Here is an urgent request asking for as many people as possible to watch the PBS documentary, ”Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth  Mental Illness”. It will air on PBS June 27th and 28th at 9 PM Eastern time. This film shines a light onto what it’s like for our young people suffering from mental health conditions. It will also focus on what it’s like for the parents, teachers, friends, and healthcare professionals who are trying to help.

According to the NIMH data from 2020, an estimated 49.5 % of adolescents (ages 13-18) has had a mental health disorder at some point in their lives, with 22.2% of these youth having had a severe mental impairment. This is not taking into account our children under the age of 13 or our adults over the age of 18. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/mental-illness

Many of our young people suffer in silence due to factors such as continuing stigma and lack of education. This needs to stop. How are children ever going to understand that what they are going through is real, with a ‘medical’ name, unless we teach them about these conditions? How are they ever going to know that they are not alone, and do not have a character flaw, without knowing there is a scientific reason for the way they feel? We must educate our young people about the science behind mental health conditions. Knowledge is powerful, and can bring much relief, in addition to reducing stigma. And for many, this may be what it takes for them to reach out for help.

With this being said, we still need far more genetic research if we are to ever find cures for mental health disorders. In the meantime, there are various therapies that have been found beneficial in dealing with certain symptoms. But this is only true if our young people reach out for help.

Our society needs to step up to the plate for mental health. Just as society has rallied around people with cancer, demanding research to find cures, (resulting in millions of lives saved) it is way past time we rally around those suffering from mental health disorders. It’s time we all realize this is our common struggle, not just someone else’s problem.

Please watch this important film! The following is a preview.