Healthy Talk: Working to Overcome the Stigma of Mental Illness

July 26, 2017

[courtesy of Idwwgroup]
[courtesy of Idwwgroup]

Depressed and “consumed with darkness,” Pam longed to be heard. And then the “Okay to Say” website gave her the opportunity.

“My story is one of silently suffering in sadness and shame,” she wrote in a post, but also “of overcoming.” She hopes others struggling with mental health problems will likewise express themselves on the site. “It’s okay to say you’re hurting,” she wrote, “because that’s when healing begins.”

“Okay to Say” is an initiative of the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute for Texas, a nonprofit organization devoted to improving mental health services in the state. The institute hired Dallas-based agency LDWWgroup to create the campaign, based on the conviction that talking openly about mental illness destigmatizes the subject and leads to people receiving the care they need.

But after years of stigma, “It’s difficult to get somebody to say, ‘I have depression. It’s OK,’ or, ‘I take medication for attention-deficit disorder,’” said Ken Luce, LDWWgroup’s founder and managing partner.

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