Women’s Fund of Central Indiana, a special interest fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation, is convening community partners to join the national Campaign to Change Direction on mental health. Eight cities, nearly 45 college campuses, plus hospitals, health departments, chambers, foundations and businesses have pledged to advocate for open, honest conversation about mental health in Central Indiana. Partners will also work to ensure that every Central Indiana resident knows how to recognize and respond to the five signs of emotional distress within five years.
The campaign will kick off next Wednesday, May 31, at 11:15 on the south quadrant of Monument Circle.
According to Mental Health America, in Indiana, 20 percent of Hoosier adults have experienced mental illness, 4 percent have had thoughts of suicide and 12 percent of youth have had at least one depressive episode in the past year. In addition, according to the World Health Organization, depression, predicted to be the second leading cause of global disability burden by 2020, is twice as common in women than in men.
Women’s Fund of Central Indiana knows that by removing barriers to good mental health for the Central Indiana community, they are creating more options and opportunities for women, girls and their families.
Program Speakers will include Melissa Proffitt, board chair, Women’s Fund of Central Indiana; Jennifer Pope Baker, executive director, Women’s Fund of Central Indiana; Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, founder, Campaign to Change Direction; Mayor Joe Hogsett, Indianapolis
Mayor; Scott Fadness, Fishers Mayor; Dr. Sue Ellspermann, president, Ivy Tech Community College and Dr. Virginia A. Caine, director, Marion County Public Health Department.
This program, which is expected to last about 20 minutes, will explain all facets of this National Campaign.
Women's Fund was founded in 1996 and is now a special interest fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF). The fund invests in the lives of women and girls in Central Indiana because when a woman is successful, her community is strengthened. Women’s Fund raises money, gives it away and teaches philanthropy.
The following is some background and facts about the campaign and about mental health here in Indiana and across the nation.
In 2013, an organization named Give an Hour, led by Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, launched Campaign to Change Direction to normalize conversations about mental illness. There are now campaign partners nationwide, including in Atlanta, the state of New Hampshire and now Central Indiana.
Women’s Fund of Central Indiana has convened eight cities, nearly 45 college campuses, plus hospitals, health departments, chambers, foundations and businesses to take the lead in advocating for open, honest conversation about mental health in Central Indiana. As a first step in the campaign, partners will work to ensure that every Central Indiana resident knows how to recognize and respond to the five signs of emotional suffering within five years.
In Indiana, 20 percent of Hoosier adults have experienced mental illness, 4 percent have had thoughts of suicide and 12 percent of youth have had at least one depressive episode in the past year.
Depression is twice as common in women as men. By removing barriers to good mental health for the Central Indiana community, Women’s Fund is creating more options and opportunities for women, girls and their families. Who are the Central Indiana Campaign to Change Direction partners? Partners include cities like Indianapolis, Shelbyville and Fishers; colleges like Butler University and Ivy Tech; organizations like the Central Indiana Community Foundation; and healthcare providers like Marion County Health Department and Eskenazi Health. For a complete list of partners, visit www.womensfund.org.
Organizations who hope to join the Campaign to Change Direction partnership should call Women’s Fund of Central Indiana at 317.634.2423. Individuals are encouraged to take the pledge to learn the five signs of emotional suffering at www.changedirection.org.
Five Signs of emotional suffering to watch for: Nearly one in every five people, or 43.8 million American adults, has a diagnosable mental health condition. half of all lifetime cases of mental disorders begin by age 14.2 In addition, 1.7M Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury each year - which may affect their cognitive and emotional functioning. Drug use is on the rise in this country and 23.5 million Americans are addicted to alcohol and drugs. That’s approximately one in every 10 Americans over the age of 12.
Often our friends, neighbors, co-workers, and even family members are suffering emotionally and don’t recognize the symptoms or won’t ask for help. Here are five signs that may mean someone is in emotional pain and might need help:
IF YOU RECOGNIZE THAT SOMEONE IN YOUR LIFE IS SUFFERING, NOW WHAT?
You connect, you reach out, you inspire hope, and you offer help. Show compassion and caring and a willingness to find a solution when the person may not have the will or drive to do it alone. There are many resources in our communities. It may take more than one offer, and you may need to reach out to others who share your concern about the person who is suffering.
If everyone is more open and honest about our emotional health and well-being, we can prevent pain and suffering, and those in need will get the help they deserve. You can learn more at changedirection.org.