Mental Health Awareness

One of the loudest calls in the community is the one for more mental health services.

One of the local organizations that exists for this purpose is The Cirrus House, Inc. Each year, they have a special BBQ to raise more awareness for what they do. For information about their purpose and activities, visit

The mission of Cirrus House, Inc. is to advance mental wellness through opportunities including employment, housing, advocacy, and offer services to those individuals recovering from mental illness and substance use disorders. Cirrus House also helps people with an identified risk of life challenges (e.g., homeless persons, veterans, at-risk youth, etc.) explore their strengths and goals.

Cirrus House, Inc

The Ugly Truth of the Mental Health Crisis

Everyone in their childhood must have seen one of the best animated movies, “Winnie The Pooh”, created by A.A. Milne. Eeyore is one of the most recognizable characters in that movie, popularly known as a pessimistic grey donkey.

Could be worse. Not sure how, but it could be.


Eeyore is known for losing his tail and being the saddest and depressed friend in the group. But he also brought out the fact that depression and mental illness affects many people.

Don’t worry about me. Go and enjoy yourself. I’ll stay here and be miserable.


Eeyore suffers major depression and his low episodes have lasted decades. In our episode, Not Much Fun To Be Around, we read how Pooh and Piglet show support for Eeyore.

The pandemic has had a significant impact on Americans’ mental health, with two new CDC reports showing an increase in overall suicide rates in 2021 and record levels of sadness and hopelessness among teenagers.

Mental health advocates at Mental Health America have been committed to providing comprehensive behavioral health data for both youth and adults in the United States. 

More than 60% of children with depression don’t get any mental health treatment, according to Mental Health America.

MHA recently released its 2023 State of Mental Health in America survey which includes a deep dive into the prevalence of mental health and barriers to care. This information is invaluable in helping clinicians understand the challenges they collectively face and the areas that require additional resources. 

  • 21% of adults are experiencing at least one mental illness. That’s roughly 50 million people.
  • 55% of adults with a mental illness have not received any treatment.
  • 5.44% of adults experience severe mental illness. 
  • Over 12.1 million adults (4.8%) have reported serious thoughts of suicide. This figure more than doubles when surveying adults who identify as two or more races.
  • The states faring the poorest included Kansas, Arizona, and Oregon, which all report high percentages of adults with mental illness and thoughts of suicide. 

Tom MacDonald, a musician who has released several songs on his struggles with addiction, depression and anxiety, wrote this powerful poem. * language

In From One Miss To Another, former Miss America Teresa Scanlan addresses the issue of mental health and suicide awareness after a fellow pageant contestant succumbed to suicidal thoughts.

What needs to change? Is normalizing talking about mental health going to solve all our problems?

First, I humbly submit that normalizing mental health conversations is absolutely half the equation.

Mental health is health.

We have to stop talking about mental health as if it’s for “young people” only. Stop talking about “your brain isn’t even developed until 25,” as if that will magically solve all our problems. We have to start recognizing that ANYONE, at ANY age, any phase of life, of any physical attributes, any socioeconomic status, and any level of “success” can and will struggle with maintaining their mental health, just as surely as we will all, at one point or another, struggle with some aspect of our physical health.

Second, I also humbly submit that the second portion of the equation is changing the culture.

  • The culture that worships accomplishment and achievement.
  • The culture that says millennials are lazy if they prioritize relationships over career, work-life freedom over salary.
  • The culture that glorifies “success” in finances and business, over character and values.
  • The culture that only wants to know “what’s NEXT?” And “where are they now??” And marvels: “Celebrities… they’re just like us!”

What if we cared about a person’s heart more than we did their accomplishments? What if we valued a person’s soul over their job, their face, or even their “work ethic?

Everyone needs to know they matter

Tell People They Matter .com

As Eeyore would say, “Thanks for noticin’ me.”

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