In the varied fields of scientific and clinical research in mental health, the workplace has been repeatedly cited as an environment where stress and anxiety can instill or worsen mental health conditions. Apart from that stress and anxiety, the stigma commonly associated with mental health conditions will limit or prevent an individual from seeking help.
In 2014, NAMI Mass received a two-year grant from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office to design a program that would address stigma in the workplace. From that grant, supported by community-based surveys, business analyses and engagement with corporate leaders across the Commonwealth, The CEOs Against Stigma Pilot Project was formed.
In 2015, more than 100 executives signed on to test the pilot project. As a group, they represented a cross section of workplaces ranging from private industry, financial services, local and county governments and higher education. NAMI Mass is pleased these men and women for their willingness to take front and center roles on behalf of their own employees in the campaign against stigma.
A successful pilot program is one that demonstrates flaws and assets, strengths and weaknesses and, most importantly, paths forward. These individuals were the pathfinders for the CEOs Against Stigma Pilot Project.