# S A Y I L O V E Y O U S P E A K E R S E R I E S
Despite increased public awareness around mental health issues, lingering stigma, especially in under-represented communities, means many still avoid discussing their personal struggles openly.
The Dr. Brandt Foundation’s #SayILoveYou
speaker series strategic aims to create safe spaces for frank discussions about mental health. The Foundation invites high-profile individuals, mental health professionals and diverse community voices to discuss issues, share lived experiences and resources for support in order to normalize and destigmatize mental health challenges.
ABOUT 1 IN 5 AMERICANS EXPERIENCE A
MENTAL HEALTH CONDITION, BUT ONLY
HALF RECEIVE TREATMENT. (NAMI)
THE AVERAGE DELAY BETWEEN ONSET OF MENTAL ILLNESS SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT IS 11 YEARS.
The Dr. Brandt Foundation is pleased to partner with Pet Partners, the nation’s largest and most prestigious nonprofit registering handlers of multiple species as volunteer teams providing animal-assisted interventions. For more information about Pet Partners and how you could become a registered therapy animal team, visit www.petpartners.org
The Dr. Brandt Foundation is proud to be at the forefront of innovation and holistic methods of healing. Our youth are facing mental health challenges in record numbers today and for children in complex social situations, as well as those who have experienced trauma, abuse, or been diagnosed with autism, the risk of developing a mental disorder is significantly higher than the average.
Starting with our local community here in Miami, the Dr. Brandt Foundation is proud to offer certified animal-assisted therapy for at-risk youth in:
• Miami-Dade County Public Schools
• Juvenile Detention Centers
• Foster Care/Group Homes
Animal Assisted Intervention (AAI) takes a unique, holistic approach to improving mental wellness and functioning. While still an emerging field, multiple studies demonstrate that the experience of bonding with animals can be extremely therapeutic, reducing feelings of anxiety, isolation, and hostility while improving social-emotional development. These positive findings are backed by a systematic review of 24 studies examining the use of AAI with at-risk youth. For vulnerable or troubled children and adolescents, AAI offers a less traditional form of mental health intervention that can promote feelings of calm, connection, and safety within a professional therapeutic framework.
EACH YEAR, AN ESTIMATED 1 IN 5 U.S. CHILDREN EXPERIENCE A MENTAL, EMOTIONAL OR BEHAVIORAL DISORDER, INCLUDING ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, ATTENTION-DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER AND DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIORAL DISORDERS.
70.4% OF YOUTH IN THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM HAVE A DIAGNOSED MENTAL ILLNESS.
OF THE 400,000-PLUS CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE IN AMERICA, IT’S ESTIMATED THAT NEARLY 80 PERCENT SUFFER FROM A SIGNIFICANT MENTAL HEALTH ISSUE.