or share a tweet. CMI’s Speak Up for Kids campaign will be promoting #SpeakUpSundays throughout May, encouraging people to share their experiences with mental health across social media platforms. Go to childmind.org/speakup to learn more.
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