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Kenneth Cole And An Alliance Of The Leading NGOs, Advocates, And Experts Announce Formation Of The Mental Health Coalition

NEW YORK, Oct. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, on World Mental Health Day, social activist and iconic fashion designer Kenneth Cole, announced the formation of The Mental Health Coalition, an initiative that will bring together the most respected and influential nonprofits, businesses, brands, celebrities and influencers for the first time in a large scale coordinated effort to destigmatize mental health conditions. This coordinated effort to rebrand the way we use language to describe mental health will introduce a new non-stigmatized vocabulary (both spoken and visual) that we hope will create a cultural shift that allows people to feel empowered and better able to navigate their world while embracing their mental health conditions.

Cole, a longtime board member and former chairman of amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, and current Goodwill Ambassador for UNAIDS, brings together an unprecedented group of leaders in the mental health space. The coalition will also develop an online platform and digital resource hub that will launch to the general public in May of 2020, Mental Health Awareness Month. The platform will be a place where those seeking help or guidance can easily navigate the mental health space, ultimately marrying critical resources to extraordinary needs.

According to The World Health Organization, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health condition in their lives. However, the coalition believes that 4 out of 4 individuals will be meaningfully impacted by it. The first step will be to address the impact of the stigma related to mental health on youth, ages 15-25. This is believed to be the time of life when mental illness most often presents itself and effective treatments are more likely to have sustainable impact.

The founding partners joining Cole on this important endeavor are from the following organizations (listed in alphabetical order):

  • The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
  • Bring Change to Mind
  • Child Mind Institute
  • Crisis Text Line
  • JED Foundation
  • Mental Health America
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
  • The Trevor Project

"I'm overwhelmed by the inspiring group of individuals and organizations who have agreed to join us in this critical effort to tackle an unprecedented crisis in an unprecedented way," says Kenneth Cole. "There is a role for everyone to play. We look forward to welcoming all like-minded organizations to join this collaborative effort at"

The visual identity of was created by the design firm Pentagram led by Paula Scher. The concept incorporates an iconic symbol that reflects a "square peg in a round hole." The logo symbolically represents everyone who has, or will, experience mental illness and who occasionally feel they do not 'fit in'.

Learn more about the work and mission of the Mental Health Coalition and get involved along with the following leaders from the below organizations:

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Everyone has mental health, but mental health literacy is nowhere near where it needs to be. Only when everyone has greater understanding and access to mental health care will we reduce the suicide rate. By working together through this Mental Health Coalition, we hope to improve awareness and education of this important issue, and empower all people with mental health conditions and their support network to reach out and connect." - Robert Gebbia, CEO of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Bring Change to Mind
"Bring Change to Mind is honored to be a founding member of Kenneth Cole's Coalition. We look forward to aligning with like-minded organizations, businesses and influencers to elevate mental health conversations and save lives." - Pamela Harrington, Executive Director, Bring Change to Mind

Child Mind Institute
"There are so many barriers preventing people — particularly young people, marginalized communities and underserved populations — from getting the mental health services they need and deserve. It will take a multidisciplinary coalition like this one to break down those barriers, and the Child Mind Institute is proud to be a part of it." - Harold S. Koplewicz, MD President Child Mind Institute

Crisis Text Line
"At Crisis Text Line we see data that shows the massive growth of pain in America. We're pumped Kenneth and this coalition are coming together to crush it." - Nancy Lublin, CEO and Founder of Crisis Text Line

JED Foundation
"Our coalition brings some of the most successful and knowledgeable leaders in the mental health field to focus on reducing wide-spread stigma among our young people." - Phil Satow, Chairman of the Board

Mental Health America
Mental Health America is excited to be a founding partner of the Mental Health Coalition and honored to be part of such an incredible group of people and organizations dedicated to addressing mental illness in this country. It's long past time to come together to elevate the conversation about mental illness, to start treating mental health as we do physical health, and to recognize that we need to address mental health before crisis – Before Stage 4." - Paul Gionfriddo, MHA president and CEO

National Alliance on Mental Illness [NAMI]
"It is time that we come together to elevate this social issue and bring a new level of awareness to the movement. This coalition is essential and the time is now – for each of us, for our society, our communities and ourselves, to help galvanize to address this crisis and to unite to save lives." - Katrina Gay, National Director, Strategic Partnerships, NAMI

The Trevor Project
"A complex issue like mental health affects all communities throughout the country, including LGBTQ young people. The Trevor Project is honored to participate in a coalition that recognizes the need for a strong, diverse group of nonprofits, businesses, experts and advocates to effectively destigmatize mental health." - Amit Paley, CEO & Executive Director, The Trevor Project

About The Mental Health Coalition

The Mental Health Coalition, announced on World Mental Health Day, is a powerful collective of the most influential and respected nonprofits, businesses, advocates and experts coming together to destigmatize the mental health crisis. Its goals are to shine a light on the severity of mental health, address the devastating stigma affecting so many living with mental health issues and build a community that engages stakeholders and attaches extraordinary resources with extraordinary needs. The creative platform will formally launch to the public in May of 2020, Mental Health Awareness Month. To get involved with the coalition, visit us at


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SOURCE Kenneth Cole