March 04, 2015
Booz Allen Hamilton (NYSE: BAH) is proud to be a founding member of ‘The Campaign to Change Direction,’ a national initiative to create a new story in America about mental health, mental illness and wellness. As part of a collective effort led by Give an Hour, Booz Allen joined 50 other campaign partners in this effort with its pledge to educate employees about mental health issues.
Inspired by discussions at the White House National Conference on Mental Health in 2013, ‘Change Direction’ is a response to the way society addresses mental health. One in five Americans live with a diagnosable mental health condition, and it is expected that more Americans will die by suicide than in car accidents this year.
Booz Allen Senior Vice President Andrea Inserra, a member of the Campaign’s steering committee, says, “I am so proud to have been a part of the excellent work the Campaign to Change Direction has undertaken since its inception shortly after the shootings and Sandy Spring Elementary School. Booz Allen Hamilton has committed to do our part to change the conversation about mental health. Over the next 5 years, the firm has pledged to educate 11,000 of our employees on the signs and symptoms of emotional health issues. We are further committed to promoting positive emotional well-being in the workplace, fostering a holistic approach to wellness.”
The campaign launched at a mental health summit at the Newseum on March 4, which included a keynote address from First Lady Michelle Obama, an appearance by Academy Award-winning producer of “Silver Linings Playbook,” Brue Cohen, and a performance by G.R.L., a musical girl group that was personally touched by the issue when their lead singer, Simone Battle, committed suicide in September 2014.
“Give an Hour is proud to lead this collective impact effort of partners from every sector of society as we change the direction of mental health in our nation. By creating a shared mission, by educating Americans about the five signs of emotional suffering, by encouraging compassion and action, we can change our culture to reflect what we know to be true—that mental health is not something to be afraid of or embarrassed about,” said Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, founder and president of Give an Hour.
Booz Allen Hamilton encourages individuals and other organizations to “help change the direction” of mental health in our country by making a pledge. The simplest pledge is one that anyone can do: Learn the five signs of emotional suffering so you can recognize them in yourself or help a loved one who may be in emotional pain. To learn more or to make a pledge to Change Direction, visit www.changedirection.org.