Changing the culture on mental illness

– Half of all mental
illness in the United States arises by age 14. Last year in the United
States more people died by suicide than in every car
accident in this country. I’m at Mascoma Regional High School in Canaan, New Hampshire, to take the message to
these high school kids that it’s important that
we start a new conversation about mental health and mental illness. I’ve had a lot of
opportunities in my lifetime. I’ve been very lucky, but the most important
thing I have ever done in my professional life
is what I’m doing today. – I would say the overall
takeaway is to not be afraid to look for mental illnesses
in the people around us. – Like I’ve seen some of
the signs just around, and it’s like every day you realize there’s a lot of people
who just don’t do anything. – Anyone with a mental health problem, anxiety and panic, bipolar
depression, it doesn’t matter. They have two things in common. Number one is they didn’t ask for it. And number two, they don’t deserve it. And what do most of us do? We make fun of them, we
make them feel badly. Why do we do that? If someone said, “I have diabetes,” would you ever say, “Snap out of it.”? At the end of the day what I’m
really saying to these kids, it’s not okay to have
a mental health problem and you didn’t cause it,
you don’t deserve it, and we can help you. – Mental illness is not
something you should overlook, but you can get help for it. – Nobody should feel alone, nobody. We need to take away the
shame and the stigma. If we’re gonna change the
culture of mental health in New Hampshire and
eventually across the country, it won’t be my generation
that does it, it’ll be yours. Help is out there, you
just need to reach out.

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