Campaign To Change Direction, Give An Hour and Easter Seals

Are you ready to join the Campaign to Change Direction?

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This week a number of people and organizations are talking about the Campaign to Change Direction. According to the website:

“The Change Direction initiative is a collection of concerned citizens, nonprofit leaders, and leaders from the private sector who have come together to create a new story in America about mental health, mental illness, and wellness. This initiative was inspired by the discussion at the White House National Conference on Mental Health in 2013, which came on the heels of the Newtown tragedy.”

On March 4, 2015, a mental health summit was held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the summit was to launch the Campaign to Change Direction. First Lady Michelle Obama and a number of the Campaign Collaborators, Partners and Founding Members were on hand for the launch. Give An Hour, nonprofit organization, was responsible for launching the campaign having put together a network of 7,000 mental health professionals. (If you are a regular reader of our blog, you may remember it was Memorial Day 2012 that we first introduced our readers to the Give An Hour organization.)

Zero room for stigma…

When the First Lady spoke at the mental health summit she delivered a strong message about the stigma associated with mental illness, reflecting that the perception of mental health conditions is so different than those of physical issues like cancer, asthma, diabetes, etc:

“That makes no sense,” she said. “Whether an illness affects your heart, your leg or your brain, it’s still an illness. So there should be absolutely no stigma around mental health. None. Zero.”
Nearly one in five adults — more than 40 million Americans — experience a diagnosable mental-health condition such as depression or anxiety every year, she noted.
“So it is really time to flip the script on mental health in this country,” Obama said. “It’s time. It’s time to tell everyone who’s dealing with a mental health issue that they’re not alone, and that getting support and treatment isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength.”

Yesterday we talked about high-school athletes mental health issues and we touched on the subject of students feeling stigmatized if they reached out for help regarding mental health disorders. We shared triggering events and behaviors to monitor. The Campaign to Change Direction also provides five signs that may mean someone is in emotional pain and could need help:

  • Personality change
  • Agitation
  • Withdrawal
  • Poor self care
  • Hopelessness

It is important to remember that half of all lifetime mental disorder cases develop by the age of 14!

You’re invited to join the conversation

If you visit the different websites that we have referenced today, you will see there are a lot of ways to join in the Campaign to Change Direction and to join the conversation. Here’s just a few:

Some final thoughts…

When we were researching today’s post we came across an interesting press release from Easter Seals. The press release talks about Easter Seals’ involvement with The Campaign to Change Direction. Depending on your age, you may have no knowledge of Easter Seals or you may have very prominent memories of the annual Easter Seals campaign that took place in the United States every year about this time. It was in 1919 Edgar Allen founded the National Society of Crippled Children, and it was in 1967 that the organization formally changed its name to Easter Seals.

Historically, Easter Seals has been recognized for providing
services for those diagnosed with autism, developmental disabilities and
physical disabilities. This year Easter Seals is joining the campaign to impact mental illness and therefore mental health.

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