Noun: 1. A mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person. "I feel like the stigma of having a mental illness will always be with me."
Synonyms: shame, disgrace, dishonor.
Consider the following statistics collected by the National Institute on Mental Health:
*In 2016, there were an estimated 44.7 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States with Any Mental Illness (AMI). This number represented 18.3% of all U.S. adults.
*The prevalence of AMI was higher among women (21.7%) than men (14.5%).
*Young adults aged 18-25 years had the highest prevalence of AMI (22.1%) compared to adults aged 26-49 years (21.1%) and aged 50 and older (14.5%).
Now consider that every single one of the individuals above face what can feel like an insurmountable amount of stigma every day. Stigma that is paralyzing, fear inducing, and works in part to prevent nearly 20% of the United States population from seeking treatment.
There are many personal reasons I have choose to advocate on behalf of Project Helping. I'd like to share three of the most important:
1. Project Helping creates healing in community. At a time in my life when I could have been a statistic, attending a Project Helping event fundamentally changed how I see myself and how I see this world. The staff and its supporters restored my faith in humanity, gave me hope, and placed me on a path to healing and recovery.
2. Project Helping's self-sustaining platform creates conversation. Their unique projects work not only in the non-profit and public sectors, but also in the private sector, to help create dialogue to eliminate stigma in a time where acceptance is needed most.
3. Project Helping creates a safe, accessible environment for both children and adults to work on their mental wellness every day. They collaborate locally with nonprofit organizations serving low-income populations. Their Kyndfulness for Kids (K4K) program cultivates a lifelong habit of service and giving for youth ages 5-18. As the benefactors of this campaign, KyndU will provide wellness experiences customized for teen participants.
Please consider donating to help this very worthy program make a difference. Your donation will combat the increasing rate of suicide among teens throughout the nation and, specifically, in Colorado, Florida, and California where Project Helping currently offers K4K programs.