Mental Health America and AZ Launch Mind Your Health Campaign
By Paul Gionfriddo, MHA President and CEO
For over a century, Mental Health America (MHA) has been a national leader in advancing mental health and I was thrilled to join this wonderful organization on May 1, 2014 as its new President and CEO. I’ve worked on mental health matters since my time in the Connecticut State legislature in the 1980s, so this is a new opportunity for me to work with old friends from around the country to build our constituency for mental health.
As a first step in that process, and in recognition of Mental Health Month in May, MHA created a new series of videos with support from AstraZeneca as part of our “Mind Your Health” campaign. The videos encourage people to use a mental health screening tool and can be seen in physicians’ offices and elsewhere around the nation. The series focuses on the four principles that guide us in our work: Prevention for all, Early identification and intervention for those at risk, Integrated health and behavioral health treatment for those who need it, and Recovery as a goal. Because our greatest challenge is often getting people to look beyond the stigma and seek medical care, the videos drive people to visit our new site, MHAScreening.org, where they can find a number of online tools to screen for mental health conditions and to get recommendations for care and support in their communities.
Thousands of online screenings have already been completed, which is a positive sign that we’re connecting with the people we need to reach to accomplish our goals.
We’re proud of our partnership with AstraZeneca and we think it will make a huge difference in the lives of so many people. After all, we all know the numbers – half of us will have a diagnosable mental health condition during our lives, and up to 6% of people live with serious mental illnesses. My son Tim is one of them. And he – now homeless on the streets of San Francisco – has had an extraordinarily difficult life because of it. So this affects me on a very personal level, too.
MHA believes that early identification and effective intervention and treatment are essential for people’s wellbeing. The “Mind Your Health” campaign is just our most recent effort to accomplish this objective, and we are very pleased to have AstraZeneca as our partner.
About Paul Gionfriddo
Gionfriddo has held key health and public health-related leadership positions during a career spanning more than 30 years. In addition to leading nonprofit organizations in three states, he ran his own consulting business, specializing in public health, children’s health, primary care and mental health.
2991106 Last Updated 5/14