Make It OK to talk about mental illness in May

By Make It OK-Iowa on Friday, April 29, 2022

Mental Health Awareness Month

The Make It OK campaign in Iowa, led by the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative, has released tools and resources for employers across the state to raise awareness of mental health and take steps to end the stigma during Mental Health Awareness Month in May.

Make It OK is a community campaign to reduce stigma by starting conversations and increasing understanding about mental illness. Mental Health Awareness Month, observed annually in May since 1949, is a globally-recognized mental health awareness event first started by Mental Health America.

“If Iowa workplaces aren’t putting an emphasis on mental health within their organizations, May is a great time to start or re-commit to starting the conversation,” said Jami Haberl, executive director of the Healthiest State Initiative. “Workplaces benefit from creating a culture that protects and supports the mental health of employees.”

The 2022 Mental Health Awareness Month toolkit – designed for use by individuals and workplaces – invites Iowans to Make It OK in May with:

  • Links to Make It OK and mental health resources
  • Social media posts and graphics
  • Outreach communication templates
  • Make It OK posters
  • Make It OK Stories: The Podcast


Year-round, Iowa employers are also invited to sign up as a Make It OK Registered Workplace and receive access to a comprehensive Make It OK: Employer Toolkit to support their efforts to de- stigmatize mental illness within their organizations. Globally, workplaces lose an estimated $1 trillion each year due to employees dealing with mental illness impacting their productivity.

Make It OK in Iowa is sponsored by Delta Dental of Iowa, City of Cedar Rapids, United Way of Central Iowa, Bank Iowa, MidAmerican Energy, Health Partners UnityPoint Health, Capital Crossroads, TrueNorth Companies, EquiTrust Life Insurance Company, Kum & Go, Businessolver, Athene Holding Ltd., Corteva Agriscience and American Enterprise.

To learn more about Make It OK, access the 2022 Mental Health Awareness Month toolkit or sign-up as a Make It OK Registered Workplace, visit


 May 2 – Make It OK Presentation (Virtual)

  • 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Cost is free, but pre-registration required.
  • Register:

• May 6 – Make It OK Ambassador Training (Virtual) 

  • 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
  • Cost is free, but pre-registration required.
  • Register: • May 11 – Make It OK Presentation on Facebook
  • Tune in at Noon:

• May 11 – Make It OK In May Facebook Live

  • Tune in from 12 p.m - 12:30 p.m .:

• May 14 – Make It OK Night with the Des Moines Menace

  • Game begins at 7:00 p.m. at Valley Stadium in West Des Moines
  • Purchase tickets here.
  • Limited Edition Make It OK Jerseys are available here. Proceeds from jersey sales go to the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative!

• May 20 – Make It OK Presentation (via Zoom) 

  • 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
  • Cost is free, but pre-registration required.
  • Register:

 • May 20 – Wear Green for Make It OK

  • Show your support for Mental Health Awareness Month by wearing your favorite green shirt, pants or other apparel!
  • Share a photo with #MakeItOK on social media to let your network know that you support Make It OK and ending the stigma.

• May 24 – Make It OK Presentation on Facebook

  • Tune in at 5 p.m.:

The Healthiest State Initiative is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization driven by the goal to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation. By engaging worksites, communities, schools, retail food, organizations, institutions and individuals, we can inspire Iowans and their communities to improve their health and happiness, and ultimately achieve our goal. For more information, visit