Each Mind Matters Reflects on 2014

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The new year is upon us and we’re excited for another year of progress built on the great work in 2014. From empowering community members to start the conversation, growing the movement and engaging with Californians online and through communities events, and celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the passing of Prop 63, Each Mind Matters made significant impact this year. Let’s look at some of the highlights of California’s mental health movement shared on our blog.

Colleges and universities took a stand against mental illness and incorporated mental health programs for their students. UC Riverside held a family fun day on campus with wellness activities and UC Davis launched Each Aggie Matters to encourage students to feel comfortable talking about mental health and seeking help.

In May, Californians headed to Sacramento for Mental Health Matters Day. On the Capitol lawn, more than 1,000 people came together to listen to a dynamic speaking program including state leaders committed to advancing mental health as well as enjoying resource booths hosted by mental health and community-based organizations across California.

San Diego and Fresno held dialogue events to spark conversations about mental health. In San Diego, the “Serving Those Who Serve” event was dedicated to our veterans, active military members and their families with a wellness resource fair and a panel comprised of veterans and mental health experts discussing the importance of wellness in the military community and ways to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. In Fresno, the Latino community gathered for “El Bienestar de una Familia Latina: Cómo Vivir una Vida Más Saludable” (Latino Family Wellness: Live a Healthier Life)aimed to break down barriers to mental wellness and explore ways to overcome the stigma associated with mental illness that stop many Latinos facing a mental health challenge from seeking the help they need.

Each Mind Matters is committed to raising awareness about mental health among all of California’s diverse communities. The Mental Health Friendly Communities is dedicated to bringing African-American faith leaders and community to demonstrate the cultural connection between spirituality and mental wellness. Also, in our Native American communities, mini-grants were awarded to organizations that utilized Native Communities of Care messaging as well as integrating stigma and discrimination reduction messages into a new or existing program.

As our movement continued to grow, so did our following. Members of Hollywood supported Each Mind Matters by wearing lime green ribbons on the red carpet during the 66th Annual Emmy Awards. During Mental Health Awareness Week, counties organized events from walking for awareness to pledge walls dedicated to end stigma. We were overwhelmed by the shows of support for the mental health movement.

As we finished the year, we honored the important role survivors of suicide play as they turn their sorrow to action, and the Walk in Our Shoes musical production targeting middle school students with stigma and discrimination reduction messages by de-bunking myths ultimately touched this actor, too.

We have made great strides in 2014 and look forward to 2015 to continue the conversation about mental health, bring awareness about the issue to our communities and to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to live a healthy, happy and productive life.

Cheers to 2015!