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Are Kids Really Learning About Mental Health?

High school students are more aware of and willing to learn about mental illness, including warning signs, where to get help, and how to reach out. Despite this, they are still more likely to experience anxiety and depression than they were a generation ago; suicide rates are also on the rise around the U.S. among teenagers.

One NAMI Ending the Silence presenter, Tracy Greenberg, shared her story of speaking to students about mental illness, including some takeaways about what we can do to help our children and younger peers. The following is an excerpt from the full post on the NAMI Blog:

“We are asking a lot from young people. It’s not easy to ask for help. It’s not easy to get help for a friend, especially when your friend is asking you not to tell anyone. It’s not easy to admit you are having bad anxiety or thoughts about suicide. But that is what we are asking our young people to do.

…While they may know what they are “supposed” to do, they still might be too scared to actually speak out. We need to remind them that there are people out there who want to help them. We need to repeat over and over that it is okay to not be okay, that there is help out there, that being perfect isn’t the standard or expectation. That they can be open about their mental health.”

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