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Local company part of national ‘Stamp Out Stigma’ mental health campaign

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Leawood-based New Directions Behavioral Health is participating in a new national campaign aimed at reducing negative views about mental illness.

The Stamp Out Stigma initiative, organized by the Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness, aims to reach 1 million people this year to change perceptions about mental illness and substance abuse, according to a news release from the association.

Launched last week, the campaign encourages people to share their own stories about mental illness and substance abuse.

“The campaign reminds each of us that we can help transform the dialogue on mental health and addiction from a whisper to a conversation,” according to campaign materials.

The campaign allows participants to create custom Facebook profile images, badges and cover photos.

New Directions is one of nine member companies that comprise the behavioral health association. Company CEO John Quick is chair-elect of the association’s board.

“Mental illness and substance abuse disorders affect one in four of us,” Quick said in a news release, “yet much of the public is ashamed to talk about their disorder or seek treatment.”

Other member companies participating in the SOS campaign include: Aetna Behavioral Health, Beacon Health Strategies, Cenpatico, Cigna,  MHN and ValueOptions.

Founded in 1995, New Directions serves more than 8.5 million people nationwide through integrated medical and behavioral health programs. The company’s clients include health plans, Fortune 100 companies and third-party administrators.

Major Funding for Health coverage on KCPT provided by Assurant Employee Benefits and the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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