A campaign like One in Five Minds is introduced to create awareness and encourage action, but nothing happens until people get involved. An idea will only go as far as the people who carry it. Thanks to you, and other people and organizations, though, awareness of children’s mental health is growing.
On Sunday, January 26, 60 Minutes presented the story Nowhere to Go: Mentally Ill Youth in Crisis. It was a sobering look at what families experience and the need to increase access to mental health treatment for kids. CBS provided a follow-up piece on 60 Minutes Overtime about The Stigma of Raising a Mentally Ill Child. What both of these reports conveyed was as much as awareness is growing, there’s still much more to do.
So what do we do? First, continue to learn more about children’s mental health. Subscribe to mental health newsletters from organizations like the Hogg Foundation. Or Google the topic online to find insightful articles like this.
As you learn more about children’s mental illness, the next step is to become familiar with resources in your community that provide care for kids. The National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) is a great starting point for programs. As you learn more about resources, you may also find that many are cut or underfunded. Attending an event like One in Five Minds presents: A Forum on Mental Health Care Funding in Texas will provide insight on the current situation and what the future holds.
Finally, talk about children’s mental health. Even if it’s just within your family. Having a conversation may reveal questions your kids have that are important to discuss. There may be opportunities to share your story, too – after discussing with your clinician or therapist. One in Five Minds is participating in a book project. It’s an opportunity for teens to share their stories in print. Read more about YOU Make a Difference here.
Whatever you choose to do – learn more, attend the forum, or encourage others to join One in Five Minds – know that just by participating, YOU have the power to make a difference!