My name is Jackie. I am a 21 year-old public speaker for a mental health education non-profit called Minding Your Mind. Our speakers, dynamic young adults who have struggled with mental health issues, visit schools and other organizations to share their stories and recovery in order to help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues.
One in five young adults will suffer from a diagnosable mental illness in our society. I was one of them. I personally speak about my battle with anxiety, depression and chronic self-harm beginning when I was only six years old. Externally, it seemed as though I was thriving. I was President of my high school class, involved in sports and clubs, and graduated in the top ten percent of my class before accepting a scholarship to college. Inside, I feared seeking help for my ongoing issues because of the stigma surrounding mental health disorders and because of my seemingly flawless external life. I have watched this program change the lives of so many young adults. I have watched the conversation become more open and attitudes start to change. Our entire team is dedicated to raising awareness and reducing the stigma related to these issues in order to expose people to the resources that are available and change the conversation through education.
The presentations, which are free of charge to the school, occur during school assemblies, health classes and workshops. Issues that are addressed in these presentations range from mood disorders, suicide ideation and eating disorders, to addictive behavior and bullying. Through our Speaker Program, Minding Your Mind has reached over 100,000 college, high school and middle school students throughout the Delaware Valley. Over the last year, we have given over 600 presentations.
We need your help to keep our program free to schools and communities who really need them. This June, we are hosting a benefit concert for the organization, and we need assistance funding the cost of the event. The concert will be held in Bryn Mawr, PA and will feature two local headlining artists. Information about tickets will be available as the event draws near. Every little bit helps, and we are grateful for your interest in donating.
For more information you can visit www.mindingyourmind.org or our facebook page titled "Minding Your Mind"
Thank you SO much!
Jackie and the Minding Your Mind Staff
North Montco Technical Career Center
I wanted to thank you for spending the entire day presenting to the students and faculty at North Montco Technical Career Center. Your courage and honesty are commendable. I was amazed by your ability to keep your audience of rambunctious teenagers captivated. The room was so silent you could hear a pin drop. I know that your message impacted many of our students and faculty. We received an outpouring of positive feedback immediately after people heard your story. I am certain that we will continue to hear how your struggle and your message to break the silence has encouraged others to not suffer silently, but reach out for whatever help they need. I am excited about the work that Minding Your Mind is doing and hope that you can continue to touch lives with your powerful message of hope.”
Kira O’Brien L.S.W.
- Heather Bergey
- John Carroll
- Linda McElvenny
- Tracey Whalen
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