Atrius Health CEO Takes on Statewide Stigma Fight

| Posted On Jul 28, 2016 | By:

CEOs-Against-Stigma-Logo-Color-2015Atrius Health has joined the statewide campaign to fight the stigma of mental illness in the workplace. Dr. Steven Strongwater, president and CEO of Atrius Health, signed a pledge to become a member of the CEOs Against Stigma team, a campaign created by the state chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI Mass). He joins a growing list of business leaders who are vowing to transform the way people think about and act toward mental health conditions, which represent the number one cause of workplace disability.

“As a physician, I know how important it is to see and consider the whole person and not just their condition – regardless of any illness they may be experiencing. I also know how important the support of friends, family members, coworkers and employers can be to the treatment of that illness,” said Dr. Strongwater. “That’s why this campaign is so important and why I am proud to join NAMI’s CEOs Against Stigma on behalf of Atrius Health.”

At least one out of every five adults in Massachusetts will experience a mental illness this year.  However, mental illness remains mostly a secret at places of work on account of stigma.  CEOs Against Stigma – which is funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office – leverages the power of chief executives to open lines of communication about mental health conditions and eliminate the institutional stigma that exists, even in the best of workplaces.

CEOs Against Stigma is now more than 80 members strong,” says Laurie Martinelli, Executive Director of NAMI Mass.  “Dr. Strongwater understands that by providing benefits and support for mental health to his employees, he can create a healthier environment for everyone.”

By signing the pledge, Dr. Strongwater has made a commitment to his more than 6,800 employees to create a stigma-free environment and invite dialogue about mental health conditions without fear of disclosure. Atrius Health will also make employees aware of the mental health benefits available to them and bring in NAMI’s In Our Own Voice (IOOV) presentation, which has been recognized by a leading national mental health researcher as the most effective anti-stigma program in America. IOOV’s powerful presentations feature two people sharing their personal stories of recovery.

“By being more open about mental illness we can begin to help reduce stigma and make it easier for our friends and coworkers to seek out and receive the treatment they need,” said Strongwater. “I commend NAMI-Massachusetts for their tremendous work on this campaign.”

CEOs Against Stigma is open to any Massachusetts-based company with at least 50 employees.  For more information about CEOs Against Stigma, click here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *