IAHV Statement on Mental Health Awareness Month


May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and the International Association for Human Values (IAHV) and the Art of Living Foundation are  committed to joining communities and organizations across the country to raise awareness about the millions of Americans affected with mental ailments. It is not only important to raise awareness on mental health but also proactively work towards mental well-being of individuals and communities.

Roughly 1 in 5 U.S. adults, nearly 47.6 million people, experience serious mental illness each year. [1] Added to that, more than 50 percent of Americans will manage a mental health condition at some point in their lives. These statistics were gathered pre-COVID-19. Given the nature of the pandemic the importance of addressing mental health is more significant than ever before.

A poll just released in April by the Kaiser Foundation shows that about half of adults feel the pandemic is impacting their mental health. Almost one in five says it’s been a major impact. With social distancing and increased levels of isolation it becomes paramount to address ways to mitigate the negative impacts of stress and anxiety.

IAHV works around the world with the most vulnerable sections of society to build community resilience by offering breath-based workshops to reduce mental stress, anxiety and trauma. The courses have benefitted refugees, survivors of violence, war veterans and those navigating stresses of everyday life. In fact, the founder of the organization, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is hosting daily online meditation sessions https://www.youtube.com/srisri  across social media channels to help reduce stress of people around the globe. Millions around the world join these sessions every day to help navigate the uncertainties in the world outside by finding peace within.

If this crisis has taught us one thing it is that we are all connected. We are in this together and we will get through this together. By caring and working together, we can bring about a positive wave. We can shift the social stigma that prohibit people from getting appropriate care. We can work towards a nation and world where people prioritize mental health well-being to fulfil their highest potential.

Daily online meditations can be accessed across:
YouTube: youtube.com/srisri
Instagram: @srisriravishankar
Facebook: @SriSriRaviShankar

Inaugural Mental Health and Fitness Summit Aims to Disrupt America’s Mental Health Crisis by Bringing Together Innovative Experts : July 22-25, 2019, Denver, CO

Summit will feature change makers from the healthcare, government and humanitarian fields in an effort to adopt concrete solutions to improve early intervention, treatment and stigmatization of mental health


Denver, CO — (May 8, 2019)


More than 46 million Americans (1 in 5) suffer from mental illness every given year – causing tremendous suffering to those impacted and their families and costing the US almost 200 billion dollars a year. 


The International Association of Human Values (IAHV) and its founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will host its Inaugural National Summit on Mental Health and Fitness in Denver, CO on July 22-25, 2019. The event aims to disrupt outdated approaches to Mental Health by bringing in experts and change makers to share their unique vision and expertise with the goal of producing an integrated mental health model that focuses on the whole person.

American Author, Writer, and Activist and the Presidential candidate for 2020, Marianne Williamson will be opening the conference. Expert speakers at the Summit include Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, celebrated humanitarian and peacemaker; Tim Ryan, Congressman and Presidential candidate OH-13; Dr Nata Menabde, Executive Director, World Health Organization Office at the United Nations; Bill Milliken, Founder & Vice Chairman, Communities in Schools; Barbara Van Dahlen, Founder & President of Give an Hour Psychologist; and Emma Seppala, Science Director, Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education.

The Summit aims to bring together experts with varied expertise from diverse fields to build a holistic approach for faster interventions, lower cost treatments and efficient ways to curb violence and crimes through mental health prevention. Experts will discuss and present integrated strategies that enhance positive emotions, life satisfaction and spirituality while addressing biological, cultural and economic approaches to treating mental health.

“Not being in touch with your inner being is one of the main reasons for mental health instability. When one is not able to effectively manage their emotions and thoughts, then they are also inhibited in their communication. Lack of proper communication causes all sorts of problems – for individuals and societies alike – leading to stress and trauma that impacts mental health. This summit will bring people together to learn meditation, calm their minds, and make one feel happy from within.” says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

Attendees at this year’s Summit will hail from multiple professions, backgrounds and parts of the world, providing for unique networking opportunities to be a part of a founding movement that changes the way we think about and manage mental illness in our communities.


