Los Angeles Councilmember Nithya Raman’s office along with Didi Hirsch, the nation’s premier Suicide Prevention Center proclaimed May as Mental Health Is Health Month (MHIHM). With this proclamation, Didi Hirsch announced a national campaign for mental health equity and parity including 2022 MHIH Ambassadors such as Jhene Aiko, an outspoken and brave advocate, and MTV Entertainment Group.
The pandemic, trauma, loss, and inequities have further impacted the population’s mental wellbeing. In the past year alone—
Ten percent of Los Angeles residents thought about suicide
13.9 percent of Los Angeles residents have experienced serious psychological distress.
An average of two Los Angeles County residents die by suicide every day.
The proclamation is a meaningful step to amplifying mental health awareness.To address this growing crisis, the City of Los Angeles and mental health advocates, together with Didi Hirsch, proclaimed May as Mental Health Is Health Month–an action-oriented approach to National Mental Health Awareness Month while awareness of gaps in mental health and substance use care is at an all-time high.
Didi Hirsch’s month-long campaign will bring attention to ‘structural stigmas,’ which experts say are more systemic laws, policies, and practices that treat patients with mental illness as less important. Calls to action to advocate, donate, and activate through 4 weekly themes of Health Heroes, Youth, Crisis Care, and Whole-person Care, seek to ensure that all healthcare finally sees and treats the mind and body as inseparable and no child, family, or adult is left without access.
The 2022 Didi Hirsch Mental Health Is Health Month Ambassadors include:
Jhene Aiko, a six-time Grammy Nominee and mental health advocate;
MTV Entertainment Group with decades-long legacy of mental health work;
Adia Fadaei, Mental Health is Health Youth Ambassador, a 19-year-old mental health and suicide prevention advocate from Los Angeles, California.
Throughout the month, Didi Hirsch will share powerful stories of this year’s Ambassadors, conduct highly engaging social media activations, and host curated opportunities to educate and activate individuals in advocacy.
“We are grateful to the City of Los Angeles for not stopping at the awareness of mental health needs in our communities in May, but choosing to destigmatize systems with its investments and this concrete message of hope and equity,” said Didi Hirsch’s CEO Jonathan Goldfinger, MD, MPH, FAAP. “As we celebrate 80 years of service, Didi Hirsch will highlight to the public how world-class, whole-person mental health and suicide prevention services look and feel, especially to the youth, health professionals, BIPOC, and other communities where discrimination and injustice limit access. With the support of the City of Los Angeles, we are confident this action-oriented campaign will help save and transform lives.”
“Over the past few years we have seen mental health issues skyrocket – in large part due to the pandemic – affecting the lives of Angelenos regardless of race, gender, or socio-economic status,” said Councilmember Nithya Raman. “I am so proud to partner with Didi Hirsch, which has a long-standing commitment to the local Los Angeles community, to proclaim May as Mental Health is Health Month, and ensure that anyone struggling with mental health is connected with the support and resources they need.”
“As someone who has battled depression and anxiety, I’m deeply aware that Mental Health Is Health,” said Jhene Aiko, singer, mental health advocate and Mental Health Is Health Ambassador. “I’m honored to be recognized and grateful to Didi Hirsch, the City of Los Angeles and Councilmember Raman for creating a culture of positivity surrounding mental health.”
“I am hopeful for the country’s youth amid our mental health crisis as Didi Hirsch, mental health supporters, and local elected officials prioritize removing the stigma of mental health and suicide,” said Adia Fadaei, Didi Hirsch’s Youth Mental Health is Health Ambassador. “As a member of the nation’s First Mental Health Youth Action Forum, I am working towards presenting how to break down barriers to access, together saving lives, one student at a time.”
Today, Didi Hirsch is also building upon 80 years of impact by leading the 13 California 988 Crisis Centers’ growth toward a successful, equitable launch of 988. With $20 Million from the Newsom Administration, $14 Million more just received from the Biden Administration for all 13 Centers, plus $12 Million from the federal government for Didi Hirsch to grow its unique capacity for Spanish speakers and chat and text services which are disproportionately used by youth. The new easy-to-remember three-digit number for mental health crisis care is going live on July 16, 2022. Recently, Didi Hirschhas partnered with Mantra Health to provide best-in-class virtual mental health services and 24/7 on-demand support for college students who need immediate mental health, substance use, or suicide crisis care.
For the month of May, Didi Hirsch has created a social media tool kit HERE to advocate, donate, and join the Mental Health is Health movement. Didi Hirsch invites social media users to drive awareness for the cause with educational and inspirational content by using #HowILookHowIFeel and tagging @Didi_Hirsch. Visit mentalhealthishealth.org for weekly activations.