OK2TALK Encourages Communication to Overcome Mental Health Struggles

Santa Barbara, California, psychiatrist Neal Mazer, MD, MPH, specializes in strong pro-social treatment of troubled adolescents and children. With over three decades of state, nonprofit, and private mental health service, Dr. Neal Mazer has long worked with young patients expressing frustration with communicating. Poor communication tends to lead to isolation, which only exacerbates a patient’s mental health issue(s).

On July 23, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) launched OK2TALK, a campaign aimed at youth who may be struggling with mental health issues, as well as the family and friends who love them. The Washington, D.C., event was attended by NAB President/CEO and former Senator Gordon Smith, officials from the White House and Congress, and representatives from multiple national mental health and suicide prevention organizations.

As a nationwide, multiplatform project, OK2TALK includes a series of radio and television public service announcements aimed at increasing mental health awareness and encouraging troubled youth to talk about their experiences. The lynchpin of the campaign is the website OK2TALK.org, a moderated tumblr-based community in which teens and young adults are encouraged to share their personal stories of struggle and recovery with others who may be experiencing the same difficulties.

Just as its name suggests, OK2TALK is ultimately about opening up lines of communication. When that happens, the road to controlling a young person’s other mental health difficulties becomes much easier.