The Summit will conclude on July 24th with the largest meditation event in U.S. history America Meditates, in Denver’s City Park, will bring together community, raising awareness and inspiring the public to stand together for better mental well-being. On July 25th there will be a policy making lunch and round table by application for the changemakers in their organizations. Sam Beard and Bill Milliken will be putting the collective wisdom into new policy initiatives.

Corporate sponsorships are also available for this unique event. For those interested, please contact Sajni at 720-722-2653. Tickets for the event can be purchased here.

PR Contact: KristinAnn Janishefski, The Vanguard PR on Behalf of IAHV 310-560-6258

About IAHV:

IAHV offers programs to reduce stress and develop leaders so that human values can flourish in people and communities. We foster the daily practice of human values – a sense of connectedness and respect for all people and the natural environment, an attitude of non-violence, and an ethic of social service. Our programs enhance clarity of mind, shift attitudes and behaviors, and develop leaders and communities that are resilient, responsible, and inspired.


About Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Sri Sri is a humanitarian, teacher and peacemaker. He founded global non-profits the Art of Living and the International Association for Human Values – two of the largest volunteer-run non-profits in the world – to help relieve stress and trauma, teach human values, and increase happiness. He has created trauma-relief and meditation programs for at-risk youth, war veterans, prisoners and survivors of disaster. He is also engaged in peace-making efforts internationally and in war-torn areas like Colombia and Iraq. 18 universities have awarded him with honorary doctorates for his peace-keeping efforts. In addition, he has also received 38 governmental awards. In the United States, he has received the International Humanitarian Award from the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the award for Inspiring Humanity from the Foundation for California. He has been an invited speaker at institutions like the United Nations, the European Parliament, the World Economic Forum, and the Israeli Presidential Conference, as well as top universities like Stanford University, The Wharton School, and the University of Southern California. In addition, he has spoken at conferences like TED. He has been featured on CNN and The New York Times, has written over 40 books and contributes to The Huffington Post. Scientific research on his programs has shown that they significantly decrease anxiety, stress and depression while making people feel happier and more optimistic.

Handing Over Ceremony of Palar River Rejuvenation

December 03, 2015

“The Whole world is struggling for water and it is said that if a third world war happens it would be because of water.”, said IAHV & Art of Living Founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, bringing the attention of the citizens of Kaiwara (dist Chikkaballapur) to a possible solution for their water problems.

Volunteers begun work for Palar’s rejuvenation, the removal of silt and reviving the small streams which flowed to the river after the rains. Initial work has commenced in Phase-1 on 10km streams, covering 35 villages. Until now, 40 recharge wells, 2 recharge borewells, 2 boulder checks and 1 water pool has been constructed. Narayanavana, a grove of medicinal plants with 30 different varieties has been created.

Along with the farmers, we have started planting trees. 3000 trees were planted within one month. This will continue and 10000 saplings will be planted in the next few months.

A Narayana Vana has been created at Kaiwara, as part of the rejuvenation project. There are 32 species of rare and endangered plants, like, Sita Ashoka (helpful in relieving stress and addressing gynecological problems), “Kadambi” (traps dust) and Atti tree (other organisms and birds nest in this tree). In total, there are around 200 trees and 2,000 herbs and shrubs in this Vana.

Palar Then and Now
40 years ago: The majestic Palar river flowed through the 3 states of Karnataka, Andhra and Tamil Nadu, with lush natural vegetation decorating its banks. Flowing even in time of drought, the river fed and replenished numerous wells and streams, ultimately merging into the Bay of Bengal.

Present Day: Today, the soil has corroded, basin is filled with silt and the wells and streams are a thing of the past.


September 28, 2015

Our Founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Ji handed over recharge structures of Palar River Rejuvenation to Gram Panchayat and inaugurated Narayana vana at Kaiwara, Karnataka on 19th Sep 2015.