President Cevallos Joins Campaign to End Workplace Stigma Related to Mental Illness

President Cevallos Joins Campaign to End Workplace Stigma Related to Mental Illness

Mar 31, 2017

Framingham State University President F. Javier Cevallos has joined a statewide campaign to eliminate workplace stigma related to mental illness organized by the Massachusetts chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

The CEOs Against Stigma Campaign was launched in 2015 with a grant from the Attorney General’s office. Mental health conditions – including depression and anxiety – affect one in five adults and is the number one cause of workplace disability. Unlike physical illnesses, they carry a stigma that prevents people from discussing them at work. They can lead to high turnover, low productivity and increased employer costs.

“The well-being of our students and employees is my top priority, which is why I enthusiastically support NAMI’s CEOs Against Stigma campaign,” President Cevallos says. “Mental illness is a serious issue that can only be addressed by combatting the stigma that surrounds it and ensuring that those who are affected receive the services and care they deserve.”

NAMI Mass and its affiliates are committed to signing 250 executives and elected leaders to the campaign and reaching half a million employees. Any Massachusetts company with at least 50 employees can join.

“By joining CEOs Against Stigma, top executives are helping to change the misperceptions about mental illness by encouraging people to open up and speak freely about the conditions that affect them and their immediate families. Most importantly, through their support, these leaders across the Commonwealth are helping people to seek treatment,” says NAMI Mass Executive Director Laurie Martinelli. “We are very proud of these CEOs who have stepped up to the plate and signed our pledge to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness.”

As part of this campaign, participating employers host In Our Own Voice, a NAMI signature program featuring two people living with mental illness who share their personal stories and how they are achieving recovery. The In Our Own Voice program has been recognized by a leading national mental health researcher as the most effective anti-stigma program in America.

“We all stand to benefit from improving our awareness and understanding of mental illness,” President Cevallos says.

Founded in 1982, NAMI Mass is a nonprofit, grassroots education, support and advocacy organization. It is the state’s voice on mental illness, with 21 local chapters and more than 2,000 members. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for people with mental health challenges and their families by educating the public; fighting stigma, discrimination and stereotypes; and promoting recovery. To that end, the organization offers free, peer-led programs that provide resources, insights, coping skills and genuine support.

For more information about CEOs Against Stigma, visit:

About Framingham State University

Framingham State University was founded in 1839 as the nation’s first public university for the education of teachers. Since that time, it has evolved into a vibrant, comprehensive liberal arts institution offering small, personalized classes on a beautiful New England campus. Today, the University enrolls more than 6,000 students with 58 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professional fields. As a State College and University (SCU), Framingham State prides itself on quality academic programs, affordability, and commitment to access for all qualified students.