Last month I got a hold of a song that addresses the stigma of mental health head on. I wanted to know some background about the song and ended up finding out that it is a movement that is working its way from Louisiana, throughout the United States.
I had the opportunity to speak with Darrin L. Harris, Chief Executive Officer of Ekhaya Youth Project, Inc., about his initiative and organization that provides support families with mental and behavioral health challenges in Louisiana, and how the movement is spreading through song.
May is Mental Health Month and according to Community Network Services, “stigma is one of the biggest barriers associated with mental health.” So today I talked to Mr. Garrett about CNS and how they are committed to educating people about the importance of mental health, and eliminating “stigma.” (cnsmi.org)
Here are a few facts about the pervasiveness and effects of mental health in the United States (U.S.).
Approximately 27% of adults have a mental illness in any given year
Only 41% of adults in the U.S. with a mental health condition received mental health services in the past year
97% of violent crimes are committed by people who do not have a mental health diagnosis
Approximately 105 people commit suicide every day in the U.S.
Approximately 20% of people who commit suicide are veterans of the U.S. Military
Among the 20.2 million adults in the U.S. who experienced a substance abuse disorder, 50.5%, had a co-occurring mental illness
70% of youth in juvenile justice systems have at least one mental health condition
An estimated 26% of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness
For more information about Community Network Services, call 800-615-0411 or visit cnsmi.org.