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Mental health champion

The Rise of Mental Health Champions

Mental health conditions don’t discriminate based on race, gender or sexual orientation. It doesn’t matter how old you are or where you live. Anyone can experience a mental health illness at any time, and it’s not a sign of weakness. Asking for help, however, is a sign of strength.

It can sometimes be difficult to seek help for an illness that you can’t see or maybe can’t even articulate. But it’s important to remember that mental health care is just that — health care — and it deserves the same attention you’d give to a physical ailment or disease. It’s okay to seek help when you need it. In fact, knowing when to ask for help makes you a mental health champion.

Mental health champions are paving a new road — one of courage and resilience. They’re sharing their challenges and their stories of success. They’re helping others to see that it’s okay to experience mental health challenges and that seeking help is a smart place to start.

Minority Mental Health Awareness

July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. In many communities across the country, mental health challenges are made worse due to decreased access to quality care, cultural stigma and a general lack of awareness surrounding these common challenges faced by so many. You are not alone. This year, millions of Americans will face the reality of living with a mental health condition.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) was founded in 2008 to start the conversation surrounding mental health conditions and change the reality that background and identity can make access to mental health treatment much more difficult. Their docuseries on mental health shares powerful stories of courage, culture and community in minority populations.

Ways to Get Help and Spread the Word

Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s On Our Sleeves movement recognizes that mental illness touches everyone. One in five children is living with a mental illness, and 50 percent of all lifetime mental illnesses start by age 14. SAFY offers behavioral health services to help stabilize mental health when it’s disrupted and build lifelong skills for maintaining mental and emotional well-being.

SAFY’s Behavioral Health Center of Lima provides open access to mental health counseling services for children and families. Those seeking immediate treatment for behavioral health challenges can stop in every Monday through Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at 658 West Market Street in Lima, Ohio.

You can help spread the word about the importance of seeking help for mental illnesses. Use the hashtags #OnOurSleeves and #MinorityMentalHealth when sharing mental health awareness information or your personal stories online and to show your support for mental health champions. Together, we can take steps to help others, help ourselves and break the stigma surrounding mental health once and for all.

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