It's Okay to Get Help!

The Mental Health Association of Palm Beach County is leading a public education and awareness campaign to reduce the stigma of seeking mental health treatment. The campaign involves a collaboration of organizations involved in the prevention of mental health problems and the delivery of services to those in need. This groundbreaking new collaboration is focused on prevention and early intervention rather than waiting until a critical stage is reached and a crisis occurs.

This campaign seeks to lower the stigma of getting mental health care using public education on television and in other public settings. This prevention and education campaign reduces illness progression and reduces devastating consequences for families, employers, and the community.

Press Release


(December 14, 2009) –West Palm Beach, Florida. Caregivers work hard to care for those they love. But who takes care of the caregiver? Pam Gionfriddo, CEO of the Mental Health Association of Palm Beach County announced today that the organization has begun a public service campaign. The It’s Okay to Get Help! Campaign is designed to lower the stigma of asking for help and provide resources to those who need help. The Mental Health Minute featured here includes several local leaders including Jaime Estremera-Fitzgerald, CEO of Area Agency on Aging, Judy Brustad, Director of the Palm Healthcare Pavilion, Jennifer Mainor (Palm Healthcare’s Nurse of the year), and Anita Epstein, a family caregiver and many more. All giving the same message: It’s Okay to Get Help! Please view this one minute film.

The Mental Health Association provides a variety of resources on its new web site including caregiver support groups, workshops, and information specifically for caregivers. MHA also offers referrals to the many caregiver support services of AAA and Palm Healthcare Foundation, and many others.

If your organization provides help for caregivers, please let us know so we can include your workshops, and other resources in our Mental Health Resource and Learning Center!

On December 14, 2009, and continuing through the end of the year, public service announcements called Mental Health Minutes will air throughout Palm Beach County on a variety of Comcast stations. Each of these segments will be related to specific mental health and wellness topics. At the conclusion of each message, contact information for the Mental Health Association of Palm Beach County will be provided for use by the general public. The Mental Health Association of Palm Beach County will direct respondents to local resources and services best able to service their area of need.

Mrs. Gionfriddo stated “We believe that it is extremely important that people realize that there is no longer a stigma attached to seeking mental health services such as counseling or support groups. We are thrilled to be able to offer this service in our community and truly appreciate the many wonderful organizations that have helped us achieve this goal."

The It’s Okay to Get Help project is ground breaking for Palm Beach County and replicates a similar effort in Indian River County. The first Mental Health Minutes deal with issues related to prescription drug abuse by youth and issues impacting Caregivers. Segments feature community leaders, industry professionals and citizens. The project is being supported by the Area Agency on Aging, Palm Healthcare Foundation, the Palm Beach Film Commission and others. Future Mental Health Minutes are expected to address the topics of stress and anxiety, situational depression, risky behaviors among teenagers, and more.