Why Care? May Mental Health Month Campaign

Why Care? May Mental Health Month Campaign

During the month of May NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is launching the WhyCare? awareness campaign for Mental Health Month. The campaign emphasizes how the “power of caring” can make a life-changing impact on the more than 40 million people in the U.S. who face the day-to-day reality of having a mental health condition. The campaign is focused on increasing education, resources, and access to care.

Central to the campaign is encouraging others to learn the facts about mental illness. NAMI’s goal is to bring mental health education to all corners of our communities. With education, people can identify warning signs of mental health conditions and help someone who may be struggling.

Navigating life with mental illness can be difficult, and NAMI wants to make it easier to find resources and people who care. The WhyCare? campaign features a webpage, sharable graphics and a downloadable emoji pack for smartphones— resources that can be used as a way to reach out to someone or to show your community that you care about those with mental illness.

By caring and working together, we can create positive change. We can shift the social and systemic barriers that prevent people from getting appropriate care and treatment. We can work towards a nation where everyone affected by mental illness can find the support and care they need to live healthy, fulfilling lives.

“NAMI believes that providing education and support—and advocating for better care and treatment—is critical to getting people on a path of recovery,” said Angela Kimball, Acting CEO of NAMI. “This year, during Mental Health Month in May, we’re asking you to tell us why you care using the hashtags #WhyCare and #NAMIcares to join the conversation with examples of what you are doing personally or in your community.”

Key mental health statistics include:

  • 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. lives with a mental health condition.
  • 1 in 25 (10 million) adults in the U.S. lives with a serious mental illness.
  • 43.8 million adults in the U.S. face the day-to-day reality of living with a mental illness.
  • Half of all lifetime mental health conditions begin by age 14 and 75% by age 24, but early intervention programs can help.
  • Additional facts and citations are available at Mental Health by the Numbers.

For additional information about Mental Health Month and to access WhyCare? resources, please visit nami.org/WhyCare

Meet the New OSPF Director – Tony Coder

Meet the New OSPF Director – Tony Coder

*Interview & Article by: Alan Johnson, NAMI Ohio Contract Writer 

Tony Coder, the new executive director of the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation, says it’s time to bring the epidemic of suicides out into the open.

“These are all good people. They’re not wrecked families. We need to support them and we have opportunities now to do that.”

Coder, a native of tiny Lewiston in Logan County, was appointed Feb. 25 as new head of the foundation, which is a subsidiary of the National Association on Mental Illness Ohio. The foundation is housed in NAMI’s offices at 1225 Dublin Rd. in Columbus.

Although this is Coder’s first job exclusively focused on suicide prevention, he has a long history of dealing with mental health, addiction and social service issues, dating back to his first job as pastor of the LaPointe United Methodist Church in Ottawa County. As he felt God’s calling to ministry, Coder said he felt the calling to work in other ways to help people. That led to a position with Ohio Job and Family Services, then into the administration of former Ohio Gov. Bob Taft.

Coder worked for First Lady Hope Taft from 2000 to 2006, primarily on drug and alcohol issues. He guided the award-winning Smart and Sober campaign, featuring former Happy Days actor Henry Winkler.

He later worked again for Job and Family Services before joining the Drug Free Action Alliance as assistant director and later with the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities.

The decision to accept NAMI Director Terry Russell’s offer to run the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation was prompted by personal experience, Coder said, remembering when his son called him from a hospital bed after attempting to take his own life in 2017. His son was later diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and is now doing well. Coder said his son urged him to take the new job.

“I told him that there will be times I will tell your story and he was absolutely fine with it.”

“It is a personal type of journey when you have lost someone to suicide,” Coder related. “But there is a stigma and people are voiceless. I am fighting for them.”

The numbers are daunting, with suicide as the second-leading cause of death for young people 10 to 24 years old. There is also a huge surge in suicide deaths among middle-age men.

The foundation has a number of resources to help, including a peer-to-peer program, training for health care professionals, and a project with the Cleveland Clinic and Nationwide Children’s Hospital to do follow up contact with people who have attempted suicide after they leave the hospital.

Coder said he hopes the foundation can serve as a coordinating agency for a variety of suicide prevention programs like “wrapping a blanket around the community.”

The Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation can be reached at 614 429-1528.

The national suicide hotline is 800 273-8255.

Register for NAMI Ohio Advocacy Day – May 15th

Register for NAMI Ohio Advocacy Day – May 15th

Join NAMI Ohio on Wednesday, May 15, for the 2019 Legislative Advocacy Day. Enjoy lunch in the Ohio Statehouse Atrium and hear inspirational speakers. Following lunch, you will have the opportunity to visit with your Senators and Representatives. Meeting one on one with your elected officials is the best way to advocate for mental health services, access, and encourage support of current bills related to mental health issues.

Click Link to Register


Click Here to Find the NAMI Ohio FY 20-21 State Budget Advocacy Document 

Suicide Rates Jump

According to a recent article in the Columbus Dispatch, Ohio’s suicide rate rose by 36 percent from 1999 to 2016.

The report by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the U.S. suicide rate increased by 25.4 percent in that span: The nation had a rate of 15.4 suicides per 100,000 people in the 2014 to 2016 period, compared with a 12.3 rate in the 1999 to 2001 period.

Ohio’s increase was the 19th-highest among the states. Its rate of 15.8 deaths per 100,000 people was the 32nd-highest.

The numbers, which included people 10 and older, came as no surprise to local mental-health professionals.

“We’re not shocked by them, but we are a bit disheartened by them,” said Dr. Mark Hurst of the Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services. He said Ohio’s number of suicides had stabilized from 2011 to 2014 before rising in 2015 and again in 2016, to 1,706. That’s an average of nearly five a day, or about one every five hours.

To read the full article, please click here.