Mount Wachusett Community College President Daniel M. Asquino today joined more than 100 other CEOs to sign The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Massachusetts (NAMI Mass) CEOs Against Stigma campaign in an effort to fight the number one cause of workplace disability. Approximately one in every five adults in Massachusetts will struggle with a mental health condition this year (depression followed by anxiety).
“We are committed to ending the stigma often associated with mental health,” said President Asquino. “We want to make it very clear to all those who need help for themselves or a loved one, that they can take steps to address mental health without fear.”
NAMI Mass launched the CEOs Against Stigma campaign in 2015 with a grant from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office. CEOs Against Stigma partners with the leaders of businesses, organizations and municipalities across the Commonwealth to educate and combat stigma.
“By joining CEOs Against Stigma, top executives are helping to change the misperceptions about mental illness by encouraging people to open up and speak freely about the conditions that affect them and their immediate families. Most importantly, through their support, these leaders across the Commonwealth are helping people to seek treatment,” says NAMI Mass Executive Director Laurie Martinelli. “We are very proud of these CEOs who have stepped up to the plate and signed our pledge to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness.”
As part of this campaign, participating employers host In Our Own Voice, a NAMI signature program featuring two people living with mental illness who share their personal stories and how they are achieving recovery. The In Our Own Voice program has been recognized by a leading national mental health researcher as the most effective anti-stigma program in America.
Founded in 1982, NAMI Mass is a nonprofit, grassroots education, support and advocacy organization. It is the state’s voice on mental illness, with 21 local chapters and more than 2,000 members. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for people with mental health challenges and their families by educating the public; fighting stigma, discrimination and stereotypes; and promoting recovery. To that end, the organization offers free, peer-led programs that provide resources, insights, coping skills and genuine support. To learn more about NAMI Mass, please visit http://namimass.org/.