First lady Obama was a highlighted speaker at the recent summit on mental health which served as a launch pad for a new campaign entitled Change Direction. The summit drew participants from several key areas: not-for-profit organizations, government and private business. The impetus for the initiative was a White House discussion on mental health following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2013.
Mrs. Obama made note of the fact that mental health is an integral part of overall health and affects over 40 million of us, our family members, neighbors and co-workers. There is no excuse, she said, for stigmatizing a health issue comparable to a host of other health issues. When something is touching the lives of one in five American adults, it deserves compassionate attention, not prejudice.
The Change Direction campaign will urge all Americans to keep an eye on mental health just as they would on things like heart health, diet and nutrition, and other health factors. The campaign aims to draw attention to five recognized signs of emotional duress so that people will more readily recognize the symptoms. Those five signs are:
Personal care changes
Withdrawal from others
At Family Guidance we know that mental health conditions like anxiety and depression affect many more people than ever reach out for help. We salute Mrs. Obama’s call for more attention and less stigma. If you notice several of the five signs listed in yourself or someone you love, call us and make an appointment. Mental health is treatable and manageable.