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News Different Kinds of Hurt: Isaac's Story - Sparking Conversation About Children's Mental Health

  • Massachusetts Department of Mental Health
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"It's OK not to be OK." 

Different Kinds of Hurt: Isaac’s Story, is an animated film and graphic novel for elementary and middle school-aged children, that shows how an honest conversation about “different kinds of hurting” between two classmates can have a life long effect.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Half of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14; three-quarters by age 24. Despite effective treatment, there are long delays—sometimes decades—between the first appearance of symptoms and when people get help. Early intervention is vital for treatment and eventual recovery. Early intervention and treatment is vital for recovery, and stigma is one of the biggest barriers to seeking help.

Different Kinds of Hurt: Isaac's Story, a collaborative effort between the Department of Mental Health, Walker, Express Yourself, and FableVision Studios draws on the parallels between mental health and physical health. The two main characters, Isaac and Mia have recently experienced hospitalizations - one for a broken leg and one for a mental health condition - and through conversation, they learn that their experiences are very similar in many ways. 

Watch the short film or read the book, and take advantage of the tools and dialogue prompts to begin your conversation:

Massachusetts Department of Mental Health 

The Department of Mental Health, as the State Mental Health Authority, assures and provides access to services and supports to meet the mental health needs of individuals of all ages; enabling them to live, work and participate in their communities.