Editorial: Augustus and removing the stigma of mental illness

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The state chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), launched a statewide campaign on June 26 to end the stigma of mental illness in the workplace.

The CEOs Against Stigma campaign, funded by a grant from the office of Attorney General Maura T. Healey, launched with 25 chief executive officers on board.

Edward M. Augustus Jr.

Courtesy NAMI Mass

Edward M. Augustus Jr.

“Mental illness affects one in five adults and is the leading cause of workplace disability,” the group writes. “Unlike physical illness, mental illness carries a stigma that prevents many people from discussing their condition at work — leading to high turnover, low productivity and increased employer costs.”

According to NAMI Mass, the group “chose to focus this anti-stigma campaign on the workplace, in part, based on results from a 2014 statewide survey of 800 Massachusetts voters, which NAMI commissioned to gauge attitudes on mental illness.

“The results show that while 92 percent of people would advise people with mental illness to tell their families about it, and 76 percent would advise telling their friends, only 27 percent would advise telling their coworkers.”

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