Letter: Increase mental health awareness

Jenny Becker

According to National Institute of Mental Health, 1 in 5 children currently, or at some point in their life, experiences symptoms of a diagnosable mental illness.

Does that catch your attention? It catches mine. Ask yourself, how much do you know about mental health? Did you know that mental health problems impact children very similarly to how they impact adults? “Mental health” is a big and sometimes very intimidating concept. The stigma and lack of public knowledge regarding mental health is exactly the reason we need to increase our awareness of what mental health is, and what “mental health problems” are. May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

As a children’s mental health provider at Tanager Place, I’m hoping to catch your attention regarding the importance of this issue. Tanager Place provides comprehensive care for children experiencing mental health, behavioral, and developmental issues. We work with children and families to provide mental health education, increase advocacy, improve healthy habits and skills, and implement treatment when clinically necessary. Tanager Place’s comprehensive children’s outpatient and inpatient programming focuses on the entire family in order to encourage strong mental/behavioral health through prevention, treatment and research. I encourage you to do your own research and learn more about the impact mental health problems have on children and adults. Knowledge is power. Increasing your awareness about how common mental health problems are, and how very treatable they are is a great starting point. You can become an advocate and make a difference in the people’s lives.

Jenny Becker

Cedar Rapids

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