The Ohio Federation for  Health Equity and Social Justice recognizes the critical importance of addressing mental health concerns, especially considering that 1 in 5 Americans grapple with a mental illness. That staggering statistic equates to 20 percent of the population facing these challenges, with significant portions unable to access or refusing help despite needing it.

Factors such as age, ethnic background, and financial status can drastically affect one’s ability to seek and receive mental health support. While strides have been made to encourage open conversations and reduce stigma, substantial barriers persist.

These obstacles include limited accessibility to services, financial constraints, and insufficient support for vulnerable youth populations.

At the Ohio Federation for Health Equity and Social Justice, we are committed to promoting equitable access to mental healthcare and dismantling these barriers. Here are ways you can join us in this crucial endeavor:

1. Talk and Listen: Be an empathetic listener and provide support to those struggling with mental health issues. Your understanding and encouragement may empower them to seek help.

2. Share the Good News: Utilize social media to spread awareness about local mental healthcare services, particularly highlighting low-cost or free programs.

3. Be an Active Citizen: Stay informed about mental health legislation and advocate for policies that improve access to care. Reach out to local representatives to voice your support for impactful actions.

4. Include Your Workplace: Advocate for mental health support in the workplace. Familiarize yourself with available resources and provide feedback to enhance these offerings. If you have decision-making authority, consider expanding mental health benefits for employees.

*Source: ADAMH Franklin County Ohio

By collectively addressing these challenges and fostering a supportive environment, we can work towards a future where mental healthcare is accessible to all individuals in Ohio and beyond.