Our new playlist, “PROJECT #IAMAWARE”
Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things they are transformed.
Please give it a spin here if you’re a Spotify listener.
Quote of the week:
“At the root of this dilemma is the way we view mental health in this country. Whether an illness affects your heart, your leg or your brain, it’s still an illness, and there should be no distinction.”
– First Lady Michelle Obama
The stigma is shifting
Despite recognizing a link between mental health and overall well-being, the majority of survey participants view access to mental health care inaccessible and costly.
The foundation commissioned a Harris Poll with the Anxiety and Depression Association of America and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention to gauge public opinion on mental health, anxiety and suicide awareness. In August, the Mental Health and Suicide Survey was emailed to a random sampling of individuals age 18 and older who live in the United States.
Our expert opinion:
“Progress is being made in how American adults view mental health, and the important role it plays in our everyday lives. People see connection between mental health and overall well-being, our ability to function at work and at home and how we view the world around us.”
-Dr. Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
A PROJECT 375 perspective:
We have seen many major cultural shifts recently including communities that have long been stigmatized. This Summer brought the historic US Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage across the U.S. It also showed us Caitlyn Jenner bringing awareness to transgenders and receiving the Arthur Ashe Courage award. Over the last several decades, we have also seen many other significant changes occurring in our culture. I remember a campaign that began several years ago called “Think Before You Speak” that was developed to raise awareness of the derogatory words used toward the LGBT community. Many celebrities came forward and participated in the PSA’s, and the campaign helped to begin to change the language of a culture that used phrases such as, “that’s so gay” and other offensive, hurtful words in every day conversations. There have also been significant advancements made in the cancer community in terms of awareness and acceptance over the past few decades. Organizations like Susan G. Komen and Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong have brought significant awareness to these issues, and have helped break down the walls of stigma and shame surrounding cancer. It is time for us to step up and change the way we view mental illness. -Tracy Feno, Board of Directors, PROJECT 375
Read more of Tracy Feno’s thoughts here.
Real Chat: Let’s talk about it
We are excited to bring you another Real Chat!
This week’s story is from Samuel Gelman. who is an avid reader and a big fan of Philadelphia sports. Samuel is a member of Cornerstone Clubhouse and sits on their advisory board. He’s passionate about advocacy and does outreach for transitional employment opportunities as well as political and social outreach.
PROJECT 375: What does self-advocacy mean to you and why is it so important?
SAMUEL GELMAN: Self-advocacy means to me speaking up for myself. Making my own phone calls,e-mails,sending my own letters or walking in the door the the place I need help from and asking for it.
Find the full Real Chat here.
For more details or to get involved, contact Emily Thieme at E.Thieme@project375.org
“Mental illness is serious, but so shamed in our society,” Bekah writes on her Facebook post. “We care so much for our physical health, but hardly a thing about our mental state. And that is seriously messed up. Mental illness is not a choice and will likely hit everyone at some point in their life. If it’s such a huge issue,why aren’t we having this conversation about it?”
Jail suicide is not justice
Personnel at jails of all sizes have been thrust into the role of mental health practitioners, something state and county governments have not adequately trained, equipped, or funded them to do. Most jails are places that exacerbate mental health conditions. Though jail administrators try to screen for depressive tendencies and mitigate risk, a jail cell is the last place we should be sending people with untreated mental illness, especially when they are not violent toward others.
8 famous ambassadors for mental health
Although some on this list have chosen to talk about their mental health through essays and interviews, others have left behind legacies that speak louder than their actions or words. In an April piece published by The New York Review of Books, Sacks spoke directly about the need for constant care of the internal self, opening with the below quote.
“Nothing is more crucial to the survival and independence of organisms — be they elephants or protozoa — than the maintenance of a constant internal environment.”
Run with us!
As you know, we celebrate strength here at PROJECT 375. That’s why we’ve issued a challenge to the mental health advocacy community: Run with us! We’re organizing a team in honor of Mental Illness Awareness Week Oct. 4-10, and we are training for the Rock n Roll Half Marathon in Brooklyn.
Please show your support for our mission by making a donation,running with us in Brooklyn or tracking your run through mapmyrun. Complete details are on our website. Let’s all share the journey on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook by using #RUNP375.
“As teenagers, Kelley Clink and her younger brother both attempted suicide. They both survived. Kelley recovered, but her brother died by suicide in his early twenties. A Different Kind of Same traces Kelley’s journey through grief, her investigation into the role her own depression played in her brother’s death, and, ultimately, her path toward acceptance, forgiveness, resilience, and love.”
Purchase it here.
- Bipolar disorder often develops in a person’s late teens or early adult years. At least half of all cases start before age 25. (https://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml)
- Symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) vary from one child to the next, but in general, they fall into two areas: Social impairment, including difficulties with social communication Repetitive and stereotyped behaviors. (https://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml)
- Men are more likely to die by suicide than women, but women are more likely to attempt suicide. (https://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml)
- An estimated 100,000 adolescents and young adults in the United States experience first-episode psychosis each year, with a peak onset occurring between 15-25 years of age. (https://www.thekennedyforum.org/vision/brainhealth)
- Over 50% of students with a mental health condition age 14 and older who are served by special education drop out−the highest dropout rate of any disability group. (http://www2.nami.org/factsheets/mentalillness_factsheet.pdf)
How to get involved
- Share your story on mycounterpane.com/mentalhealth.
- Be sure to check our website for updated events, information and ways you, too, can be involved!
- If you have any ideas you would like to share with us or need ideas on how you can help be a part of the conversation,
please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I Am Aware. Are you?
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