NAMI Mass Celebrates 100 CEO Milestone in Statewide Campaign to End Mental Illness Stigma in Workplace

NAMI Mass Celebrates 100 CEO Milestone in Statewide Campaign to End Mental Illness Stigma in Workplace

Laurie Martinelli
Executive Director
NAMI Massachusetts
The Schraffts Center
529 Main Street, Suite 1M17
Boston, MA 02129-1125


MA Executives Rally to Fight #1 cause of workplace disability

October 13, 2016

Boston, MA — The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Massachusetts (NAMI Mass) has recruited 100 CEOs to be part of their CEOs Against Stigma campaign in an effort to fight the number one cause of workplace disability. Approximately one in every five adults in Massachusetts will struggle with a mental health condition this year (depression followed by anxiety). In too many workplaces, mental illness remains mostly a secret because of stigma. Those who need help for themselves or a loved one often fear the consequences of disclosure, which can lead to high turnover, low productivity and increased costs for employers.

NAMI Mass launched the CEOs Against Stigma campaign in 2015 with a grant from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office. CEOs Against Stigma partners with the leaders of businesses, organizations and municipalities across the Commonwealth to educate and combat stigma.

“By joining CEOs Against Stigma, top executives are helping to change the misperceptions about mental illness by encouraging people to open up and speak freely about the conditions that affect them and their immediate families. Most importantly, through their support, these leaders across the Commonwealth are helping people to seek treatment,” says NAMI Mass Executive Director Laurie Martinelli. “We are very proud of these CEOs who have stepped up to the plate and signed our pledge to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness.”

As part of this campaign, participating employers host In Our Own Voice, a NAMI signature program featuring two people living with mental illness who share their personal stories and how they are achieving recovery. The In Our Own Voice program has been recognized by a leading national mental health researcher as the most effective anti-stigma program in America.

President and CEO of Atrius Health, Steven Strongwater, MD, signed onto the CEOs Against Stigma Campaign this past summer and recently hosted In Our Own Voice for Atrius Health employees working at over 30 locations. “In Our Own Voice is a very powerful, professional and moving presentation. Several employees have approached me to applaud this program and are enthusiastic to continue the conversation.”

“Combatting stigma around mental illness in the workplace is such an important responsibility at every level of an organization – especially in the medical field,” said Dr. Strongwater. “Far too frequently, we hear of depression, anxiety and burnout among clinicians who tirelessly strive to do what is best for their patients. I hope this presentation and campaign continues to facilitate a culture shift that ensures an environment which truly meets all the needs of our employees and friends.”

CEOs Against Stigma is open to any Massachusetts-based company with at least 50 employees. For more information about CEOs Against Stigma, visit

About National Alliance on Mental Illness of Massachusetts (NAMI Mass)

Founded in 1982, NAMI Mass is a nonprofit, grassroots education, support and advocacy organization. It is the state’s voice on mental illness, with 21 local chapters and more than 2,000 members. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for people with mental health challenges and their families by educating the public; fighting stigma, discrimination and stereotypes; and promoting recovery. To that end, the organization offers free, peer-led programs that provide resources, insights, coping skills and genuine support. To learn more about NAMI Mass, please visit

About Atrius Health

Atrius Health, an innovative nonprofit healthcare leader, delivers an effective system of connected care for more than 675,000 adult and pediatric patients in eastern and central Massachusetts. Atrius Health’s 30 medical practices, with more than 35 specialties and 750 physicians, work together with the home health and hospice services of its VNA Care subsidiary and in close collaboration with hospital partners, community specialists and skilled nursing facilities. Atrius Health provides high-quality, patient-centered, coordinated care to every patient it serves. By establishing a solid foundation of knowledge, understanding and trust with each of its patients, Atrius Health enriches their health and enhances their lives. Learn more about Atrius Health at


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