What I am Thankful For

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It forces people together to realize how fortunate they are to have certain things in their lives that others may not. Don’t forget about those who may not. We’re really lucky here at Break the Stigma. I want to acknowledge this team we have right now. For the past year or so Julio and I have been holding each other up. Me making sure Julio’s doing okay, and Julio making sure I’m doing okay. We’re blessed to have each other. Throw Steve into that mix and we have a completely stable trio ready to take on the world. Whether it’s going to be through our podcast, volunteering, or running across a state, we’re thankful that we’re able to spread awareness towards mental health.

Me personally? I’m thankful for Arika, because without her I wouldn’t know any of you. I will never forget about her. I started running really long distances to get away from people that made me hate myself and through it met people that make me love myself. More on that in a future race report. I’m thankful for everybody who invites me to group runs and stuff like that because I’m too shy to ask first. I’m thankful for Julio and Steve, for keeping me entertained and part of a team. I’m thankful for the fact that I get to struggle through school for the next four years. I cannot wait until I get paid to have that feeling of helping people that I absolutely love. I’m going to buy a BMW M3 and a husky. Hopefully I’ll be living alone in some house and still doing me. Maybe working on my rap career too.

Here’s to celebrating our past and facing the future head on.

-Kevin Chem A.K.A Young Grandpa/Cheminem/Chevin


The Hixon 50K

The Hixon 50K

Child Abuse: Our Nation’s Largest Public Health Problem

Child Abuse:
Our Nation’s Largest Public Health Problem
The first time I heard Robert Anda present the results of the ACE study, he could not hold back his tears. In his career at the CDC he had previously worked in several major risk areas, including tobacco research and cardio-vascular health. But when the ADA data started to appear on his computer screen, he realized that they had stumbled upon the gravest and most costly public health in the USA: Child Abuse. He had calculated that its overall costs exceeded those of cancer and heart disease and eradicating child abuse in the USA would reduce the overall rate of depression by more than half, alcoholism by two thirds, and suicide, IV drug use and domestic violence by three-quarters. It would also have a dramatic effect on workplace performance and vastly decrease the need for incarceration.

When the surgeon general’s report on smoking and health was published in 1964, it unleashed a decades-long legal and medical campaign that has changed daily life and long-term health prospects for millions. The number of American smokers fell from 42% of adults in 1965 to 19% in 2010, and it is estimated that nearly 800,000 deaths from lung cancer were prevented between 1975 and 2000.

The ACE study, however, had no such effect. Follow up studies and papers are still appearing around the world, but the day-to-day reality of children in outpatient clinics and residential treatment centers around the country remains virtually the same. Only now they receive high doses of psychotropic agents, which makes them more tractable but which also impairs their ability to feel pleasure and curiosity, to grow and develop emotionally and intellectually, and become contributing members of society.

Dr. Bessel Van de Kolk