March 30, 2016

Youth Mental Health

NO LETTING GO was created to ignite a call to action around the way society views child and adolescent mental health conditions. Lack of knowledge or understanding contributes to our culture of fear, blame, shame and silence. As a result, only 20% of the almost 15 million youth in our country who struggle with a mental health condition actually receive adequate treatment.

Did you know?

  • 1 in 5 children in every classroom struggles with a diagnosable mental health condition;
  • Almost 57 million people in the US alone struggle with a mental illness;
  • 50% of all lifetime cases of mental illness emerge before the age of 14 years old; 75% by the age of 24;
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people between the ages of 10 – 24.

Randi Silverman co-wrote and produced NO LETTING GO to inform and educate audiences, believing that an increase in knowledge, understanding and compassion would lead to better practices for early intervention and prevention.

A note from Randi:

“How can you get help for a problem that you don’t even know can exist in the first place? We were shocked when our middle son was diagnosed with anxiety at the age of 8 years old, depression at 9 years old, and bipolar disorder at the age of 10. We had no idea that a child’s behavior could possibly be related to his mental health; we believed, as did those around us, that a child’s behavior was the direct result of parenting. This notion was confirmed by school officials and medical doctors, whose suggestions on how to manage our son’s increasingly erratic behavior focused on my skills as a mother. Without even the most basic and fundamental knowledge of mental illness, we did not know what to do, who to turn to for insights, or where to go for help. There is no doubt that the silence around childhood mental health concerns leaves families feeling alone and isolated and contributes to years of delays in seeking and finding adequate treatment.

Even with the means to afford our son the help he needed, we were paralyzed with confusing and inadequate knowledge, resources and support. Ultimately, we were incredibly lucky that we were in a fortunate enough position to provide our son with the help he desperately needed. Even so, it took 7 years of pain, isolation, struggle, and heartache for us to do so. I have not stopped thinking about the fact that if the challenge was that difficult for us, how could other families with less access to resources manage when they have a child who is seriously impaired by mental illness? On behalf of all families who suffer alone and in silence, I feel compelled to share my story and to use it as an opportunity to increase knowledge, awareness. and understanding about the mental health of children, teens and young adults. I want my children and grandchildren to live in a society where mental health is discussed as openly as physical health and where mental health literacy leads to effective programs for early intervention and prevention.”

The film’s key messages are hopeful and inspiring:

  • Mental health is as important as physical health;
  • Mental illness is universal and can occur in any family;
  • Mental illness is treatable.

“When I watched No Letting Go, I was immediately struck by how perfectly the film cap-tures the sheer frustration, fears, and barriers that a parent faces in trying to help ease the suffering of an ill child. Few films that I have seen about mental illness are as spot on… captivating, compelling and poignant!”

– PETE EARLEY
  Best-Selling Author & Mental Health Advocate

 Read the full review here »

It’s time to talk about the Mental Health of our Youth!

More information about how to join the movement can be found at The Youth Mental Health Project.
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