Friday, December 9, 2016

NORMAL’s New Chapter — The Paradigm Shift Toward Mental Fitness

NEWS RELEASE

Date: July 31, 2013

Contact: Robyn Hussa Farrell, rhussa@normalinschools.org

 

NORMAL Announces Their Next Chapter in
Effecting a Cultural Paradigm Shift Toward Mental Fitness

 

New York, NY — NORMAL, a national nonprofit that collaborates with state agencies and national experts to educate about mental health, eating disorders, body image, and stress-management through an array of arts programs, announced today its new chapter in effecting a cultural paradigm shift toward mental fitness.

NORMAL is tackling this fight head-on by changing its name to Mental Fitness, Inc. and by opening a new headquarters in Spartanburg, SC where they will soon open the Nourish Institute for Mental Fitness.  Individuals can join the IndieGoGo campaign, here: http://igg.me/at/MentalFitnessInc/x/153151

“We would like to do our part to change the dialogue about mental health and build mental fitness for every child in America,” says Robyn Hussa Farrell, Founder and CEO of NORMAL, who created the nonprofit 7 years ago when she produced the award-winning Off Broadway musical “NORMAL” — based on a true story about a family struggling with a life threatening mental illness.

Recognizing the impact honest storytelling and powerful art had on promoting mental health awareness, Hussa launched the nonprofit to produce high quality arts programs that facilitate evidence-based mental health educational tools.  7 years later, NORMAL collaborates with Harvard School of Public Health, with more than 25 national nonprofits and over 50 researchers in medicine, education and nutrition to design and implement a wide variety of arts and media programs that serve schools and universities worldwide.

“More needs to be done.  The Centers for Disease Control has raised the alarm.  New statistics released in May suggest that 1 in 5 children in America are struggling with mental illness.  We have seen these struggles firsthand in schools and universities nationwide.  It is imperative that we take our organization to the next level,” says Hussa.

Through their close collaborations with national experts, Hussa and her team are identifying the shared risk and protective factors that exist between eating disorders, addictions, mental illnesses and some weight related health issues. The organization has expanded the term “mental fitness” to include 7 key protective categories. “Our goal is to continue to knit together existing evidence-based programs to expand on the work we have already done in schools and universities nationwide, AND to design new innovative tools that will build mental fitness in every child in America.”

Seven of Hussa’s closest friends and relatives entered treatment as a direct result of NORMAL’s programs.  “I had no idea the impact that educating through the arts could have,” says Hussa.  “More than 1,200 individuals have sought help as a direct result of our programs. But we can do better.  We can continue the research that will assist in building tools and programs.  It takes an entire community to affect the kind of paradigm shift that breaks through the paralyzing stigma surrounding mental health and that helps every child in America build mental fitness.”

Mental Fitness, Inc. (formerly NORMAL) has an array of programs that are being implemented throughout New York State (in collaboration with NYS AHPERD) and tiered training programs in 7 districts throughout Spartanburg, South Carolina.  More information is available at MentalFitnessInc.org.

NORMAL is now Mental Fitness, Inc.

NORMAL is now Mental Fitness, Inc.

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