Michigan Starts Campaign Against Mental Health Stigma

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DETROIT — One in five young people between the ages of 14 and 24 will experience mental illness. Left untreated, it can cause bigger problems later on.

With May being National Mental Health Awareness Month, the Ethel and James Flinn Foundation and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) have teamed up to change the conversation with young people about mental illness as they launch the "Opening Minds Ending Stigma" statewide campaign.

The effort will include the broadcast of "Opening Minds Ending Stigma: Early Intervention is Key", a documentary special premiering Saturday, May 28, at 7 p.m. on CBS 62.

The 30-minute film features inspiring and candid stories of young Michigan residents and families impacted by mental illness, illuminates the challenges presented by mental disorders, the stigma that often delays effective treatment and that recovery is possible. Leading Michigan-based experts in pediatric care, educators, parent/child relationships and peer support programs also appear to bring greater understanding of the importance of early intervention.

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"Treating mental illness shouldn't be viewed any differently than treating physical illnesses," said Andrea Cole, executive director and CEO of the Ethel and James Flinn Foundation.

"Too often the stigma associated with mental illness prevents our youth from seeking help," said Nick Lyon, director with the MDHHS.

The "Early Intervention is Key" video can be accessed without charge for educational and community use at www.endingstigma.org or bit.ly/1F1yVxx.

Other resources to continue the conversation will be an on-going web and social media campaign, along with plans for a September production in the Opening Minds Ending Stigma series.