Innovation in Approaching Mental Illness

written by naehblog
September 25, 2009

I got an email this morning from a person involved with Ashoka’s Changemakers.

(Yeah, I didn’t know who they were at first either.)

But it turns out, they’re worth knowing. Changemakers, as they’re called, are people devoted to making a substantive change in social issues. Or, as they like to say it: “Changemakers is a community of action where we all collaborate on solutions.”

Changemakers work on all kind of issues: community, violence, abuse, environment, aging, animal rights, youth. The website is a place where like-minded people can connect, chat, and exchange ideas about new innovations and best practices.

Right now, Changemakers is hosting a competition: Rethinking Mental Health: Improving Community Wellbeing.”

The prompt: submit one way to challenge common misconceptions about mental health and engage communities in expanding our understanding and involvement in finding solutions.

Nope, not easy. But an important step nonetheless.

And why do we care?

Approximately 20 percent of the homeless population is considered “chronically homeless”, and by definition, suffer from some sort of disability. Many times, this disability involves mental health. This disability often prevents a person from being able to find stable housing, employment, and the resources he or she needs in order to pull themselves towards self-sufficiency.

Check out the website, the community and the competition. Got any good ideas?