Shanon McAlister 2011 Mental Health Hero Cartoon-A-Thon by Chato Stewart
Melinda A. Carter was a beautiful, loving, smart, talented girl. Over the course of Melinda’s lifetime, along with all the good things in life, she experienced many traumatic circumstances as well. She became depressed in her pre-teen years – began using unsafe coping methods and ultimately committed suicide in October of 2008. Dealing with Melinda’s depression, Melinda’s death, the devastating grief it caused and seeing how many people were affected by it moved me to want to exact change in all areas dealing with children and mental health issues. The Melinda A. Carter Foundation (MACF) was born.
The Melinda A. Carter Foundation has three goals:
1. SUPPORTING CHILDREN IN THE ARTS: This is out of the belief that if children are engaged in something worthwhile it brings them joy and self-worth.
2. BEING AN ADVOCATE FOR CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES IN MENTAL HEALTH: The stress that a child and their families feel while dealing with mental health issues are enormous and can be very draining in all areas of life. MACF is here to bring up issues, ask questions and seek solutions for children and their families in all areas needed to make sure they have support and get the best care possible.
3. BRING AWARENESS OF CHILDREN AND MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES TO COMMUNITIES: Awareness has to be where we start. Mental health issues and suicide in children is a reality that no one wants to talk about, but before we can begin to find any solutions we first have to recognize the problem. MACF’s aim is to take this subject out of the shadows and bring this issue up for discussion. Change is what is needed. Change in how we view this problem… change in how we view our children… This is going to be an uncomfortable conversation to have, but it’s a conversation that needs to happen. The dialogue begins here… begins now… and it begins with you. Let’s talk.
The Melinda A. Carter Foundation… Because there are children…. Children in need of direction. Children in pain. Because not all children have the tools they need to cope with life’s struggles. Our children today are under more stresses than ever. Peer pressures, bullying, pressures to perform and exceed in school. In our society, we are bombarded by stimuli constantly now, adding to the normal pressures of life.
Mental health issues and suicide among our youth have been steadily climbing since 2000 and are still on the rise. This subject has been a taboo subject in our society, but ignoring the state of our kids is not working. This is not something that is “working itself out”. Awareness must be raised and we must recognize this problem before we can begin to try and solve it. This is no longer a parent problem. This is everyone’s problem. Unless you have experienced it, you cannot comprehend the magnitude of a child’s death and just how many lives it touches – changes.
The Melinda A. Carter Foundation… Because there are children….
What can you do right now?
- · Are you a member of an organization? We are available to give talks! Call to arrange a talk for your organization!
- · Get a group together and have a fundraiser!
- · Need an idea for a fundraiser? Contact us!
- · Contact us to sign up to be put on a list of volunteers for future events!
- · Donate! Your time, services, items… everything helps.
- · Get involved! Bookmark our website or friend us on Facebook! That way you can stay up to date on current talks, events and various fundraisers!
You can contact us….
The Melinda A. Carter Foundation
8656 Bentwood Drive
North Charleston, SC 29406