Rebecca’s Dream Honors its 10th Anniversary with Public Education Campaign
CHICAGO, IL — September 29, 2015 — Rebecca’s Dream, an organization with roots in Illinois helping families world-wide, celebrates 10 years of fighting the stigma of mental illness on November 7, 2015.
In celebration of its 10th anniversary, Rebecca’s Dream has launched a public education and advocacy campaign. The social media outreach kicked off in September offering “10 Ways to Fight the Stigma of Mental Illness.” The campaign continues in October with a new series, “10 Things You Must Know about Mental Illness.”
“We had to do something because the number of individuals impacted by mental illness in the United States is staggering,” said Norm Cutler, co-founder of Rebecca’s Dream. “Nearly 14 million American adults live with mental illness – about the same number of people who live with cancer in the USA. The difference is that with mental illness so many suffer undiagnosed and without help, and we know that the number of adults who quietly struggle is grossly underreported. The true number of adults living with mental illness is likely closer to 35 million or 1 in 3 adults.”
The Rebecca’s Dream website offers a host of information and resources for adults and families struggling to diagnose, manage, and live with mental illness. Some facts to consider:
- Depression is pervasive — Major Depressive Disorder affects nearly 14 million American adults in a given year. Misdiagnosis and underreporting tend to conceal a large number of cases, experts believe this number is closer to 35 million. Learn more at www.rebeccasdream.org
- Kids suffer too — as many as 1 in 33 children and 1 in 8 adolescents have clinical depression. Click children depression
- Teens are at risk — twenty percent of teens will suffer from depression by the end of their teenage years and suicide is now the second-leading cause of death among those aged 15-24. Watch this teen depression webinar to learn more. Click teen depression
- Symptoms vary widely — symptoms of Depression can include mood shifts, changes in eating and sleep patterns, fatigue, feelings of sadness, worthlessness and hopelessness about the future, and thoughts about harming one’s self. Individuals with Bipolar Disorder may experience shifts between depressive symptoms and manic states. Click symptoms of depression
- Depression looks different in kids – children may present with irritable, rather than sad moods and refuse to go to school or suddenly lose interest in social relationships and activities. Click depression in children
- Most suffer untreated — most individuals with Depression do not seek treatment. Only about 1 in 3 adults and 1 in 5 teens seek treatment, despite evidence that upwards of 80% of those who obtain treatment show improvement in their symptoms. Learn more
- Depression is a treatable illness — research shows that some combination of medication, cognitive behavioral therapies and peer support can significantly improve symptoms of Depression. Read more
- Mental illness is a disease not a mindset — Mental illness is not due to personal weakness or character flaws. Learn more by viewing the WGN TV interview with the founders of Rebecca’s Dream.
- Treatment works — Approximately one in three people with bipolar disorder will remain symptom free by taking mood stabilizers. In addition, talk therapy, peer support, and healthy lifestyles can improve outcomes. Click Wellness
- Small steps make a big difference – during the past 10 years, Rebecca’s Dream has positively impacted thousands of individuals and families struggling with mental illnesses. Click www.rebeccasdream.org.
“The more we can do to educate individuals about these diseases, the more likely we are to change behavior,” said Gail Cutler, co-founder of Rebecca’s Dream. “And that’s our goal – to make sure that bipolar disease and depression are treated as real diseases, and not simply dismissed.”
Programming and educational efforts are supported by volunteers and donors who host fund-raising events topped off by an annual Benefit. This year’s 10th Anniversary Benefit will be held on Saturday, November 7, at 6:30 p.m. at the Ravinia Green Country Club.
Gail and Norm Cutler, Rebecca’s parents and the founders of Rebecca’s Dream are available for interviews and can share their personal stories of a family who has dealt with a host of issues ranging from suicide to mental health stigma. Contact Kathleen Illes for more information.
847-681-1986 or 773-960-0413