Make It OK! A Community Call to Action

posted on Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Ben Nemtin to speak at free Make It OK community event

Nemtin is a New York Times bestselling author and 'The Buried Life' star

New York Times bestselling author and international speaker Ben Nemtin will deliver a message of making the impossible possible at “Make It OK! A Community Call to Action” on March 11.

The free virtual event will be hosted by Make It OK – Linn County from 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. to raise awareness about mental illness and its stigma, while also promoting resources available for community members, workplaces, schools and places of worship.

REGISTER: Make It OK! A Community Call to Action

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." An acclaimed keynote speaker, Nemtin has headlined business conferences and Fortune 100 leadership teams around the world.

Nemtin will be joined by a community panel including:

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

The panel will share strategies on how to reduce stigma and support individuals in getting help.  Lura McBride, President and CEO of Van Meter, and Michelle Niermann, President and CEO of UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids, will serve as emcees for the event.


As we continue to navigate the coronavirus pandemic, nearly half of adults in the United States indicated the pandemic is having a negative impact on their mental health and nearly 20 percent have said a “major impact," according to a recent poll.  Additional mental health stressors have been felt in Linn County and surrounding areas since August 2020, due to the damaging derecho storm.

“It’s hard to imagine there’s ever been a more important time to Make It OK,” said Niermann. “We know that mental health conditions were already widely prevalent, and the pandemic has made anxiety and depression even more common among people of all ages. We want people to know it is OK to talk about mental health, it is OK to seek help and it is more than OK – in fact, it’s critical – that we all learn how to best support those who may be struggling. We’re proud to be part of Make It OK, and we hope many will join us.” 

Make it OK – Linn County is a community initiative to change the misconceptions surrounding mental illness and encourage people to talk more openly about mental illness and make it OK to ask for help.

RELATED: Learn more about Make It OK

The planning group for this community initiative is supported by UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids and AbbeHealth Services, NAMI, Linn County Public Health, Foundation 2, Mercy Medical Center, Tanager and community volunteers. Presenting sponsors for the event are UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids and The MedQuarter Regional Medical District.

Make It OK! A Community Call to Action
  • Date: 3/11/2021
  • Time: 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • Cost: Free
  • Location: Virtual
  • Register: Click here