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In preparation for Mental Health Month in May, stars such as Emma Stone, Lena Dunham, Brian Grazer, Olympian Michael Phelps and Jesse Eisenberg are joining forces with the Child Mind Institute for the #MyYoungerSelf campaign to help end the stigma surrounding mental health and learning disorders.
In a series of videos, which will be premiered daily over the course of the month, a roster of nearly three dozen actors, athletes, writers, politicians and fashion designers will share their own personal accounts of growing up with mental health issues or learning disorders, as well as childhood photos, and offer advice and hope to children dealing with similar issues across the globe.
“We are grateful to have so many notable figures participating in #MyYoungerSelf and speaking up about such an important topic,” said Dr. Harold Koplewicz, founder and president of the Child Mind Institute. “I know that their inspiring stories will help millions of families open up about their own mental health and learning disorders and seek out the help their children deserve.”
The videos will be revealed via the Child Mind Institute’s social media channels and website.
In his video, Grazer opened up about his history with dyslexia. “I had an incredibly hard time learning,” the Oscar-winning producer said. “I was constantly living in a straight F environment. But I had one person who believed in me, Grandma Sonya.” He went on to stress the importance of using “curiosity as a superpower.”
The #MyYoungerSelf campaign is part of the Institute’s seventh annual public education effort, Speak Up for Kids, held each May to promote children’s mental health. “The wonderful part of this campaign is that I don’t know any of these people, but they have volunteered their time to share these stories that are so inspiring,” Dr. Koplewicz said of the star-studded roster of influencers that shared videos for the campaign. “The remarkable honesty and poignant and very vulnerable videos where people really showed their hearts to the public about how trying it was when they were a kid.”
On May 9, the Child Mind Institute will host its annual Change Maker Awards at the Highline Ballroom in New York City, honoring the work of individuals and organizations working to transform the field of children’s mental health and improve the lives of children around the world. During the event, a Facebook Live fundraising event will be held where viewers can donate directly to the Institute. Bloomingdale’s, the Institute’s founding partner, will also allow its shoppers to support the campaign by purchasing online gift cards which will donate 10 percent of their value to the cause.
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