Coalition of government, nonprofit and faith organizations unite to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and offer resources at The dReam Center Church of Atlanta services
Atlanta, GA – June 1, 2023 A collaboration between Atlanta City Council member Keisha Sean Waites, the Ad Council, the Huntsman Mental Health Institute, Pivotal Ventures, Values Partnerships, How Sweet the Sound, and The dReam Center Church of Atlanta have recognized Sunday, June 4 as "Mental Health Awareness Sunday." The proclamation aims to unite faith communities, houses of worship, and all residents of Atlanta in fostering a supportive environment for its residents to understand, discuss, and seek help for mental health issues.
“Mental illness is a condition that merits recovery assistance, treatment, and early intervention. Just like any other illness, it deserves resources and community efforts to assist with local and global awareness,” said Post 3 At-Large Atlanta City Council member Keisha Sean Waites. “I am honored to recognize the Ad Council, Huntsman Mental Health Institute, Pivotal Ventures, Values Partnerships, How Sweet the Sound, and the dReam Center Church of Atlanta with a proclamation and join them in tackling the challenge. It is important that we mobilize and partner in raising awareness by proclaiming Sunday, June 4, 2023, as ‘Mental Health Awareness Sunday’ across the city of Atlanta to unite residential and faith communities to ensure we continue to discuss substance use and the behavioral and mental health crisis.”
In support of this effort, The dReam Center Church of Atlanta will host two special worship services at 10am and 12pm ET, with lead pastor William Murphy. The services will feature performances by gospel musician JJ Hairston as well as insights from mental health expert Dr. Coralanne Hunte. Educational resources will be shared from the Ad Council’s Sound It Out campaign to help parents and caregivers support their children’s emotional wellbeing. All are welcome to attend, and the services can also be viewed via livestream at YouTube.com/@dReamCenterATL.
“We live in bodies that are fearfully and wonderfully made, yet they are not immune to illness and pain,” said Bishop William H. Murphy, III, Lead Pastor, The dReam Center Church of Atlanta. “Jesus’ own witness of sacrificial love and forgiveness, and his work to heal the sick and care for those in need, represent God's ways and vision for us. We are aligned with His ways and vision. The dReam Center will continue to provide resources and partnerships that support mental health and wellness.”
As the country faces a pervasive mental health crisis among people of all ages, this day marks the beginning of a city-wide mental health awareness campaign specifically targeting the unique challenges faced by the Black community. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, rates of depression and anxiety were inching higher, and research fielded by the Ad Council has found that 43% of U.S. adults do not feel comfortable talking to people close to them about their emotions and how they are feeling. That’s why this collaborative effort is committed to fostering a supportive environment for its residents to understand, discuss, and seek help for mental health issues.
“As a part of the Ad Council’s mental health initiative, we’re committed to reaching all communities to help normalize mental health, educate the community and connect people to valuable resources,” said Sherry Thompson, Mental Health Campaign Coalition Lead, the Ad Council. “This effort is a great example of programs we’ve developed to reach the Black community given the challenges they often face accessing the support they need, as well as living with the mental health stressors of systemic racism and racial injustice.”
The Ad Council has partnered with Values Partnerships, a leading social impact agency in our nation, because of their expertise in driving meaningful engagement in faith communities.
“We’re privileged at Values Partnerships to join hands with the Ad Council as well as community and faith partners,” said Joshua DuBois, CEO, Values Partnerships. “These partnerships exemplify the transformative change we can effect when we unite in action. We’re committed to ensuring mental health is not only discussed but also deeply understood and compassionately addressed.”
This initiative will connect Atlanta residents with resources offered by the Ad Council and its partners, including tools and tips from the Sound It Out campaign, which are also available in English and Spanish at SoundItOutTogether.org.
ABOUT THE DREAM CENTER CHURCH OF ATLANTA
The dReam Center Church of Atlanta is a non-denominational Christian ministry called to change the world’s expectation of the church. The church was founded in 2005 by Bishop William H. Murphy, III, and his wife, Pastor Danielle Murphy. The dReam Center Church of Atlanta is kingdom-building ministry that creates a safe haven for all people to come learn about and worship Christ Jesus in spirit and in truth. One of our foundational pillars is Social Action. We are committed to have a perpetual focus on being connected to policy makers and to be influential in the shaping of the moral fabric of our communities, our government and our world.
In 2023, we declare that “We Are Building Something That Matters” in our ministries. Our mission is not possible without corporate and community partners like How Sweet The Sound and MENTAL HEALTH SUNDAY: HOW SWEET THE HEALING.
ABOUT THE AD COUNCIL
The Ad Council convenes creative storytellers to educate, unite and uplift audiences by opening hearts, inspiring action and accelerating change around the most pressing issues in America. Since the non-profit’s founding, the organization and its partners in advertising, media, marketing and tech have been behind some of the country’s most iconic social impact campaigns – Smokey Bear, A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste, Love Has No Labels, Tear the Paper Ceiling and many more. With a current focus on mental health, gun safety, the opioid epidemic, skill-based hiring and other critical issues, the Ad Council’s national campaigns encompass advertising and media content, ground game and community efforts, trusted messenger and influencer engagement, and employer programs, among other innovative strategies to move the needle on the most important issues of the day.
ABOUT HUNTSMAN MENTAL HEALTH INSTITUTE
Huntsman Mental Health Institute (HMHI) was established in 2021 following the Huntsman Foundation's historic gift of $150 million to the University of Utah. HMHI is a university-wide Institute with a reputation throughout the Mountain West as a leader in advanced psychiatric treatment and care, serving a diverse population from young children to geriatric patients. Researchers at HMHI develop and apply the most advanced methods in genetics, imaging, epidemiology, and big data analysis. HMHI is also the regional training center for psychiatry and other mental health disciplines. HMHI’s main 170-bed full-service hospital is adjacent to the University of Utah campus, and HMHI’s 1,644 faculty, staff, and students provide clinical, research, and training programs in more than 20 locations across Utah and Idaho.
ABOUT SOUND IT OUT
Sound It Out is a national campaign that uses the power of music to help parents and caregivers better support their middle schooler’s emotional wellbeing. Created by the Ad Council, in partnership with Pivotal Ventures and a coalition of organizations, the campaign offers exclusive music from some of today’s brightest stars alongside free resources and conversation guides developed by a panel of expert advisors. To learn more, visit SoundItOutTogether.org and join the community on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
ABOUT THE AD COUNCIL’S NATIONAL MENTAL HEALTH INITIATIVE
In November 2022, the Ad Council launched a new Mental Health Initiative, uniting brands, marketers, media companies and nonprofits to address the mental health crisis throughout the U.S. at scale. With a founding investment from the Huntsman Mental Health Institute, the multi-year initiative aims to change social norms and create a society that is more open, accepting, and proactive when it comes to mental health.
To get involved in this effort or find resources if you’re struggling with your mental health or know someone who needs help, visit adcouncil.org/mental-health.