Ben Nemtin

By Make It OK-Iowa on Thursday, March 11, 2021

Make It OK! A Community Call to Action

Ben Nemtin shares message making the impossible possible

The "Make It OK! A Community Call to Action" drew more than 500 people from across the state on Thursday. The goal of the virtual event, hosted by Make It OK – Linn County, was to raise awareness about mental illness and its stigma, while also promoting mental health resources.

BenNew York Times bestselling author and international speaker Ben Nemtin shared his inspirational story of making the impossible possible during the event. Nemtin is the author of "What Do You Want to Do Before You Die?" and star of MTV’s highly rated show "The Buried Life." 

Nemtin dropped out of college due to anxiety and depression. He then, along with a group of three friends, created the Buried Life project where they traveled around North America crossing items off their bucket lists and helping strangers do the same. The project gave Nemtin purpose and inspired millions of others along the way.

MAKE IT OK: It's time to start talking about mental illness

Nemtin challenged the audience to great a bucket list for their own life and offered his "5 Steps to Make the Impossible Possible." He also acknowledged how challenging the year 2020 has been for all of us – especially those in Linn County – and shared some mental health tips from his own "resilience toolkit."

The event also featured videos of Linn County citizens and other lowans who support the Make It OK initiative, along with a community panel:

  • Mona McCalley-Whitters, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
  • Ben Woods, Van Meter
  • Anne Carter, community volunteer
  • Tanner Sather, college student and NAMI volunteer

Re-watch the full event, including Ben Nemtin's keynote address, above and visit to access all of the resources mentioned during the event.

MIOlogoMake It OK is community campaign to reduce stigma by starting conversations and increasing understanding about mental illness.  Start by learning what a mental illness really is. Then, find out what to say and not to say when someone opens up to you.  You can also help others by sharing your own story to help people know they aren’t alone. Learn more about how you can get involved at