OK2TALK is a media campaign to reduce mental health stigma among teens and young adults.
A new survey from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) reveals that two-thirds of young adults have personal experience with mental health problems, states OK2TALK.org
“Although the overwhelming majority of parents and young adults are supportive of discussing mental illness more openly, more than one-fourth
of young adults (28 percent) and one in six parents (16 percent) admit they avoid talking about it.
“To encourage these critical conversations and let people know that help is available and effective, NAB today unveiled a new public service announcement (PSA) campaign featuring teens and young adults opening up about their experiences with mental illness. The “OK2TALK” campaign includes television and radio ads in English and Spanish, and uses social media to invite teens and young adults to create the conversation about mental health.
“With unrivaled reach into homes across America, broadcasters have a powerful platform to encourage young people to start talking about mental health and get the help they need,” said NAB President and CEO Gordon H. Smith. Smith’s own family has been profoundly affected by mental illness. His 22-year-old son, Garrett, took his own life in 2003, after a long struggle with depression. He and his wife, Sharon, hope that encouraging conversation about mental illness helps keep other families from meeting the same fate: “I believe that had we known better the signs of suicidal tendency, and sought help and treatment earlier for Garrett, our son would still be alive today.”
“Debuting on television and radio stations nationwide on July 25, the PSAs will direct people to OK2TALK.org, a Tumblr-based community where teens and young adults struggling with mental health problems can share their personal stories of recovery, tragedy, struggle or hope. By inviting young people, their families and friends to add their voice by sharing creative content in a safe, moderated space, the campaign encourages an organic conversation about mental health created by those experiencing it. The site also includes resources for those seeking help. OK2TALK was first announced at The White House last month as part of the National Conference on Mental Health, where the Administration applauded NAB’s commitment to increase understanding and awareness of mental health. Building on the momentum created by the Conference, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Sens. Debbie Stabenow (MI) and Roy Blunt (MO) and Mental Health Caucus Chairs Reps. Tim Murphy (PA-18) and Grace Napolitano (CA-32) joined NAB and its partners to unveil OK2TALK.
“When President Obama called for a national conversation on mental health this year, the National Association of Broadcasters stepped forward to launch this important campaign to let our young people know it is OK to talk about mental health and to find help when needed,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Mental health needs to be an issue we can talk about openly and freely without the fear of being judged. Thanks to the leadership of the NAB and organizations around the country, we are bringing mental health out of the shadows.”