Green is the nationally recognized color for mental health awareness, and it represents the strength and courage of millions who fight each day to beat mental illness. Kellene Diana, the founder of the mental health organization, The Green Heart Community, Inc., has continued to advocate going green.
Diana, a longtime advocate in the mental health community, kicked off Mental Health Awareness Month with the second annual lighting of Baltimore City Hall. With assistance from Mayor Brandon Scott, the dome at City Hall was lit green for the first week of May.
“It is now an annual event, and it’s a topic that because of the pandemic we have no choice but to talk more about because mental illness impacts celebrities, our children, people in leadership, our city council, our government, everyone,” Diana remarked. “Unfortunately, some people are still hesitant and scared because of being judged, or they are scared that they will no longer be respected.”
Furthering her advocacy work, Diana founded Green Heart University, an online school designed to spread “green love” and to bring radical awareness to the importance of mental health.
“We have students, instructors, and partners who are on a mission to spread awareness,” Diana said. “We equip our students with the tools they need to become certified mental health coaches and advocate so that they can impact, income, and advocate for others.”
Diana called Green Heart University a first of its kind online school for mental health advocacy and coaching.
“We teach people how to become official mental health advocates and coaches to assist with the aftermath of the pandemic,” she said. “Green Heart University was created amidst the pandemic because of the need of so many, who have never dealt with this. I want to give people the tools they need to recognize and direct people with anxiety and depression. We have partnered with mental health professionals, suicide prevention professionals, and others to advocate for mental health.”
To date, Diana said Green Heart University had assisted thousands of women worldwide in achieving their dreams despite battling anxiety and depression. Diana vows a personal commitment to erasing the stigma associated with anxiety and depression, particularly among women.
“The more you talk about mental health, the more responsible you are,” Diana declared. “Talking about mental illness and mental health is ok and necessary for the healing we need as a nation, not just in Baltimore. “It’s our responsibility to open the conversation and give others the green light to do the same. We have to normalize these discussions, make them exciting. Mental health is just as important, if not more important, than physical health. If you are not right mentally then physically, you won’t feel right either.”