The Child Mind Institute today launched the second year of its impactful #MyYoungerSelf social media campaign, bringing together more than three dozen actors, Olympians, authors, comedians, advocates and other influencers to share personal videos with the advice they would give their younger selves about growing up with a mental health or learning disorder. The goal of the #MyYoungerSelf campaign is to eliminate stigma by showing children and adolescents who struggle that there is a bright future ahead if they open up and ask for help.
Each day in May, which is National Mental Health Awareness Month, the Child Mind Institute will reveal a homemade video and childhood photo featuring a celebrity or mental health advocate, including Lindsey Stirling, Ginger Zee, Charles Schwab, Jessica McCabe, Tim Howard and Adam Grabowski on the Child Mind Institute’s social media channels and web site childmind.org. The public is encouraged to get involved by sharing and liking these videos on social media and uploading their own videos with hopeful messages to their younger selves.
“There is no part of you that you should be ashamed of. You are exactly who you're supposed to be. And the only person qualified to even be you…is you.” – Sarah Silverman, Depression
“If I could say one thing to my younger self it would be, have fun with it. You know you're not stupid. So don't ever believe for a second that you are.” – James Van Der Beek, Dyslexia
“In school, I felt like a loser every day, but you know what feeling like a loser did for me? I have great empathy. I can never look down at anyone who's struggling with anything, and that's given me great leadership and that's helped to make me rich.” – Barbara Corcoran, Dyslexia
“You learn the tools to deal with it, whether it's breathing or learning or some kind of meditation, which I find helpful, or just learning what the root of it might be, just having some control over it and knowing that is really a completely normal thing.” – Mark Ronson, Panic Disorder
Of the 74.5 million children in the United States, an estimated 17.1 million have or once had a mental health disorder — more than the number of children with cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined. In spite of the magnitude of the problem, lack of awareness and entrenched stigma keep the majority of these young people from getting help. Children and adolescents struggling with these disorders are at risk for academic failure, substance abuse, and a clash with the juvenile justice system — all of which come at tremendous cost to them, their families and communities.
“By sharing their own personal stories for the second annual #MyYoungerSelf campaign, these actors, athletes, authors and influencers are helping to eradicate the stigma that keeps the 1 in 5 young people who struggle with a mental health or learning disorder from getting help and reaching their potential,” said Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz, Founding President of the Child Mind Institute. “We all know and love these children—if it’s not your son or daughter, it’s a niece or a nephew, or your child’s best friend at school. #MyYoungerSelf represents our society, whether you’re famous or not, coming together to get these kids the help they need.”
Other campaign participants include: Sara Benincasa, Michelle Carter, Katherine Ellison, Nick Goepper, Temple Grandin, Cat Greenleaf, Chamique Holdsclaw, A.J. Mendez, Sonia Patel, Alysia Reiner, Allison Schmitt, Tara Sim, Mara Wilson and Michael Young.
Last year, the first #MyYoungerSelf campaign reached millions in May, featuring 44 notablessuch as Emma Stone, Lena Dunham, Michael Phelps, Tommy Hilfiger, Brandon Marshall and Jesse Eisenberg. The campaign achieved 3.5+ billion global media impressions, reached 96+ million via social media and had a total of 10 million video views.
About the Child Mind Institute
The Child Mind Institute is an independent, national nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders. Our teams work every day to deliver the highest standards of care, advance the science of the developing brain, and empower parents, professionals and policymakers to support children when and where they need it most. Together with our supporters, we’re helping children reach their full potential in school and in life. We share all of our resources freely and do not accept any funding from the pharmaceutical industry. Learn more at childmind.org.