First Lady Michelle Obama Speaks About Mental Health

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First Lady Michelle Obama was the keynote speaker today at a groundbreaking summit in Washington D.C. focused on bringing awareness to mental health challenges and ending stigma. Non-profit organization Give an Hour launched its new campaign, Change Direction, at the summit to bring attention to the signs of someone working through a mental health challenge, and encourage those in attendance to be aware of what it looks like when a person is in need.

The new campaign, Change Direction, is not solely focused on military personnel, but is instead motivated to reach anyone who is going through a mental health challenge and is too afraid to speak up, much like Each Mind Matters and Know the Signs. The movement calls on anyone and everyone to learn the five signs of a person in need and help change the story of mental health across the country.

Over the next five years, educational tools and programs are expected to reach over 30 million Americans – now that’s what we call joining the mental health movement!

Mrs. Obama also supports her own initiative called Joining Forces, which encourages support of military veterans and their families. At the summit, her powerful words were about service members, veterans and families who have bravely told their own stories to change the face of mental health and how important it is to seek help.

“Our mental health seriously affects our physical health. So there should be no stigma around mental health, none at all” she said at the summit. She also reinforced the need for all Americans to learn about recognizing indicators of a mental health challenge in loved ones.

Give an Hour’s mission is to organize volunteers nationwide who are able to respond to situations where a person is experiencing a mental health challenge, whether it be acute or a chronic condition. Right now, the group is focused on assisting troops and families who were affected by the post-9/11 conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.


The signs the organization is urging America to learn about are personality change, agitation, withdrawal, poor self-care and hopelessness. To get detailed information about these signs and see a clip of Mrs. Obama’s message to you, please visit now.

Each Mind Matters encourages anyone to reach out if you think you or a friend is dealing with a mental health challenge. Visit to learn the warning signs for suicide and find local resources in your county. If you or someone you know may be at risk, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for immediate help. Answered locally by trained crisis center staff, this resource is available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.