January 2023 ~ Physical health and mental health are connected and equally important, yet open conversation around mental health is still lagging, most often due to stigma, lack of knowledge, or both. 70% of individuals living with a mental illness reported that their symptoms began before the age of 18. This emphasizes the importance of talking about mental health. Normalizing the conversation about mental health empowers young people to share their experiences and ask for help if they need it. By avoiding the conversations we add to the stigma that surrounds it.