When I was a kid, people would whisper the word “cancer.” Now, professional football players are wearing pink cleats on national television in support of finding a cure. We all know someone who has been affected by cancer. We cry with them, walk for a cure and share their stories with anyone who will listen. Lives have been changed and people have been healed because of their bravery and willingness to share. Their stories have raised awareness and rightfully caused us all to join the fight to cure cancer in some way or another.
We need to treat mental health the same way. Let’s talk about it out in the open. Let’s not keep it some dark secret. It’s most certainly not a shameful thing to have mental health issues or to ask for help. Especially when that help can provide healing and hope.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports that one in five Americans live with a mental health condition. And 20 percent of youth ages 13 to 18 live with a mental health condition. The impact of this is felt widely in our communities. NIMH also reports 37 percent of students with mental health conditions ages 14 and older drop out of school. 70 percent of youth in state and local juvenile justice systems across the country have a mental health condition.
At The Guidance Center, we provide comprehensive mental health treatment to more than 3,000 of our community’s most disadvantaged children and their families struggling with mental health issues or abuse. We know firsthand the challenges…