Message from the Executive Director

Chipping Away at Stigma Through Public Awareness

Amie Miller, PsyD., Executive Director 

A 2023 study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reinforces what we all know about stigma in mental health: that it remains pervasive, that it detracts from individuals getting the care they need, and that it has a significant effect on the overall mental health of our communities. But the study also emphasizes that public awareness campaigns make a difference — that they can actually have an impact on people’s behavior and acceptance of their neighbors in need of mental health care.  

In just a few days, we’ll all be doing our part in the most focused awareness campaign of the year, Mental Health Awareness Month. 

As you all prepare to launch your tailored, community-based events, programs and activities to help reduce stigma and prevent suicide during the month of May, we’ll be joining you by: 

We’ll also be watching closely for your messaging and outreach to build on the momentum of the month and amplify your local efforts – to illuminate compassion for those who deserve it, and to elevate your teams, who exemplify that compassion. 

In addition to public awareness, the NIH study emphasizes other key strategies for overcoming stigma: cultural competency training for your workforce, Peer Support Specialists, community-based services and, of course, evidence-based approaches. All of these are initiatives you’ve already put into practice, and as a result, while there is still much work to do, California fares better than national averages in progress on stigma reduction and access to care.   

We are honored to shed light on your work, your workforce and the importance of the care you provide – in May, and every month. 


April 25, 2024