# 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 like depression and anxiety, lingering stigma means many still avoid discussing their personal struggles openly. This stigma often prevents people from seeking treatment, which can isolate them even more, worsening their condition, and even becoming life-threatening. The Dr. Brandt Foundation’s #SayILoveYou speaker series aims to create safe online spaces for frank discussions about mental health. The Foundation invites healthcare professionals, high-profile individuals, and diverse community voices to a virtual stage to discuss issues, share personal stories, or offer advice on coping.
"Our goal is to show individuals that it’s okay to talk about our mental health journeys, no matter where we are. Through the #SayILoveYou series, we’re advocating for self-acceptance as a form
— Stéphane Colleu, CEO, Dr. Brandt® Skincare
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 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 licensed 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.