Post Content

topzakimLast year, when Josh Powers saw the Zakim Bridge lit up in blue for autism awareness, he immediately knew what he wanted to do.  He wanted to see the bridge lit with green lights to raise awareness around mental health.  “I want more people to know that awareness around mental illness is important,” he told his mother.  “I realized when Robin Williams committed suicide that it can impact anyone.”

Letter to turn Zakim Green

Letter penned by Josh Powers

Josh wrote a letter to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and asked them to light the Zakim Bridge green for Children’s Mental Health Week (May 3-9, 2015) and waited.  When he didn’t hear back, he did what good advocates do:  he wrote again.  He figured that since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, he had some time to still accomplish his goal.  In his letter he wrote, “It is really important to help stop the stigma of having a disease like mine and so many others because it’s biological just like diabetes.  Unfortunately, people don’t get help because of the stigma.”

Josh’s efforts paid off.  On May 24 and 25, the Zakim Bridge will be illuminated in green.

One out of four people experiences mental health problems sometime in their life and many of those are children, teens or young adults like Josh.  Fitfy percent of all lifetime mental health disorders begin before the age of 14 while 75 percent begin before the age of 24.  This makes raising awareness about children’s mental health so important.  Josh struggled during his teens with a mood disorder and ADHD and knows firsthand how it impacts his life.  He has taken his personal experience and used it to fuel his advocacy.

Across the state, events focused on children’s mental health go on throughout the month of May.  This year’s theme is “Mental Health is Fundamental.” The highlight will be the green lights on the Zakim Bridge.  As Josh put it, it will help us all “in the attempt to begin to break the stigma.  Let’s save some lives together.” Be sure to use the hashtag #ItsNotEasyBeingGreen and go to http://ppal.net/childrens-mental-health-week/about to learn more!

bottomzakim

Written By:


Executive Director, Parent/Professional Advocacy League

Tags: ,

Recent Posts

The Commission on Bullying Meets to Discuss Ways to Prevent Bullying in Public and Subsidized Housing posted on Jul 13

The Commission on Bullying Meets to Discuss Ways to Prevent Bullying in Public and Subsidized Housing

The concept of bullying has increasingly become a widespread issue affecting many individuals in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, especially elders and those with disabilities. In order to resolve bullying in public and/or subsidized housing, all members who are affiliated with the housing community must be   …Continue Reading The Commission on Bullying Meets to Discuss Ways to Prevent Bullying in Public and Subsidized Housing

In innovative partnership, City and State team up to house chronically homeless older adults and pair them with services & supports posted on Jun 23

The City of Boston’s Boston’s Way Home, in partnership with MA Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) and MassHealth, hosted a “housing surge” on June 15, designed to connect chronically homeless older adults with housing while qualifying them for services and support.  This unique partnership   …Continue Reading In innovative partnership, City and State team up to house chronically homeless older adults and pair them with services & supports

Massachusetts Commission LBGTQ Youth Swearing In posted on Jun 20

Massachusetts Commission LBGTQ Youth Swearing In

Secretary Marylou Sudders, Senate President Stan Rosenberg, members from the Legislature, and members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning Youth (LGBQT) Commission came together in the beautiful State House Library to recognize and celebrate the LGBQT Massachusetts Commission. Established 25 years ago,   …Continue Reading Massachusetts Commission LBGTQ Youth Swearing In