The Child Mind Institute is running a 2019 #MyYoungerSelf social media campaign to help end the stigma of mental health and learning disorders and a slew of celebrities participated by creating videos giving their younger selves some good advice. Each day in May, which is National Mental Health Awareness Month, the Child Mind Institute revealed a new celebrity cell phone video and childhood photo on the Child Mind Institute’s social media channels (Twitter: @ChildMindInst; Instagram: @childmindinstitute; Facebook: facebook.com/ChildMindInstitute) and childmind.org.
The effect, hopefully, is that other young people who are suffering will see that some pretty fantastic people have not only survived in the face of mental health challenges, but thrived. Ray Romano, Bo Burnham, Jen Kirkman and Jordan Carlos were among those participating.
Jen Kirkman shared advice on panic disorders with her younger self: “I promise you, your feelings are not facts. You cannot die from a panic attack. No matter how many people tell you that you can’t die from one, I know you’re still going to think, “I’ll be the first to die from it.” You won’t.”
Jordan shares advice on depression with his younger self: “I’ve struggled with depression probably starting around my teenage years, and well into my 20s and I just negotiate it now, basically. And if I could tell anything to my younger self, it’s that what works is patience with yourself.”
Earlier this month, Ray Romano told his younger self “You’re going to be fine. You’re going to get through this. You may be having a little trouble now, maybe a little bit of a struggle emotionally – a little anxiety, a little depression – but you’re going to do alright.
An estimated one in five American children have, or once had, a disorder such as depression, anxiety, or ADHD — 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.
The first two years of the #MyYoungerSelf campaign reached millions, featuring high-profile figures including Emma Stone (a Child Mind Institute board member), Sarah Silverman, Tim Howard, Lena Dunham, Michael Phelps, Temple Grandin, Henry Winkler, Tommy Hilfiger, Brandon Marshall and Jesse Eisenberg.
Other celebs including Isaac Mizrahi, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Weezer joined the Child Mind Institute’s third annual #MyYoungerSelf Social Campaign to End the Stigma of Mental Health and Learning Disorders. 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.