49ers greats Steve Young, Ronnie Lott aim to end mental health stigma by raising awareness

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- During this Mental Health Awareness Month, it's important that we recognize the struggles we have all faced the past few years. Now, prominent figures are coming together to break the stigma so the mental healing for everyone can begin.

Young or old, rich or poor, everyone faces struggles in regards to mental health sometimes.

And over the last few years, we've all been through a lot, especially kids. It has left parents feeling helpless at times.

TAKE ACTION: Get help with mental health issues

"The severity of childhood mental health conditions had already been escalating with social media, but the combination of that with the pandemic has literally made this a lethal combination," Monica Gonzalez said.

"Watching your kids go through any difficulties are really hard on parents," Andrea Burnett said. "Our job is to keep our kids safe, and fed and loved."

Sometimes the best way to love someone struggling mentally is to hear and recognize them.

So every May, experts use Mental Health Awareness Month to share the sometimes life saving message: it's okay to not be okay.

"Kids with anxiety or mood or attentional disorders do get better with treatment," Child Mind Institute Clinical Psychologist Dr. Dave Anderson said. It's just what we know from the research is commonly that there's so much stigma, adults may wait years from the time they know there could be something that could be going on with their child, to the time they seek help."

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In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, the Child Mind Institute is trying to end that stigma.

Every day a different video is shared by prominent names in the community, including San Francisco 49ers greats Steve Young and Ronnie Lott and national names like P!nk, each highlighting their own connection to mental health.

Awareness is not just about knowledge, it's about inspiring change.
"It does get better and there are beautiful moments waiting for you and there are beautiful people waiting to love you and one of those people is yourself," P!nk said in her message to the Child Mind Institute.

"We don't just want people to be thinking about it," Dr. Anderson said. "We want people to engage. To think, if they watch these videos, 'what can I do with a person I care about in my life to either check-in with them, ask them how they're doing or ask if I can help them find the help that they need'."

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And if we do that, we could all make our community a better place.

If you'd like to watch any of the Dare to Share videos, you can visit the Child Mind Institute website here.

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