Operation #StigmaFree Shines Light On Mental Health Issues

Katrina Gay, Catt Sadler, Morgan Stewart and Tiffani Carter at the NAMI #stigmafree lunch

April showers bring May flowers, but what many people don’t know is that May is also mental health awareness month. Even now mental health is still sometimes stigmatized or seen as something that has to be hidden. Yet, mental illness affects 1 in 5 Americans a year, making it more and more important that people are educated about it, and are aware on how to get help.

In honor of mental health awareness month Philosophy’s Hope & Grace Initiative partnered up with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to launch the nationwide StigmaFree campaign. The campaign aims to do away with the stereotypes on mental illness. The fact is mental illness does not discriminate, and it can affect anyone at any point in their lives. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among  youths 15-24 and the second for adults aged 25-34, making the StigmaFree campaign’s aims even more significant among the younger generation.

Host, Morgan Stewart, Catt Sadler, Natasha Bedingfield, EJ Johnson, Johnny Dubrel, Brendan Fitzpatrick, Rachel McCord, Ashley Keating, and Colin Egglesfield are just some of the stars joining the StigmaFree campaign. Many of them came together on May 28th for a special lunch in honor of the campaign in hopes of bringing attention and much needed support to the cause. Its important people know that mental illness is not a death a death sentence and organizations like NAMI exist solely to bring awareness and help those who need it.

Photography by Eric Charbaneou (A/P)

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