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The Webby for Good, produced in partnership with WP Engine, is a showcase of Webby-honored projects and campaigns that are promoting social good in the world.

Describe your project. What is it, what was the elevator pitch?

Mental illness stigma can be stopped with conversation and understanding. MakeItOK.org educates visitors about mental illness stigma, shares tips for talking, and encourages them to start a conversation.

What key challenges did you face with this project? And how did you overcome them?

We wished to feature real-life stigma stories, but initially very few users were submitting stories – likely due to shame and fear. The Make It OK website helped to break down this stigma and create a community of supporters who advocate for conversation and openness about mental illness. Through partnerships with PBS and MPR, we’ve engaged influencers (including comedians Maria Bamford, Andy Richter, and many others) to join the conversation, share their stories about living with mental illnesses, and tips for breaking down stigma. Their courage has inspired many others to open up about their stigma stories and share tips for how others can help make it OK.

What was the most rewarding aspect of working on your project?

It has been extremely rewarding to give those who’ve faced stigma a place to share their experiences, to be able to help those who need treatment with finding the resources they need, to change the conversation around mental illness, and create a community of understanding and support.

When working on this project, what were some of the most important conversations you had with your team?

Many mental health websites feel clinical and sterile. We wished to humanize the website, incorporate a bright color palette that inspired hope, and share real, user-submitted stories. We made the purposeful decision not to edit stories, but rather to leave them raw and unfiltered. It is important not to gloss over dark details or edit the stories to make them “lighter” and “happier.” Living with mental illness can be extremely challenging and the stigma can be detrimental to one’s recovery. We wished to share a window into the stigma faced, spark an emotional connection, and inspire understanding.

About the Activism category

Sites facilitating political change, social movement, human rights, public education and reform, or revolution.