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Minding Your Mind: A (Re)Introduction

Allow us to (re)introduce ourselves! Minding Your Mind is a mental health education nonprofit whose mission is to remove stigma, encourage individuals to seek help when they need it, and to start important conversations through education. It is no surprise that this year we scheduled more than 1,600 presentations for schools, communities, and corporations across the nation. Our offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Massachusetts are working hard to meet the ever-growing demand for mental health education. 

For thirteen years, Minding Your Mind has been providing mental health education to adolescents, teens, young adults, parents, teachers, school administrators, community organizations, and corporations. Through our team of Young Adult Speakers, clinicians, and mindfulness presenters we are able to connect with individuals from many different demographics. Every program we provide serves as a way to accomplish our mission of encouraging help-seeking behavior, improving attitudes towards mental health, and promoting healthy coping strategies. For parents, schools, communities, coaches, and employees we offer a wide range of programming that focuses on symptom recognition, warning signs, coping strategies, and mindfulness techniques. We are able to provide our audiences with the ability to identify and express when they need help for themselves or others. 

Whether it is teaching young children the importance of empathy and kindness, or educating teens, young adults, caretakers, or employees, Minding Your Mind has developed content appropriate for all audiences. By far, our core program is our Young Adult Speaker program. This program consists of professionally-trained Young Adult Speakers who offer a unique perspective in sharing their own experiences in overcoming various forms of mental health adversity. 

As a mission-driven non-profit organization, our “why” is at the center of everything. Perhaps one of our most well-known Young Adult Speakers, Jordan Burnham, put it best,  “The biggest thing I want the people to know is that if you struggle with a mental health disorder, you are not alone. I want the person who was reluctant to have a conversation about their own mental health to have that conversation after listening to my story. It could be with a friend, a therapist, their parents, but if that happens I did my job.” At Minding Your Mind, we believe that stigma, shame, and guilt prevent individuals from seeking help, and we work to remove those barriers. 

An alarming and important statistic that speaks to the significance of stigma is that one in five teens will experience a mental health issue this year, yet less than 20% will seek treatment. Furthermore, suicide is now the second leading cause of death among young adults (15-34) only behind car accidents. According to the CDC, every 12 minutes someone in the U.S. dies by suicide. When considering these statistics, it is no wonder that we have been working closely with schools, community organizations, and corporations to provide so many presentations. Education is the best form of prevention, and Minding Your Mind will continue to be there for you and your community to provide education and to start these essential conversations!

Since our inception over a decade ago, we have seen a dramatic reduction in the stigma that surrounds mental health, but we also recognize there is still a lot of work to be done. We are proud to be here during these uncertain times. In the midst of this pandemic, we recognize how important it is to prioritize our mental health. According to recent studies, at least half  (45%) of Americans report negative impacts on their mental health due to COVID-19. Minding Your Mind has responded to growing needs and has been able to transition much of our in-person programming to virtual. We have been able to provide presentations for schools, parents, communities, and corporations in the same impactful way. We consider ourselves fortunate to be able to work with such great mental health advocates and clinicians. We are also grateful to have the opportunity to reach so many individuals and look forward to working with you all as we continue to break down barriers every time we take the floor. 

We hope that our brief (re)introduction has made you a bit more familiar with who we are as an organization. If you would like to learn more about us, see all of our programs, and discover how we can work together please visit our site: www.MindingYourMind.org . Make sure to also like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter @mindingyourmind. 

 

Hope to see you soon,

 

The Minding Your Mind Team

 

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Let Them Talk

“Log kya kahenge?”. Translation: What will people say? It is unfortunate what a common phrase this is in Hindi and the number of times I’ve heard it is probably equivalent to India’s entire population. Those three words have reverberated in my mind every time I’ve done something as quotidian as dressing myself in the morning or making conversation with peers. It was those three words that served as an explanation for why my neighbors would eye me disapprovingly if I ever wore a slightly low-cut top. I had been a member of Indian society long enough to know that the design of your shirt was directly correlated to your character. And God forbid I was seen speaking platonically to a boy at the mall. It was almost guaranteed that the next round of community gossip would include my parents’ presumed negligence and their role in raising such a salacious daughter. And, just to get really wild with it, if I was seen speaking platonically to a boy at the mall WEARING a slightly low-cut top? We might have to move. Yes, my tone is satirical. But that’s because the amount of weight that Indians place on the opinions of others when making decisions about their own lives is so ludicrous, it’s almost comical.

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