The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has dedicated May as the Mental Health Month, aiming to increase mental health awareness through campaigns such as “StigmaFree”. The new campaign is a public service announcement for television featuring actress and mental health advocate Mayim Bialik.
StigmaFree was the product of a partnership between NAMI and Hope & Grace Initiative, which together are addressing to a growing problem among Americans. According to NAMI, 1 in 5 Americans will be affected by a mental health condition in their lifetime and every American is affected or impacted through their friends and family.
“In a country where one in five people are affected by a mental health condition, it is time for all of us to step up and change the conversation,” said Mayim Bialik during the 30-second spot.
She later encouraged viewers to see the person behind the condition and join her to be stigma free.
The campaign divided the potential stigma-free people into three steps for success, where one is educating them and others about what exactly are mental illness and what consequences this can bring to the patient and the family as well, according to NAMI.
As for the second thing to take into account, it is to see the person and not the illness. With this, the organization tries to encourage people to go beyond acknowledge and offer kindness and empathy to those suffering from some kind of mental disease.
Further than knowledge and empathy, NAMI stated that people need to take action on mental health issues by involving themselves in the community and push better legislations and policies to improve lives for everyone.
NAMI is America’s largest organization dedicated to improving the lives of individual and families affected by mental illness. Each year May is recognized nationwide as the Mental Health Month, which according to the organization, brings awareness to mental health, fights stigma, provides support and educate the public about the phenomenon.
For mental illness there is no specific one to be taken more into account than others by the organization, this disorder can affect the person’s mood, thinking and behavior and could be from depression to schizophrenia and addictive behaviors, according to Mayo Clinic.