Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute Calls for the Community to BUST IT

The Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI) is marking Child and Adolescent Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) in May with a campaign called BUST IT.

Centered on helping adolescents identify myths about mental health needs, the campaign will focus on the stigma associated with mental illness.

BUST IT also coincides with Child and Adolescent Services’ (CAS) second year anniversary in their new home at MWI. The facility, which officially opened in 2007, offers a day programme that can treat up to ten students at a time and a four-bed inpatient unit for young people who need in-hospital care.

“During the past two years, we have seen an increase in referrals from the private sector,” said Sharon Apopa, Director of CAS. “We are pleased the public has been supportive of our services and have chosen the BUST IT campaign to further educate the community about myths and stereotypes surrounding young people and mental illness.”

Activities during the week include student tours of the facility, along with visits to Whitney Middle School and Elliott School to talk about mental health. School counselors are also invited to a presentation at MWI on “Depression in Children and Adolescents.”

“We know young people with mental health needs thrive when they have the right support and the right services,” adds Mrs. Apopa. “Through education, like the bUST iT campaign, we are changing families’ lives and improving outcomes for young people in our community who face mental health challenges.”

Notes about the BUST IT Campaign:
The 2009 BUST IT campaign is designed to draw attention to the mental health needs of children and youth. Children’s mental health impacts all youth in one way or another and the long-term goal of the campaign is reducing the stigma often associated with having a mental health need. Studies have shown that stigma is the greatest barrier to young people with mental health challenges and their families seeking help. The BUST IT campaign promotes support for all children who have, or are at risk of having, a mental health need and encourages communities to support the total well-being of young people. The goal is to eliminate stigma associated with mental health needs.

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