Do You Know the Five Signs?

SEA Council Supports Campaign to Change the Culture of Mental Health

John Broderick’s story would be familiar to many. That’s why when the former Supreme Court chief justice tells it, he asks for a show of hands from the room: who here has been affected by mental illness? Lots of hands shoot up.

The SEA/SEIU Local 1984 Board of Directors joined Chief Justice John Broderick in pledging to Know the 5 Signs.

The SEA/SEIU Local 1984 Board of Directors joined Chief Justice John Broderick in pledging to Know the 5 Signs.

The impact of mental illness is undeniable and widespread, yet it’s still not often talked about. But a new campaign is aiming to bring mental illness out of the shadows by identifying the five most common signs.

“Mental illness is the only illness from my childhood that remains in the shadows,” Broderick said. “We need to change the culture surrounding emotional suffering, and we need to begin by letting everyone know its five most common signs, and that early detection and treatment yield great success.”

Broderick is an ambassador for the Campaign to Change Direction, which launched in New Hampshire in May. Broderick spoke at the SEA/SEIU Local 1984 December Council meeting, talking about his son, who in 2002 attacked his father, after suffering for decades from depression, anxiety, and panic attacks.

As the senior Broderick noted, he didn’t just miss the signs, he ignored the signs. Knowing the signs is just half the battle — getting treatment is essential. This campaign is about changing the entire culture around mental health in America, so those who need care, like Broderick’s son, can get it.

After hearing Broderick’s appeal, councilors voted to support the Campaign to Change Direction. SEA/SEIU Local 1984 will work to get materials from the campaign, which highlight the five most common signs, into the workplace and into our communications.

We hope you’ll join us in making a pledge to know the five signs.

You can read more about the Campaign to Change Direction at www.changedirection.org/nh/.

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