Martin Luther King and culture shifts

When I get discouraged about how long it has taken me to make progress as it relates to youth mental health, a cause I’ve been pushing for the last eight years, I think about how hard it was for others.

As much progress as Martin Luther King made for civil rights, we’re still not there with equality in fairness as it relates to race. For example, African Americans and whites use drugs at similar rates, but the imprisonment rate of African Americans for drug charges is almost 6 times that of whites. Back in the 90s when we had a … Read more...

I felt you with me, Charles Rogers

Charles S, Haley, Anne Moss

Charles Rogers, I am trying to spread the message any way I can because I know how you suffered. And I need to in order to move forward to cope with losing you.

So I am at Godwin High School with the student-lead group, “No Eagle Left Behind.” This group is focused on awareness surrounding mental illness, bullying, suicide and addiction. Things have changed so much since your suicide. People are starting to talk. I’ve been at it so long, fought so hard and it’s so bittersweet that it’s after your death.

Anyway, I talked … Read more...

Godwin High School Teens Speak Out!

I have had the honor of visiting with this group, No Eagle Left Behind on several occasions now from Godwin High School in Henrico County. They have explored several programs and have planned an assembly with the school that focuses on mental illness. And they made this video which rocks. I’ll be in there again for the assembly with a teen speaker from Cameron Gallagher Foundation and for an opportunity for me to talk about the #umatter or #umatterchallenge through Beacon Tree Foundation.

Alex Chaffee from Cosby High School has helped me with this program in addition to Haley, … Read more...

Teens wiping out mental health stigma

See the video on Channel 8

Like me, they’ve had enough.

They see no logic in the tradition of mental health stigma. Such a lousy, pointless tradition.

They are tired of classmates suffering. They are tired of being silent.

Now that the wave has started, I predict that we’ll have a whole new attitude toward stigma by next year this time.

Thanks to Alex Chaffee and other teens I will be highlighting here on this blog. And there are a lot more in this area speaking up and not tolerating this nonsense. So stay tuned.

Area organizations like Beacon Tree … Read more...

Cosby High School is the first to pilot the #umatterchallenge!

 

Check out the video the teens did! Thanks to Alex Chaffee, teen leader and member of the Swift Creek YMCA Leader’s Club for her help in leading the charge on this social media mental illness acceptance and suicide prevention program! And to all the students who stood up against the stigma of mental illness.

I doubt I could have gotten a team of adults to do this video. So who’s gonna erase stigma? High school students like these guys!

If you want to bring this simple, 2-week program to your school, contact me. This program is through Beacon Read more...

Proud Heart – #griefheart number 12

#griefheart project
Proud Heart

The first time we did this, I thought it was #iamnotashamed but it’s #imnotashamed. I’m and not I am.

I am sending this to TeamNotAshamed today so it was only fitting to make it today’s #griefheart. Rachel Griffen, a singer songwriter, had an article recently in the Washington Post. And she started the movement asking those with mental illness to speak up. Thank you Rachel.

If moms and dads, aunts and uncles, cousins and friends speak up about those who died by suicide, we could save more lives.

So we have those with mental … Read more...