Minding Your Mind’s primary objective is to provide mental health education to adolescents, teens, and young adults, as well as parents, teachers, and school administrators. Our goal is to break the silence, to reduce the stigma and destructive behaviors often associated with mental health issues and illnesses, and to move away from crisis-based response to prevention through education.
Why it Matters
Our educational programs provide information regarding signs and symptoms of mental health issues and illnesses, in addition to stressing that they are treatable and help is available. It is essential that the proper information be brought to the attention of secondary school educators, counselors, students, and their parents.
• One in four teens will experience a mental health issue, yet less than 20% will seek treatment.
• Mood disorders have been identified by the World Health Organization as the third leading cause of disability
• Research studies have demonstrated that over 90% of people that die from suicide have one or more psychiatric disorders at the time of their death.
• Suicide is now the second leading cause of death of individuals between the ages of 14 to 23.
• The age of onset of most psychiatric disorders is typically during adolescence.
How it is Effective
Our speakers – dynamic young adults who have struggled with mental health issues – visit schools and community organizations to share their stories and recovery. The presentations, which are free of charge to the school, occur during school assemblies, health classes, and workshops. Issues that are addressed in these presentations include: mood disorders, suicide ideation, eating disorders, addictive behavior, self-harm, and bullying.
Through our Speaker Program, Minding Your Mind has reached hundreds of thousands of college, high school and middle school students. Our outreach is greatest in the Delaware Valley, yet every year our purview expands further throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Our speakers all have received training to ensure that their presentations are delivered in a professional and knowledgeable fashion. Inspiring sessions with our speakers provide students with a better understanding of the signs and symptoms of mental disorders, emphasizing that they are treatable and that help is available.
In addition to our student presentations, our program includes an evening platform that provides an opportunity for parents, teachers, and other school personnel to meet and listen to the same speaker that the students heard earlier in the day. While the speakers are very knowledgeable, they are not licensed mental health professionals. Many times, parents want answers to questions for which the speaker is not qualified; therefore, mental health professionals are present at the evening sessions.
Minding Your Mind’s Speaker Program has received laudatory responses from area schools and organizations, and our speakers are routinely invited back to speak at the same school on multiple occasions. During the 2015-2016 school year, we completed over 1,100 presentations.