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"Make it OK" campaign reaches 100,000 in first year

HealthPartners, Regions Hospital and NAMI-MN effort to reduce stigma of mental illnesses

May 19, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — May 19, 2014 — The “Make it OK” campaign has reached more than 100,000 Minnesotans through an advertising campaign, community education and a partnership with Twin Cities Public Television, campaign organizers announced today.

“To change the stigma surrounding mental illnesses we need to start talking — in the same way that we race for the cure, bike for MS and walk for the heart,” said Mary Brainerd, HealthPartners president and CEO. “Together with our community partners, we are working to start that conversation and make it ok to ask for help.”

One in four Americans experiences a mental illness each year, from all walks of life. Most people live with the symptoms of a mental illness for 10 years before seeking treatment, largely due to the stigma. The Make It OK campaign encourages people to talk more openly about mental illnesses and ask for help. It was developed in collaboration with community partners, HealthPartners, Regions Hospital and the Minnesota chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

First year highlights include:

  • More than 30,000 people have visited the campaign’s website, which includes educational information about mental illnesses, as well as tips on how to talk to them.
  • Documentary series. Organizers partnered with Twin Cities Public Television to produce five documentaries that tell the stories of Minnesotans who experience a mental illness and the affects of the stigma. More than 69,000 viewers have watched the first three documentaries, and the remaining two remaining episodes will air later this month.
  • Tool kits. Tool kits and education sessions provider businesses and community groups the resources they need to talk about mental illnesses. To date there have been 14 “Make it OK ” education sessions and 45 toolkits distributed.
  • Advertising campaign. During the month of May advertisements supporting the campaign will appear in radio and television commercials, as well as print and online ads. A similar advertising campaign ran twice last year and had more than 25 million impressions.

How to get involved

Indivuals interested in getting involved with the campaign may sign up to receive a toolkit and attend a training session on how to use them. The next training sessions is Monday, June 2, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at HealthPartners, 9170 33rd Ave South, Bloomington. For more information or to sign up, contact

Representatives from NAMI are also available to travel to organizations interested in hosting a presentation about mental illnesses and the Make It OK campaign. The presentations are about an hour long and are free. For more information, contact

To learn more about mental illnesses and how to talk about them, visit

About HealthPartners

Founded in 1957, HealthPartners is the largest consumer-governed, non-profit health care organization in the nation. It is dedicated to improving the health of its members, patients and the community. HealthPartners provides a full-range of health plan services including insurance, administration and health and well-being programs. Since its combination with Park Nicollet in 2013, its care system includes more than 1,700 physicians; seven hospitals; 52 primary care clinics; 22 urgent care locations; and numerous specialty practices in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

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