Giving Compass' Take:
- RAND Corporation examines WhyWeRise, a program in Los Angeles County that aims to create a social movement among young people to fight barriers to mental health access.
- The initial results are promising, as 90% or more of WeRise event attendees said they were more likely to support those with mental illness and practice self-care. What might longer-term measurements look like?
- Read about why we need to bring more attention to student mental health.
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One of the more intractable problems in mental health care is that nearly half of all those who would benefit from care don't receive it. Multiple barriers seem to be involved, including lack of insurance, lack of knowledge, and stigma. Racial and ethnic minorities and LGBT individuals are particularly likely to go without needed care.
Mental health problems typically show up early in life, before or during high school or in people's early twenties. So, it makes sense that one way to try and get more people into care is to engage this age group with the issue of mental health. Getting young people familiar with what mental illness is, dispelling myths and stereotypes, and letting them know what they can do to take care of their well-being and that of their friends might help to get them into care if they start to experience problems. But how do you get young people interested in and engaged with the topic of mental health? The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health is undertaking an innovative approach to this problem with WhyWeRise, an effort that aims to create a social movement to fight barriers to mental health access. The campaign is intended to elevate mental health as a civil rights issue and leverage youth enthusiasm for activism as a way to create social change.
Read the full article about creating a youth movement in Los Angeles County around mental health issues by Rebecca L. Collins at RAND Corporation.