In May each year we celebrate Children's Mental Health Awareness Month. I say "celebrate" because we all need to rejoice in a child's mental health. We also need to be aware that no individual or family is untouched by mental illness. Despite ongoing and pervasive stigma, the facts speak for themselves.
The newly founded Congressional Yogi Association will host its first-ever Yoga on the Hill event on May 1 to advocate for better physical and mental health for veterans, which has also been a prioritized issue for First Lady Michelle Obama. As a Korean War veteran and a staunch advocate for veterans' issues, I have committed to attending the event to show my support.
As the facts emerge surrounding Titi's passing, I hope that all, especially the black community, are moved to take action to significantly increase awareness and education surrounding mental health, illness and wellness so that we do not have to continue to mourn the passing of so many of our dynamic and extraordinary souls.
We also need to better detect and treat mothers who suffer from depression. We have strong evidence that untreated depression in moms impairs their attachment to their children and is associated with these children developing behavioral and emotional problems in childhood. If the moms are properly treated not only do they do better, so do their kids.
That's the thing about depression -- there is often nothing to see. I felt that I had fallen apart. I felt entirely at a loss. I felt that there was no one who could help me, and that there was no way to make any of this better. Except, I had no way to prove that these things were happening. All of those symptoms were just feelings in my head.