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SOURCE International Bipolar Foundation
SAN DIEGO, Sept. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the increase in youth bullying, suicide and drug use, Girl Scouts are actively fighting to create change. Through a program to educate and reduce the stigma of mental illness, Girl Scouts can earn a newly released patch for playing a positive role in their communities.
Developed by International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF), whose mission includes erasing the stigma of mental illness through public education, the Mental Health Awareness Patch has been awarded to over 500 Girl Scouts nationwide. "Following completion of the patch, my daughter talked about this subject (mental illness and suicide) with me for the last two days. She is planning on doing something in this arena for her Gold Award!", declared one participant's mother. A troop leader in New York endorses the patch and says, "My Girl Scouts have spent the whole year working on (this) patch! (It) was such a huge success that I wanted to take it one level higher. For our service project, we will create a library for special needs children."
Interest is flourishing. "Our leaders are hungry for information related to ability awareness," states Jo Dee Jacob, CEO of Girl Scouts San Diego.
With approximately 1 in 4 people in the U.S. diagnosed with a mental illness, awareness of those impacted is also growing. Those affected are commonplace in our daily lives and may include a classmate with ADHD, an aunt with bipolar disorder or a father with depression.
"While mental illness is more prevalent than diabetes or cancer, unlike those diseases, mental illness carries a stigma that causes additional suffering and often is a barrier to treatment and support," states Muffy Walker, Board President of IBPF. One of the goals of the Mental Health Awareness Patch program is to educate and thereby eradicate the stigma.
The opportunity to learn about mental health is consistent with the Girl Scout organization's dedication to the health and well-being of all girls. In earning the patch, Girl Scouts:
The patch is available to all age groups and provided for free. For more information, email Ashley at ajacobs@InternationalBipolarFoundation.org or call 858-764-2496.
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