A Ride Across America to Raise Awareness
Break the Cycle is a cross-country bike ride from Washington State to Washington, DC. Andrés Martin, MD, MPH, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and editor-in-chief of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s (AACAP) scientific journal, is leading this ride to raise awareness of the challenges faced by children with mental illnesses. This amazing effort will span 5,000 miles, 24 states, and 60 grueling days, beginning in Seattle, WA, on August 17, 2017.
Children’s mental illnesses are real, common, and treatable. Yet today in the United States, this vulnerable population is caught in a vicious cycle of limited access to care, delayed treatment, and worsening illnesses. The fact is there are over 15 million children currently in need of the expertise of a child and adolescent psychiatrist. That’s 1 in 5 of America’s youth. Sadly, there exists an extreme shortage of trained child psychiatrists to treat this population. See AACAP’s Workforce Maps.
Through Break the Cycle, we hope to raise awareness and needed funds to support innovative research initiatives, help increase the number of practicing child psychiatrists, and ensure children suffering in silence get the treatment they need. Over $149,000 has been raised to date in support of children’s mental health.
Local communities across the country are organizing events to show their support of this ride and cause. Next week, children’s mental health champions in Seattle, WA, and Portland, OR, are starting important conversations about these real, common, and treatable illnesses in their communities. The time for change is now, and that is why AACAP is supporting Dr. Martin’s ambitious and inspiring journey.