There are some things that we just don’t talk about. Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are definitely some of those things. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), six percent of African Americans aged 18 to 25 suffered from serious mental illness in 2008. However less than half of AAs with mental health problems actually get help. Clearly it’s time to talk about some things. So SAMHSA is teaming up with the Ad Council and the Stay Strong Foundation to create a public service announcement that’s geared toward increasing awareness and understanding of mental health issues among young adults in the Black community. The campaign, which was first revealed today during a ceremony Howard University uses the tag line, “Mental Health. Share Ourselves… Healing starts with us,” and features personal stories from people in the African American community including a 25-year-old singer who shares her story of coping with teenage pregnancy; entrepreneur, activist and author Thabiti Boone who tearfully speaks about his mother’s attempt to commit suicide; and CEO of the National CARES Mentoring Movement and former ESSENCE Editor-in-chief Susan L. Taylor who explains her experiences with depression and memory loss. Stay Strong Foundation co-founder Terrie Williams acts as a spokesperson for “us to come face to face with the issues of mental illness in the Black community.” The messages are powerful and they’re all geared toward getting us to open up about mental health. Learn more about the campaign at storiesthatheal.samhsa.gov. Read More:
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