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Mental Health America of Middle Tennessee Educates Children and Adolescents for Mental Wellness

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Resources Offer Solutions to Erase the Stigma and Find Help

I.C. HOPE®, ambassador for Tennessee's Erasing the Stigma program, is
ready to help students kick off a new school year and to help children
and adolescents become their own mental health advocates.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:
https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180809005697/en/

I.C. HOPE®, ambassador for Tennessee's Erasing the Stigma program, visits more than 20,000 students  ...

I.C. HOPE®, ambassador for Tennessee's Erasing the Stigma program, visits more than 20,000 students annually to address mental health wellness. (Photo: Business Wire)

Annually, I.C. HOPE® visits more than 20,000 students in Middle and West
Tennessee schools to promote mental health wellness. The age appropriate
curricula cover topics such as ADHD, anxiety, bipolar disorder, body
image and eating disorders, bullying, risky behaviors and substance
abuse, mental health and wellness, stigma and mental health, stress and
depression, suicide prevention, worry, grief, and test anxiety.

"The goal of the Erasing the Stigma Program is to educate children and
youth about their own mental health and teach them how to identify their
feelings by giving them skills to handle their feelings in positive and
safe ways. Mental Health America of Middle Tennessee also provides
information and resources on how and where to seek help for mental
health problems," said Desiree' Kelly, DrPH, Erasing the Stigma
Coordinator.

At least one in five Tennesseans suffers from a mental illness. In
Tennessee, statistics show that mental illness begins around age 14 and
is often undiagnosed until the mid-20s.

"Through evidence-based research, we know that if people have 4-6
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) before age 18, they will most
likely be diagnosed with a mental illness. Suicide is the second leading
cause of death for Tennesseans aged 10-19, which is why educating our
students is so critical to developing healthy young people," Dr. Kelly
said.

Thanks to support from partner organizations, the Tennessee Department
of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services, KidCentral Tennessee,
Nashville Predators Foundation, and the Assisi Foundation, all
presentations are offered free of charge. Each presentation lasts 40-55
minutes. For more information regarding what the program offers or to
schedule a presentation for your school, please email Dr. Kelly at (dkelly@mhamt.org).

For more than 72 years, Mental Health America of Middle Tennessee has
been serving all 95 Tennessee counties with resources that cover suicide
prevention, school-based curricula, and aging and Alzheimer's programs.
To learn more about MHAMT or to take a free mental health screening,
visit www.mhamt.org.

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