Regional Leaders Come Together for Mental Health
Kristina Johnson, Chair, Leadership Council of the Regional Mental Health Coalition of Northeast Indiana
The Regional Mental Health Coalition of Northeast Indiana, an initiative of The Lutheran Foundation, is a multidisciplinary advocacy body focused on improving mental and behavioral health and wellness. The Coalition is asking for your help and support in promoting mental health awareness in your areas of influence. More conversations need to happen. More education needs to occur. Our efforts matter because mental health issues affect all of us.
Everyone is impacted by mental illness in some way, whether they are personally living with a mental health condition or know someone who is. An estimated 50% of all Americans will experience a mental health issue
at some point in their lives. Mental illness can also directly impact other physical illnesses. Poor mental health increases the risk for long-lasting (chronic) physical conditions like heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Yet, people living with a mental health issue are often hesitant to reach out for help because of stigma, or they don’t know where to go for resources.
Mental health issues are also affecting our youth. Half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and 75% by age 24. Hoosier youth are significantly more likely to consider or attempt suicide than their peers nationally, with 38% of Indiana’s youth suicide deaths coming from just five counties: Marion, Hamilton, Allen, Lake and St. Joseph. More than ever before, parent-child conversations are crucial. But, many parents report feeling ill-equipped on how to best talk to their children about mental health concerns and substance use.
Mental health is an important part of overall health and well-being. Let’s work together to make resources readily available for Hoosiers and incorporate more mental health conversations and trainings in our workplaces, homes, schools, medical provider practices, and our faith communities.
Together, we are better!