Reducing Stigma

By Ed Eide

As I have traveled around the state visiting with Local Advisory Councils (LAC’s) I have heard comments about reducing the stigma of mental illness. While we can pretend that stigma is lessening, in smaller towns in greater Minnesota it is not. People are often identified by their mental illness, not their accomplishments.

As we work on goals to getting more people involved in their community, an understanding of what mental illness is becomes critical. Along those lines, a group of major mental health organizations are supporting

From the BringChange2Mind Website: is a not-for-profit organization created by Glenn Close, the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation (CABF), Fountain House, and Garen and Shari Staglin of IMHRO (International Mental Health Research Organization).

The idea of a national anti-stigma campaign was born of a partnership between Glenn Close and Fountain House, where Glenn volunteered in order to learn about mental illness, which both her sister and nephew suffer from.

This is the first effort of this magnitude in U.S. history. Ron Howard generously donated his time in directing our first PSA that features Glenn Close and her sister, Jessie Close. John Mayer generously donated his song, Say, which serves as an anthem for this movement.

The campaign has the support of major mental health organizations, including Active Minds, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), International Mental Health Research Organization (IMHRO), the Jed Foundation, Mental Health America (MHA), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), NARSAD, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

View this video and more at and then share the videos with others. These could make a difference in someone’s life.