Monday, June 9, 2014

Speak Your Mind Texas to Help Youth Suffering From Mental Illness

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is starting up a conversation about mental health with Speak Your Mind Texas. The campaign focuses on teens and young adults who may be struggling with mental illness or substance abuse, and teaches them and their loved ones how to notice the signs and where to seek help.

“An estimated one in five Americans will experience a mental health issue during their lifetime, and one in 20 will develop a serious mental illness,” DSHS commissioner David Lakey, MD, said in the agency’s news release. “Mental illness often strikes early, with half of all lifetime cases beginning by age 14 and three-fourths by age 24. That’s why Speak Your Mind Texas is focusing on our state’s youth and the people and organizations that support them.”

The Speak Your Mind website features videos from teens who experienced some form of mental illness as well as facts and additional resources on this serious issue. The campaign also is reaching out to Texans through free and open events in cities across the state, starting today in Fort Worth. The town hall-style meetings bring together young people, their family, teachers, coaches, and community leaders to destigmatize mental illness and show those suffering from it that help is available and they are not alone. To find an event near you, check out their calendar.

“People can and do recover from mental illness and substance abuse issues,” said Dr. Lakey.

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