Blooming flowers, budding trees, warmer weather and rainy days are all the things we expect in the month of May. You may not know, but in 1949 a Presidential Proclamation was made to declare May to be observed as Mental Health Awareness Month. The purpose was to raise awareness, provide information on treatment, dispel the myths and reduce the negative attitudes and misconceptions that we call stigma.
When a child is diagnosed with cancer, family, friends and neighbors rally around that family and child to provide support and comfort. When a child is diagnosed with a mental illness, it is a secret. The child and family are on the journey of recovery on their own. It is a secret because of stigma. Being diagnosed with any medical disorder can be frightening and force a person to make life changes. Being diagnosed with a psychiatric illness can be frightening and force a person to make life changes, as well it can also be isolating, blaming and shaming. Stigma often holds a child or family back from seeking help or treatment. Early identification, interventions and treatment have a significant impact and will reduce the impact of mental illness.
The staff at Cincinnati Children’s Psychiatric Intake Response Center acknowledge Kindervelt for the courage to reduce stigma and change the outcome for our children who live with mental illness. KV PEACe and the Bridge Clinic are providing access for children and families who may not seek assessment and treatment. Mental Health Awareness Month is observed every May, but through each of your efforts you are raising awareness of mental illness, dispelling the myths, and reducing the negative attitudes and misconceptions every day and every month. Thank you for your continued efforts in providing access to recovery for our children and families.