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Make It OK, Greater Des Moines Partnership and Capital Crossroads Unveil Virtual Mental Health Series Titled "6 Weeks of Make It OK"

August 4, 2020

GREATER DES MOINES, IA (July 30, 2020) — The Make It OK campaign in Iowa, led by the Healthiest State Initiative, has announced a six-week virtual mental health series, in tandem with the Greater Des Moines Partnership and Capital Crossroads, titled “6 Weeks of Make It OK.”

Each week, attendees will hear about a different topic – ranging from “Make It OK and Back to School” to “Making It OK at Work.” The diverse group of speakers includes Dr. Yogesh Shah with Broadlawns; Chaney Yeast, LMSW, JD of UnityPoint Health; Destinee Woodris with Iowa Department of Public Health; Stephanie MacFarland of Des Moines Public Schools; Ana Delgado – a college student; Annie Brandt of Bank of America, and Dr. Lauren Patrick of University Dental Group, to name a few. The sessions will be held on Thursdays starting August 20, from Noon to 1 p.m. or 1:30 p.m. You can sign up for the first session or all the sessions here.

“Stigma prevents people struggling with a mental illness from seeking the help they deserve. This leads to increased absenteeism in schools and lower productivity rates for Iowa businesses,” said Jami Haberl, executive director for the Healthiest State Initiative. “Conversations like these are the first step to Make It OK for all Iowans across all sectors.”

Make It OK is national campaign to reduce stigma by starting conversations and increasing understanding about mental illness. The campaign was created and launched by HealthPartners in Minnesota in 2012 before being introduced to Iowa in May 2019. Since then, the Make It OK message already reached more than 2,000 Iowans through formal presentations and 165 Make It OK Ambassadors have been trained.

The goal of “6 Weeks of Make It OK” is to have conversations around mental health that look at how we cope with our own well-being. Collective and individual mental health is fundamental to how we think, work, and interact with our families, friends, colleagues and greater community. We’ll hear stories from community members and discuss ideas for taking care of our own mental health (or the mental health of others). This will be a mix of panel and speaker led sessions, with time at the end for Q&A. Additional resources will also be shared at the end of each session.

“Given this constant state of change we’re all living and working in, there is a need for continued conversations around mental health and overall wellness,” said Meg Schneider, Senior Vice President of Business Resources and Community Development at the Greater Des Moines Partnership. “The Make It OK campaign is a reminder to us all that mental health is something we all have to tend to, personally and professionally.”

Make It OK in Iowa is sponsored by Delta Dental, HealthPartners UnityPoint Health, MercyOne Des Moines, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, Capital Crossroads, Polk County Board of Supervisors and United Way of Central Iowa. To learn more about Make It OK, visit IowaHealthiestState.com/MakeItOK.

About the Healthiest State Initiative

The Healthiest State Initiative is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization driven by the goal to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation. By engaging worksites, communities, schools, retail food, organizations, institutions and individuals, we can inspire Iowans and their communities to improve their health and happiness, and ultimately achieve our goal. For more information, visit www.iowahealthieststate.com.

About the Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 24 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 365 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.

About Capital Crossroads

Capital Crossroads is a bold but achievable vision pushing Central Iowans to dream big, not settle for good enough, think long term, and work together. Capital Crossroads brings together nearly 700 community volunteers to meet the challenges of the future while building on our past successes. It is in partnership with the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Prairie Meadows, Catch Des Moines and the United Way of Central Iowa. Learn more at capitalcrossroadsvision.com.