Campaign to End Mental Health Stigma Expands Into Chautauqua County

Submitted by FeldmanJ on Wed, 05/31/2023 - 13:37

The Anti-Stigma Coalition’s Join the Conversation awareness campaign is expanding to Chautauqua County with a $7,000 grant from the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH).  The Coalition’s campaign promotes mental health awareness and fights the stigma surrounding mental illness, which can be a barrier preventing people from seeking the help and treatment they need. 

The Coalition has implemented a comprehensive, multi-media campaign in Erie and Niagara Counties, including broadcast, website, social media, digital advertising, email, and grassroots tools to get the message out. The effectiveness of the campaign has been tested with a third-party polling organization that surveys community attitudes and have found the campaign is making a positive difference in people’s views of mental illness and treatment.

“The more that we can make opportunities to educate and inform about mental health, to keep it in our conversations, and to meet our community members where they are receiving their information is vital to overcome any misconceptions or negative perception that exists about it,” said Carmelo Hernandez, Chautauqua County Director of Mental Hygiene Services and Commissioner of Social Services. “We welcome this initiative and look forward to the positive results seen in other counties here.”

The Coalition’s website and social media platforms engage the public and encourage people to learn about mental health and take a pledge to end the stigma of mental illness.  To date, more than 3,985 individuals have taken this pledge. The Coalition also provides valuable information regarding resources in the community as well as individual stories of struggle and success.

The decision was made to expand the campaign into Chautauqua County to reach its 53,000 households. The Coalition will use the grant funds to increase digital and social media, include Chautauqua County resources on the website, produce county specific materials, and conduct outreach and other events in the county. 

The Coalition’s website, letstalkstigma.org, provides information on their work, the awareness campaign and the resources available to people in Chautauqua, Erie, and Niagara Counties. The website also features video stories of people who have faced stigma and addressed their mental health issues along with previously aired TV spots.

Contact:  Karen Karaszewski, kkpr@roadrunner.com

News Categories