This is the area where MRF has the most opportunity to lean in. We want to help people find the right resources at the right time. We want to provide opportunities for connection and comfort, not only for young people suffering from mental illness, but for those who are by their side offering support. And we want to encourage activities and organizations that promote physical wellness for young people and recognize the important connection to their overall mental health.
It is unfathomable to believe that mental illness is still not recognized as a disease by some. And more than that, an epidemic. There is also a stigma attached to having real, open and honest conversations about suicide.
We want to put tools in the hands of those closest to our children – parents, friends, teachers, coaches, clergy – to help them recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness so that we can help to encourage early intervention.
There is a surprising lack of research and understanding about the human brain. As a result, much of the treatment for mental illness is a frightening combination of trial and error. While we recognize that we may not reach the scale in our fundraising efforts to fund significant research directly, we will actively look for opportunities to create visibility and awareness for those who are conducting important studies so that we can get some much-needed insight into what causes this horrible disease and how we can provide better treatment options.