According to a city press release,
Mayor Ed Gainey today signed the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Keystone Pennsylvania’s CEOs Against Stigma Pledge to end mental health stigma and provide resources for city employees living with mental illness. By signing the CEO Pledge, executives are joining a program that will increase their knowledge of employee mental health, empowering them and their leadership team to create a culture where mental wellness is a priority.
NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania’s mission is to raise awareness about mental health and provide recovery-focused support, education, and advocacy for people living with mental illness and their loved ones. NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania also works to end the stigma associated with mental health. The organization received a grant through the Staunton Farm Foundation for the CEOs Against Stigma Pledge initiative. The Staunton Farm Foundation’s mission is to make grants to support treatment, services, and system improvements for all people living with behavioral health issues.
“As the chief executive for the City of Pittsburgh, I am committed to creating a culture of support for our workforce,” said Mayor Gainey. “We must normalize conversations about mental health, ensure our workers receive necessary resources to get help, and end the stigma around mental illness. Thank you to NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania and the Staunton Farm Foundation for your continued work in this effort.”
The CEOs Against Stigma Pledge is designed to increase worker productivity across the region by ending the stigma regarding mental health and providing information and resources for companies that sign on. NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania quotes “depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide costing the U.S. economy $2-10.5 billion per year in absenteeism, lost productivity, and medical costs.”
Mayor Gainey was joined by Janet Manuel, Director of Human Resources, Christine Michaels, CEO, NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania, Debbie Ference, COO, NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania, Maria Kakay, Director of Communications and Marketing, NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania, Aleta Barnett, Director of Education and Support Services, NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania, Christie Cawley, CEOs Against Stigma Program Ambassador, Joni Schwager, Executive Director, Staunton Farm Foundation, and Bethany Hemmingway, Program Officer, Staunton Farm Foundation for the official signing of the pledge.
Photos of the ceremony are available on request.