Mental illness continues to be an affliction that preys on too many people, and that too few understand. That must change.
Fighting that battle is the statewide grassroots movement, OkaytoSay.org. Launched by Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute in February, the movement is committed to expanding the conversation about mental illness and helping people find effective treatment. It has recruited as spokespeople some heavy hitters in the area who have either dealt with mental illness personally or in their families, to spread their cause.
Longtime Dallas Cowboys broadcaster Brad Sham and Texas Rangers Hall of Fame broadcaster Eric Nadel both make impassioned video pleas, sharing their support of those with mental health issues and encouraged people in Texas, and nationwide, to speak openly about mental illness.
Sham insists we must change our attitudes and end the stigma.
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Nadel, who said his family and his wife’s family have histories of mental health issues, said people suffering with mental illness should not be forced to hide behind it for fear of being fired or criticized or demeaned: “I know too many people now whose lives have been lost to suicide … It should not be something that people are ashamed of. It is an illness, a mental illness.”
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and former Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith are also a part of the campaign.