BENEFITING: Minding Your Mind
EVENT DATE: Nov 01, 2015
Jessica Atkins wrote -My name is Jessica, and it has been my dream to run the TCS New York City Marathon since I began distance running in 2008. Gaining a spot in this marathon is not easy due to its worldwide popularity, so I am thrilled to have the opportunity to earn a spot in 2015 as a charity runner. Over the next several months, I will be raising funds for Minding Your Mind, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing mental health programs and education for young people. This organization's mission resonates strongly with me as a mental health professional in the school setting.
Minding Your Mind's goal is to reduce the stigma and destructive behaviors often associated with mental health issues. Treatment is available, yet only 3 out of 10 individuals needing help actually seek help. Minding Your Mind Programs move away from crisis based response to prevention through education.
MYM's educational programs provide information regarding signs and symptoms of these disorders, in addition to stressing that they are treatable and treatment is available. Mood disorders have been identified by the World Health Organization as the third leading cause of disability worldwide. 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. The third cause of death of individuals between the ages of 14-23 is suicide. Since the age of onset of most psychiatric disorders is typically during adolescence, it is essential that the proper information be brought to the attention of secondary school educators, counselors, students and their parents. MYM offers several programs for students, teachers, faculty and the community at large.
As a mental health professional, I continuously battle the effects of the stigma surrounding mental health issues. These effects pervade every aspect of my job: children and adolescents who withhold important information for fear of being judged or deemed "crazy"/"broken", parents who are reluctant to admit/accept that their child is struggling with mental illness and get him/her the necessary assistance, and other individuals within the school system and community who stereotype children with mental health issues or express fear toward them. The children I work with experience a variety of difficulties including mood disorders, suicidal ideation, eating disorders, abuse/neglect, bullying, and addictive behaviors (to name just a few). These struggles impact every facet of their functioning, from their ability to learn and apply essential life skills (including social skills) to their ability to gain/maintain employment and live independently. According to a National Alliance on Mental Illness report, there is an 80% rate of unemployment across the Unite States among individuals with mental illness. Through organizations like MYM, we can work toward reducing these figures by making mental health educational and programming accessible to everyone. I look forward to contributing to MYM's effort to eliminate mental healthcare barriers and ensure that youth and adults get their care and assistance they need and deserve.
Thank you so much for your time and consideration. If you have the means to donate, 100% of your tax deductible donation will go directly to Minding Your Mind. Any amount is greatly appreciated and valued. Your generosity will also help me get one step closer to running my dream marathon in November 2015.
Feel free to visit MYM's website for further details on their organization and the wonderful programs they provide: http://mindingyourmind.org/