We introduced the Stamp Out Stigma (S.O.S.) campaign in May 2013 to show our commitment to removing the stigma of mental illness and to educate people on the importance of seeking care when they need it. The name “Stamp Out Stigma” was selected to describe the campaign’s chief mission: to defeat the obstructive nature of mental illness stigma.
We expanded the S.O.S. initiative on a national scale in 2014. The campaign was adopted by national sponsor the Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness and other behavioral health companies in the health care industry. Together, we delivered the message that recovery is possible to millions through social media posts and ads in Times Square and the Indianapolis 500.
Mental health and addiction continue to be misunderstood and rarely discussed. In a given year, mental health issues will personally impact one in four people in the U.S., and more than 22 million people have a substance use disorder. Mental illnesses and substance use disorders, just like high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, are treatable health issues. Stigma linked to mental health and addiction often keeps people from seeking the help they need—yet for those who do, recovery is possible.
The campaign commits our organization and others to recognize the prevalence of behavioral health disorders and to reeducate ourselves and others on the truths of mental illness and addiction. As we continue in our mission to remove the stigma surrounding mental illness, we urge you to take the pledge to stamp out stigma at www.stampoutstigma.com.
Learn more about the initiative and why we’re working to stamp out stigma in the video below.