NEW YORK, May 1, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- May is National Mental Health Month and philosophy's hope & grace initiative for women's mental health is partnering with mental health organizations to bring awareness and action-oriented programs to the public. With the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the hope & grace initiative will launch the StigmaFree campaign – a national effort to confront the mental health stigma. The StigmaFree campaign will launch May 1 in New York City and will focus on embracing support and awareness for mental health by securing pledges from corporations, organizations, community leaders and individuals to live stigma free including their support on social media with the hashtag #iamstigmafree. In partnership with Each Mind Matters: California's Mental Health Movement, the hope & grace initiative will also release a public service announcement (PSA) that features more than 40 celebrities from television and film sharing how to be open and honest about mental health and live stigma free.
StigmaFree will contribute to the expanding mental health movement by equipping organizations and leaders with new tools that will help to raise awareness, break down barriers and create supportive environments so that people who are experiencing mental health challenges do not delay in getting the support and help they need. To elevate the launch of the StigmaFree campaign, NAMI and the hope & grace initiative will host a special ceremony on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 to light the Empire State Building green – the color of mental health awareness – as a beacon of hope to the nation and the world. Representatives from NAMI and the hope & grace initiative will be joined by New York City's First Lady, Chirlane McCray, who has made shattering the stigma surrounding mental health and advocating for more access to mental health resources and services central to her platform.
"A change in public attitudes and corporate and public support of mental health is the goal of the StigmaFree campaign and of the hope & grace initiative," said Chief Marketing Officer of Coty skincare and Senior Vice President of philosophy brand, Jill Scalamandre. "It's time to end stigma around mental health and it starts with individuals and organizations encouraging an open conversation and creating safe environments."
The StigmaFree Resources and Tools
The NAMI StigmaFree initiative will include resources and tools that will enable organizations and leaders to enact change within the workplace and communities, and will help lead conversations aimed to raise awareness. Beginning in May with a grant of $75,000 provided by philosophy's hope & grace fund for mental health, NAMI will engage with individuals and corporations to join the movement by: 1. Learning about mental health—educating themselves and others; 2. Seeing the person not the illness—striving to listen, understand, tell their own story; and 3. Take action—spread the word, raise awareness and make a difference. In addition to agreeing to the individual pledge, companies and organizations will pledge to adopt three additional actions, selected from a menu of options reflective of their culture and environment.
"One in five people will experience a diagnosable mental health condition in a given year, yet more than half will not seek treatment," comments NAMI Executive Director Mary Giliberti. "Stigma and discrimination experienced in their families, communities and work places, and often resulting self-stigma, can prevent individuals from getting help when they need it. Stigma free environments that promote and support acceptance and respect encourage help-seeking and make recovery possible."
The Public Service Announcement
Also in support of Mental Health Month, the hope & grace initiative in partnership with Each Mind Matters: California's Mental Health Movement will release a series of public service announcements (PSAs) that feature more than 40 celebrities from television and film sharing how everyone can be involved in the movement by speaking up, being open and honest about mental health and living stigma free. The PSAs feature notables including Lorraine Bracco, Pamela Anderson, Morgan Stewart, Antonio Sabato, Jr., Nigel Lythgoe and many more. The first of the series will be available on May 1 with additional versions of the PSA launching in the following weeks.
As part of philosophy's commitment to donate one percent of all online, in-store, and televised sales, the hope & grace fund has approved a $150,000 grant to NAMI in order to develop StigmaFree tools and resources and create an ongoing national outreach program. Coty Inc. is one of the first partners who has committed to join the movement and work with NAMI over the next six months to create stigma free environments. Additional partners will be recruited to the program throughout the year.
"Mental health and well-being is a priority in our nation. At Coty, we strive do our part by creating an environment in which our employees feel supported in reaching out should they experience a mental health challenge," said Bart Becht, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Coty Inc. "The hope & grace advisory board has done a tremendous job in shaping this initiative and working toward better mental health outcomes for women. We are honored to partner with NAMI in advancing this issue and proudly pledge our commitment to be stigma free."
The hope & grace initiative will continue to advance mental health in communities nationwide by issuing 10-20 grants to community-based mental health organizations in amounts ranging from $25,000-$100,000 each year.
Additionally, the hope & grace advisory board announced in January the fund's first official round of community-based grant recipients who will be provided with $20,000 grants this year. The selected organizations' proposed projects were identified as having a strong alignment with the hope & grace fund's priorities of providing access to mental health services for a diverse group of women.
The fund recipients include:
- CONNECT, New York, NY. The CONNECT Women program provides peer support groups to empower women who struggle with mental health issues related to trauma from domestic violence, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and sleep disorders.
- Prototypes, Los Angeles, CA. Prototypes provides a lifeline to women who are struggling with mental illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and bipolar disorder, along with addiction and trauma.
- South Brevard Women's Center, Melbourne, FL. Women's Center's Victim Services Program provides individual therapy and support groups to empower women who struggle with mental health issues related to trauma from intimate partner violence, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, self-harm, and sleep disorders.
- Western Massachusetts Training Consortium, Greenfield, MA. The RECOVER Project's Moms Together: Perinatal and Early Parenting Recovery Support peer mentoring program connects pregnant and addiction-compromised women, many of whom struggle with mental health issues, with women who are now in recovery from similar issues. Peers will assist pregnant women to identify the resources that can bolster their and their children's physical and emotional well-being, including access to primary care and mental health support.
- Women's Shelter Program of San Luis Obispo County, San Luis Obispo, CA. The Women's Shelter Program (WSP) of San Luis Obispo County's Latina Mental Health Program will assist approximately 80 Latina adult female domestic violence survivors, many of whom face a number of mental health challenges, including increased rates of generalized anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression.
For more information about the campaign and to take the pledge to be StigmaFree, visit philosophy.com or NAMI.org.
hope & grace initiative
The hope & grace initiative represents an unprecedented and unending commitment by philosophy to support mental health and well-being. With the initiative, philosophy becomes the first company to place a deep focus on this important cause and the first major beauty company to make a brand-wide commitment to dedicate 1% of its U.S. net sales toward the cause through the hope and grace fund, a project of the New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3) public charity that hosts and incubates a range of innovative and effective public interest projects in conservation, global health, public policy, international development, education, disaster recovery, and the arts. Founded in 1996, philosophy is part of Coty Inc., with headquarters in Phoenix and New York. Follow us on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook: @lovephilosophy; facebook.com/philosophy.
National Alliance on Mental Illness
NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. What started as a small group of families gathered around a kitchen table in 1979 has blossomed into the nation's leading voice on mental health. Today, we are an association of hundreds of local affiliates, state organizations and volunteers who work in your community to raise awareness and provide support and education that was not previously available to those in need. NAMI relies on gifts and contributions to support our important work.
Each Mind Matters
Each Mind Matters is California's Mental Health Movement. We are millions of individuals and thousands of organizations working to advance mental health. The mental health movement certainly didn't start with us, but Each Mind Matters was created to unite all of us who share a vision of improved mental health and equality. Every day, millions of people face stigma related to mental health because they or their loved ones are facing a challenge. Many of these people feel isolated and alone, going years before receiving any help. Our goal is to amplify the voices of all people who want to put an end to this stigma, creating a community where everyone feels comfortable reaching out for the support they deserve.
Tiffani Carter-Thompson, philosophy
212.389.6905 / [email protected]
Sally Downs, Missy Farren & Associates
212.528.1691 / [email protected]