In honor of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, Ben Brafman and Allison Seriani spoke with WPBF News about Guardian Behavioral Health Foundation, how people can help increase mental health awareness in their communities, and to discuss their upcoming fundraiser dinner, which took place on May 25th.
Guardian Behavioral Health Foundation is a non-profit organization that raises money and awareness for mental health and mental illness. They break stigmas and stereotypes, and get treatment and medication to those who need it. Their focus as a mental health awareness organization has expanded from the local level to national.
Brafman indicated that mental health is at epidemic proportions, affecting 25% of adults according to the latest statistics. The theory behind this is that mental health and mental illness is a real thing that needs to be treated effectively with the right medication interventions, treatments, and conversations.
Seriani spoke about what we can do to be part of the solution. The first thing we can do is to talk about it. There is such a taboo associated with mental illness and we need to destigmatize it. Something as simple as asking a person how their day is going can go a long way. We can also stand up and be advocates for people facing discrimination due to mental illness. Opening up conversation on the topic will help increase mental health awareness and eliminate the stigma.
When asked about what we can do if we see a situation with a neighbor or in the work place, Seriani asserted that it is not going too far to reach out to someone who may be going through something to let them know that you are there to talk, and that just talking to someone can go a long way. She recommends talking to loved ones about counseling if you notice something irregular because counseling and treatment does work.
To celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month, Guardian Behavioral Health Foundation hosted a Party for a Purpose fundraiser dinner on May 25th at Chima Brazilian Steakhouse in Ft. Lauderdale, with live music and surprise guests.