For those living with a mental illness, a lack of hope or knowledge about the help that is available, as well as common misperceptions can lead to social, psychological and physical costs and tragic personal consequences. Too often, people in need and their families do not know that effective help is available, so they may retreat, try to solve the problems themselves and suffer alone. As a result, too many people with a treatable mental illness delay or even fail to benefit from care that can work, which simply lets the initial symptoms metastasize into other life and physical health problems.
Okay to Say wants to break this cycle and help people realize that they are not alone in facing these challenges. The statewide effort launches with Emmitt Smith and Mark Cuban encouraging Texans to join the movement and add their voice through a social media campaign. It’s easy. Individuals are free to add their name to the pledge at okaytosay.org. They can also share stories of how mental illness has affected them or a loved one and include statements of support, photos and video.
“The first step in getting people help, is to realize that it’s okay to say you live with mental illness or know someone who does,” Keller said. “By talking openly about mental health, we can lead the way, as individuals and as a state, in getting people the help they need.”
The Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that supports the implementation of policies and programs to help Texans obtain effective, efficient mental health care when and where they need.