September 18, 2008

Mental Health Awareness Program Set for Two Wayne County High Schools

DETROIT, Sept. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Wayne County is partnering with the National Mental Health Awareness Campaign (NMHAC) to increase mental health awareness among youth during upcoming programs at two Detroit area schools. The Agency's partnership with the NMHAC is geared towards reducing the stigma associated with mental health issues among young adults. The program will be held at Thurston High School in Redford and Southwestern High School in Detroit.

The program includes education for faculty and staff, pre- and post- tests on students' attitudes toward mental health and help seeking behavior, presentations and brochures for students and parents, and teacher lesson plans. Speakers include Ross Szabo, author and director of Youth Outreach for the NMHAC and nationally respected mental health speaker Keisha Zollar.

The program at Thurston High School for all interested parents is on Thursday, September 18th at 7:00 p.m. and to all students on Friday, September 19th during school hours. The program at Southwestern High School for all interested parents was September 17th at 7:00 p.m. and to all students Thursday, September 18th.

For six years, the NMHAC has educated millions of young people through the use of its website, brochures and mental health speakers reaching over one million students in 46 states. The presenters, Szabo and Zollar, relate to the audience having first-hand knowledge, personal experiences and training from top mental health professionals. Although this is a serious topic, the presentations are extremely interactive, inspiring and often humorous.

Mr. Szabo, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when he was 16, works diligently for the NMHAC and with Wayne County to develop the program to help raise awareness about mental health issues. Author of Behind Happy Faces, a book providing young people with the necessary tools to address their problems and to move forward, Szabo is the only person in the U.S. over the past five years who has spoken to more than half a million youth about mental health issues. For more information, please visit NMHAC's website at .

The programs at the high schools are part of an array of mental health education activities supported by the Detroit-Wayne County Community Mental Health Agency, which serves more than 57,000 residents. For more information about mental health services and programs, including education activities, please visit . For crisis intervention, suicide prevention and mental health referrals, call the Detroit-Wayne County CMH 24-hour help line at 800-241-4949 or TDD 866-870-2599.

The National Mental Health Awareness Campaign (NMHAC) was launched as part of the 1999 White House Conference on Mental Health. The NMHAC has a two-pronged goal: to encourage people to identify, talk about and seek help for mental health problems; and create a more accepting environment for them to do so. Both the 1999 Surgeon General's Report on Suicide and Mental Health and the 2002 President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health identify stigma as the primary reason people so not seek out mental health services. For more information, please visit .

National Mental Health Awareness Campaign

CONTACT: Meghan Edwards of Identity Marketing & Public Relations for TheNational Mental Health Awareness Campaign, +1-248-258-2333,[email protected]

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