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"SPEAK OUT"  

This Campaign focuses on addressing the multi-faceted issues related to mental health to promote an open conversation and drive a societal understanding of issues concerning mental health, while recognizing the impact of mental illness in the lives of those affected, and highlight the services and information available to provide help and assistance to the public.  The campaign includes Seaking Events, Silent Auctions, showcasing artistic pieces related to mental health. The proceeds from the fundraising will be used to facilitate activities that promote better access to mental health in communities around the United States. The campaigns will be composed of medical professionals, entertainers, and other community members affected or simply interested in the topic of mental health.  

PARTNERS

Massé World

Massé World is a public not for profit charitable organization located in Tampa, Florida, with a mission to provide aid, support and education to individuals affected with Vitiligo and Albinism. A core value at Massé World is to stop the stigmatization of these vulnerable communities and promote inclusion and acceptance.

UNICEF USA

In many regions, access to basic social services is limited for vulnerable populations, particularly women and children. The Joint Investment Mechanism (JIM) is a new, results-driven funding model established by UNICEF and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate progress towards the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).

 

Rahman Bello, CEO of The iSupport Foundation

Chairman of JIM UNICEF USA Project at Massé World.

The JIM’s objectives The JIM’s impact is driven by four core approaches: Scale: The UNICEF team will collaborate with the government to enact policies that guarantee resources for community health facilities. Integrate: To address a myriad of maternal and child health needs, UNICEF will train almost 500 frontline health workers in more integrated care. Adapt: COVID-19 caused a shortage of health workers in Kenya. The JIM will reinvigorate the health workforce. Innovate: Securing progress towards gender equality, UNICEF is co-creating culturally appropriate media messaging on sexual and reproductive health, harmful practices, and gender-based violence.

"Speak Out" 

Suicide Rates are Increasing 

The pandemic has had a significant impact on people throughout the world.   Two new CDC reports on  Americans' mental health, showing an increase in overall suicide rates in 2021 and record levels of sadness and hopelessness among teenagers.  

According to a new CDC report, suicide rates in the United States increased in 2021 after two years of declines in 2020 and 2019. SEE REPORT HIGHLIGHTS BELOW FROM The Advisory Board Daily Briefing.

  • In 2021, there were 48,183 suicides deaths in the United States, almost matching the record high number of deaths in 2018. In comparison, there were 45,979 suicide deaths in 2020 and 47,511 in 2019.

  • After adjusting for age, American Indian/Alaska Native people had the highest suicide rates across all racial and ethnic groups at 28.1 suicide deaths per 100,000 people. This group also saw the largest percentage increase in suicide deaths between 2018 and 2021 at 26%.

  • ​During the same time, Black Americans saw their suicide rates increase by 19%. However, suicide rates among young Black Americans ages 10 to 24 increased by roughly 36%, which CDC noted was a "particular concern."

  • Among Hispanic people, suicide rates increased by 6.8% between 2018 and 2021. Non-Hispanic white people were the only group to see a decrease in suicide rates at almost 4%. There was also a 12.4% decline in suicide rates among Americans ages 45 to 64.

  • According to CDC, several factors may have contributed to the increased suicide rates in 2021, including personal, professional, or financial issues, as well as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"Suicide is a complex problem related to multiple risk factors such as relationship, job or school, and financial problems, as well as mental illness, substance use, social isolation, historical trauma, barriers to health care, and easy access to lethal means of suicide among persons at risk," CDC said.

"Speak Out"

Youth Mental Health Crisis

In a separate report, CDC found that there is a growing mental health crisis among American youth, with rates of sadness and hopelessness among teenagers reaching their highest point in a decade.

In the latest national Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which was conducted in fall 2021 and the first iteration to take the pandemic into account, 42% of teenagers reported experiencing "persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness" in the last year, 29% said they had poor mental health in the past month, and 22% said they had "seriously considered attempting suicide" in the past year.

"I think there's really no question what this data is telling us," said Kathleen Ethier, head of CDC's adolescent and school health program. "Young people are telling us that they are in crisis."

CDC Survey also found that there were significant differences based on gender, sexual orientation, and racial/ethnic identity.

  • Overall, 57% of teenage girls said they felt sad or hopeless in 2021 — almost double the rate among boys (29%) and a significant increase from the 36% of teenage girls who reported the same in 2011.

  • 30% of teenage girls reported seriously considering attempting suicide, and almost 25% said they made suicide plans.​

"These data show a distressing picture," said Debra Houry, CDC's CMO. "America's teen girls are engulfed in a growing wave of sadness, violence, and trauma."

  • Forty-five percent of LGBQ+ teenagers also seriously considered attempting suicide, and 37% said they had made plans.

  • Hispanic and multiracial teenagers were more likely to report feelings of sadness and hopeless than their Asian, Black, and white peers. However, Black teenagers were the most likely to attempt suicide compared to their peers.

To address mental health issues among American youth, the report outlined several steps for schools and partners, including ensuring students feel connected to others through youth development programs or inclusivity efforts. The report also suggested schools connect families and students with community resources and provide more education on mental, physical, and sexual health. See the Full Report HERE.

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