This past May we rolled out the Child Mind Institute’s #MyYoungerSelf campaign at speakupforkids.org and on our Facebook and Instagram pages, and it was an incredible success. 44 celebrity participants made video messages of hope that were viewed 7 million times, and the campaign reached more than 10 million people on social media.
It’s incredible that a group of movie stars, athletes, businesspeople and internet stars came forward to share their experiences of growing up with mental health and learning disorders — and to share the message that if you are open about your struggles, everything is going to be okay.
But why is this important? It’s heartening that we have come to a point where well-known people are willing to be open and honest about their mental health.
But what makes it transformative — the way we know that things are really changing — is not that they said it. It’s that young people and families heard the message.
And they’re sharing about it. The comments on our Facebook page are an amazing illustration of how families are using this campaign for support and as a source of courage and solidarity.
“I love Emma Stone so much for being transparent,” one mom writes. “And I love even more that as my daughter goes through some of her toughest times of anxiety, Emma is making these videos that speak straight to her (& my) heart.”
“Bravo,” one fan writes on Howie Mandel’s video post. “My family is trying to talk more as we learn about mental health.”
On Dan Harris’ video, a commenter applauds “reaffirming that having bouts of depression, anxiety and panic attacks are nothing to be ashamed of. Having mental health issues does not make us less of a person and for many people this is the crux to getting help.”
The #MyYoungerSelf campaign, another wrote simply, “helps pave the way for so many who suffer on a daily basis to be understood and accepted.”
“I truly love this whole campaign,” another commenter writes. “As a mental health therapist for children this is so so so important!!”
That’s what we thought. And we are so thankful that all the #MyYoungerSelf participants and everyone who has watched and liked and shared the videos have made it a reality.