Silence the Shame (STS) (www.silencetheshame.com) is the movement for the mental health impact area. Shanti has suffered from depression over the years and has also experienced love ones affected with mental health disorders. On May 5, 2017, the Hip-Hop Professional Foundation (HHPF) successfully kicked-off Mental Health Month in May with "Silence the Shame" Day; a global awareness initiative created to peel back the layers of shame and stigma related to mental health. The campaign received over 90,000,000 impressions, reached 75,000,000 people on social media and was one of the top five trending hashtags in Atlanta. People as far as South Africa, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Italy and London supported the campaign socially. Celebrities such as Ludacris, Kandi Burress, pop-artist JoJo and Estelle also joined the conversation to spread awareness, to name a few. The goal of the movement is to create awareness and education.
There have been several panel discussions in the City of Atlanta (Mental Health Fair at Jean Childs Young Middle School, House of Hope Mental Health fair, Life in Focus at New Birth Baptist church, and American Sushi Recording. The national movement includes panel discussions at the 2017 National Urban League conference, the 2017 A3C Hip-Hop Festival, and at the Lyft Headquarters in San Francisco with executives in Silicon Valley. There is also a national partnership with Jack and Jill of America, Inc. for a Teen Mental Health tour in Atlanta, New York, Washington, D.C., Dallas, Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles. Silence the Shame has also gone global hosting a mental health panel in the island of Bermuda.
Shanti Das’ prudent efforts to expand mental health awareness through her Silence the Shame initiative challenges the long-standing misperception that mental health concerns, particularly for communities of color, are often disregarded and discounted. Shanti's vital work creates a space for critical discourse around issues of stigmatism and ignominy that surround mental health. I am deeply moved by her endeavors as she works towards educating, engaging, and advocating for positive change in regards to mental health consciousness.
-Gabrielle Holder, LICSW & M.Ed
Founder, Evolve Therapy, Washington, DC