I just finished reading about Madison Holleran, her tragic suicide and her family’s response to it, forming the Madison Holleran Foundation. YHC has begun a collaboration with the Josh Anderson Foundation, formed after Josh also tragically took his life during his teen years. Both foundations and families are openly speaking out about their losses but also are dedicating themselves to creating a positive movement and conversation.
September is Suicide Prevention Month. YHC, now in our 22nd year, has been working to reduce teen suicide, to reduce the stigma of mental illness, to reduce any shame associated with seeking treatment. A recent survey done by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention found that 90% of those queried stated that they value mental health and physical health equally. This indicates that most people do understand that mental well being and physical well being are inextricably interconnected. We can not draw a line and separate the two.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents. The research shows that approximately 10% of college students seek help from college counseling centers with many arriving on campus with previously diagnosed mental health issues. Many mental health issues are first recognized during adolescence. It is our mission to do the following:
- Create open, honest dialog about mental health
- To promote early identification, intervention and referral
- To acknowledge and promote the positive skills that define resilience
“How Not To Keep A Secret”, our peer training program that uses the power of the teen voice and connects them to a trusted adult , helps teens help teens.
A quote that is very powerful from the Madison Holleran foundation:
“It’s okay to not be okay, and more importantly, it okay to show you are not okay”.