Supporting Those With Depression, One Conversation at a Time


KP’s 2017 awareness campaign continues stigma reduction efforts and broadens focus to the power words have in supporting those with depression and other mental health conditions.

Many people experience depression. It’s common, but it isn’t always easy to talk about — or to ask for help.

Words have power, and Kaiser Permanente wants people to know that they’re not alone, whether they’re the one living with depression, or they want to lend support to a loved one.

In 2016, we launched “Find Your Words,” a national public health awareness effort focused on starting a conversation around mental health and wellness and reminding people that there is hope for those living with depression. In 2017, we’re broadening the campaign, and while still focusing on stigma reduction, we want people to understand the power words have in supporting others.

“We are continuing our efforts to reduce stigma around mental health. This year, our focus extends to the families and friends who are supporting loved ones living with depression,” explained Christine Paige, senior vice president, Marketing and Digital Services. “We want to equip them with the resources they can use to help. We’re also encouraging people to continue to share their own stories to spark conversations around mental health and wellness.”

What will you say?

Our campaign continues this year and will feature a video called “Find Your Words.” It debuted on October 9 and will run in select movie theaters and on online platforms through November in all KP regions except Washington, which is continuing its overall brand introduction campaign.

The video features text messages exchanged between two friends, one of whom mentions struggling with feelings of depression. After three dots appear on screen signifying a text message is being typed, an important question is asked: “When someone tells you they’re depressed, what will you say?”

A call to action at the end of the video directs viewers to the updated version of, which has expanded information on how to help someone who may be experiencing depression or other mental health conditions. It includes:

The conversation continues

Kaiser Permanente commissioned a national consumer poll of more than 3,000 people in August to gain insights on attitudes, behaviors, beliefs, and barriers that may contribute to the stigma around mental health. Conducted in both English and Spanish, the data includes results based on generational, ethnic, and regional (i.e., U.S. Census Bureau regions) factors. Kaiser Permanente will use the poll results to fuel the public conversation on mental health and wellness and to inform our ongoing work to reduce stigma and advance patient-centered mental health care.

Additionally, Kaiser Permanente has partnered with StoryCorps, an NPR affiliate, to record five (including one in Spanish) unscripted personal interviews to help reduce stigma through sharing stories. These intimate audio portraits, along with insights from the consumer poll results, will be available on beginning October 16.

Proactive and positive

Through the Find Your Words campaign, the national poll, collaboration with community partners across the country, and many other efforts — including a $500,000 donation to Mental Health America to support Hurricane Harvey relief efforts — Kaiser Permanente seeks to change the dialogue around mental health with an approach that is open, proactive, and positive about the power to recover and improve.

“People experiencing depression or other mental health conditions should not struggle in silence,” said Don Mordecai, MD, Kaiser Permanente’s national leader for mental health and wellness. “We want to fight the stigma that is too often associated with mental health conditions. A great first step is to get people comfortable talking, expressing when they need help themselves, and knowing how to support others.”

Kaiser Permanente is continually working to be a leader in mental health care, and to develop a model of care that can be used by others throughout the health care community. The organization offers integrated care that focuses on early detection, personalized treatment, patient empowerment, and support designed to reduce stigma and fear, increase hope, and continually improve outcomes.

Whether you’re personally struggling or love someone who is, the first step toward getting help is having a conversation. There is hope, and there is help.

Share, like, and spread the word

Mental health and wellness is one of three themes explored during this year’s Thrive campaign. Last month we launched “Roomies,” which uses humor to illustrate our integrated care model. “Tireless” and “The Doctors Know What to Do” launched on September 18 and 25, respectively, and provide powerful illustrations of medical excellence at Kaiser Permanente.

Each video from this year’s Thrive campaign will be featured on insideKP, the KP YouTube channel, and social media sites including KP Thrive and KP Viva Bien on Facebook, and @kpthrive@kpshare, and @kpvivabien on Twitter.

We encourage you to share these videos with your friends and family, both in conversation and on social media.

Resources for KP employees

Our Employee Assistance Program can support you, whether you’re dealing with depression, workplace stress, or a personal situation. EAP services provide free and confidential short-term counseling and resources for KP employees and their immediate family members. Starting October 16, find ideas to reduce stress and create resiliency during the upcoming holiday season, and throughout the year, with EAP’s “Health and Happiness for the Holidays” magazine.

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