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The Campaign to Change Direction is a collective impact effort designed to change the culture of mental health in America. The initial phase of the campaign focuses on creating a common language by educating all Americans about five key signs of emotional suffering. Just as we know the signs of a heart attack, we can all learn the signs of emotional suffering so that those in need receive the care and support they deserve. Based on responses we have seen in communities across the country—and in New Hampshire’s State House last week—a powerful movement is beginning to take shape.

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We Are Changing the Direction of Mental Health!

Posted by Give an Hour Admin on February 19, 2016 9:50 PM EST
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Since launching the Campaign to Change Direction in March 2015, I have often been asked why--and how--Give an Hour, a national nonprofit organization that provides free mental health care to those who serve, their families, and their communities, took on the challenge of changing the culture of mental health in America.

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A Change in Direction Is in the Air

Posted by Give an Hour Admin on October 14, 2015 1:25 PM EDT
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On March 4, 2015, the Campaign to Change Direction -- a collective impact initiative to change the culture of mental health in America -- launched in Washington, D.C., with First Lady Michelle Obama as our keynote speaker. In order to reach this ambitious goal and encourage people to pay attention to their emotional well-being, Give an Hour and our partners are promoting a simple concept and creating a common frame. We are encouraging all Americans to learn the Five Signs of emotional suffering. Just as we know the signs of a heart attack, we can all learn the signs that may mean someone is suffering and needs our help.

 

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Hate Is a Mental Health Issue

Posted by Give an Hour Admin on June 25, 2015 7:10 PM EDT
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Our nation is struggling to comprehend yet another horrific act of violence. We are searching for answers to understand what prompted a 21-year-old man to brutally murder nine members of the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, after the church had welcomed him into its Bible study group on the evening of June 17.

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Written for the Huffington Post: Veterans Day is a national holiday that we celebrate on Nov. 11. As is the case every year, there will be local events and parades in communities across the country to recognize the sacrifice and service of our veterans. In addition, this year there will be an impressive star-studded concert on the National Mall here in Washington, D.C. I am very proud that our organization, Give an Hour, is being recognized as an "outstanding organization supporting veterans and military families" by the producers of the Concert for Valor. I am also troubled by the fact that as a nation we continue to struggle with how best to recognize, engage, and support those who serve and their families.

 

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Written for Huffington Post: Our nation is mourning the loss of Robin Williams and trying to make sense of how someone so gifted, so smart, and so well loved could be in such emotional pain that he chose to end his life rather than continue to fight against the thoughts and feelings that tormented him. Many are asking how someone who made us laugh so easily, so effortlessly and so consistently could be unable to find relief from the crushing sadness and despair that eventually overwhelmed him. And then there are those families who have also lost a loved one to suicide -- in 2011 alone, over 39,000 Americans committed suicide. For them, Robin Williams's death is a brutal reminder of the inability to rescue those we love who suffer from distorted self-perceptions, or devastating guilt or unbearable shame, which can lead to the irreversible decision that rips them from our lives.

In addition to being extremely talented, Robin Williams was incredibly generous. The performer, who died Monday at the age of 63, participated in numerous charitable efforts -- including the hugely successful Comic Relief concerts -- to raise awareness of and funds for the homeless in our society. He visited more than 89,000 troops in 13 countries over the 10 years that he worked with the USO, leading many to call him the Bob Hope of his time.

 

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