IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Tell My Story today announced the launch of its parent-centered school program to give them the tools to treat their kids’ mental health like they do their physical health. The program includes a documentary film, “What I Wish My Parents Knew,” and a discussion with mental health professionals for parents to ask questions, discuss their struggles and understand the importance of opening communications to support their children's mental health needs. The film, produced by Jason Reid, founder of Tell My Story, includes raw, unfiltered, candid interviews with adolescents of various stages and ages sharing their challenges with depression and anxiety.
"Parents and teachers have tried to outsource kids' mental health, but there simply aren’t enough therapists in the U.S. to deal with the current crisis,” noted Reid, a successful entrepreneur who initiated this program after the tragic suicide of his 14-year-old son. “We stop everything to care for our kids when they’re physically sick, and now we need to turn that caregiving towards their mental health. Parents must learn how to ask questions, how to engage and most importantly, how to listen. Our kids’ mental health is the most critical aspect to their health and success, so we must use every tool to learn how to parent in these challenging times.”
According to Dr. Mark Goulston, a noted psychiatrist and author, “This program brings a different perspective that can help parents see behind the veneer. Parents need to know that there is no special training or certifications needed. They just need to talk to their kids, be available and listen to them with love." Dr. Goulston was a UCLA professor of psychiatry for over 25 years and a former FBI and police hostage negotiation trainer. He is the author or co-author of nine books, including “Just Listen,” which has been translated into 28 languages, became the top book on listening in the world and was recently named the #2 best communication skills book of all time.
Teachers, parents and mental health professionals have found the interviews with students in the film enlightening, frightening and sad. Tell My Story is a two-part school program for parents. First, the 45-minute film “What I Wish My Parents Knew” is shown to parents, featuring interviews with six adolescents who struggled with anxiety and depression. The second part is a 45-minute interactive conversation with a local mental health professional and parents discussing how best to prioritize their children's mental health and offering advice on starting conversations with them. Parents who attend the program will be provided free, unlimited access to a private parent community at TellMyStory.org, containing targeted mental health resources to better understand their child’s mental health. The program kicked off in Las Vegas and is expanding nationwide.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 5 children, either currently or at some point, have had a seriously debilitating mental illness. Despite this staggering statistic, mental health is often stigmatized and misunderstood, leaving many children feeling isolated and alone. “What I Wish My Parents Knew” and Tell My Story’s school program breaks down these barriers and encourages parents to have open, honest conversations about their mental health with their children.
About Tell My Story
Tell My Story is a mental health organization dedicated to promoting awareness and destigmatizing mental illness. Tell My Story teaches parents how to talk to their kids and create a more supportive and compassionate environment. School-based programs like Tell My Story ensure that students and young adults have better access to mental wellness resources through early identification, education and awareness. To learn more about Tell My Story and schedule an event at a local school, visit their website at www.tellmystory.org.