The First National Summit to End Stigma: You’re Invited!

Learn how this Grand Challenge is scaling exponentially for maximum national impact to reduce mental health stigma together


Here’s Your Invitation to Learn More and Participate

Stigma surrounding mental health and substance use disorders is the most common barrier blocking people from getting care. The mission of Stop Stigma Together (SST) is to unite our passion, drive, and expertise into powerful strategic actions that end the stigma around mental health and substance use disorders.

Stigma is a social construct; it will take a social movement to dismantle it. Join us to learn how to be an ally and activist. Come to be inspired, kindle your passion, and join your energy with like-minded motivated advocates from all walks of society. 

Taking place at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah, the three-day event will focus on research, program initiatives, and policies that address stigma in rural communities, children, youth and families, the media and news, the criminal justice system, faith-based communities, the workplace, marginalized communities, and underserved populations.

This one-of-a-kind experience is designed to inspire and support participants to take action. Whether you are an industry professional, researcher, an advocate fighting for change, or a person living with a mental health condition, the Stop Stigma Together Summit has something for you.

The National Summit to End Stigma: Our Roots

Just about two years ago, thirty acknowledged leaders in the US mental health space gathered with the Huntsman family and the CEO of the Huntsman Mental Health Institute to create a call to action, to work together to end the stigma surrounding mental health and substance use disorders on a national scale.

Specifically following the National Academies working report on the topic, our Grand Challenge attacks stigma through action on three levels:

  1. Structural stigma in laws, regulations, policies
  2. Public stigma in our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of individuals and groups, and
  3. Self-stigma in internalized negative stereotypes

To date, with the Huntsman Mental Health Institute acting as lead facilitator and coordinator, we have:

  • Engaged the largest and most prestigious organizations in mental health, including national professional societies, mental health and substance use disorder service providers, federal agencies in this space (OSHA, HRSA, DoD, CDC, HHS), and think tanks  (The Kennedy Forum, Inseparable, The National Council for Mental Wellbeing).
  • Established metrics including surveys keyed to target populations to get  feedback and measure the impact of our work.
  • Worked together with leaders from marginalized populations to reach their communities, including Black, Latino, rural, Asian American Pacific Islander, Indigenous Peoples, LGBTQ+, and inner-city populations to reduce stigma and other barriers to care.
  • Brought the Ad Council on board to craft national public campaigns across various media, including social media platforms.

Already, over 300 organizations have joined together with Stop Stigma Together and are committed to take action to eliminate stigma.

This event is a unique opportunity to come together as a community dedicated to stopping mental health stigma. Being together in the same room for these diverse and exciting sessions will allow us to cross-pollinate ideas, jumpstart projects, and impact American society in unprecedented ways. As we coordinate our many efforts toward stigma reduction, we are far more powerful than when we work alone.”
– Glen Kreiner, L.S. Skaggs Presidential Endowed Chair in Business Ethics, Univ. of Utah

Timeline of Lead-Up Events from Spring 2022 to the Present

Design Summit

The  agenda of this Touchstone Event illustrates the breadth and depth of involvement of many stakeholders. It kicks off with a keynote speech by “the Bipolar General” Gregg Martin, a major general in the US Army whose memoir, My Forever War with Mental Health, serves as both an education and a source of inspiration, aiming to dispel the stigma around mental illness, alleviate suffering, and save lives.

Subsequent events range from a presentation from the SST Rural Task Force, how public/private partnerships can address stigma, the economic cost of mental health inequities in the US, tackling youth mental health stigma, and how mental health journalism can help in this fight. Finally, ample space is given–over meals and scheduled open meeting times–for spontaneous conversations, collaborations, and introductions to take place.

If this is something that calls to you, please register today and introduce yourself to me in June in Salt Lake City!

Solving social problems is inherently SOCIAL-it happens in community. I’m looking for researchers, academicians, and those on the front lines who are battling overwhelming issues. The community will include leaders in all aspects of society: nonprofits, corporations, government agencies, independent agents, and thought leaders.

If you’re passionate about Grand Challenges or would like to be, visit my Medium account, where I am publishing on Grand Challenges. Let’s work together to address these sticky, systemic, complex, and wicked issues once and for all, for the sake of future generations of life on Earth.

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