- New survey shows that widespread stigma surrounds mental illnesses and many people struggle with how they can help
- Majority believe societal stigma prevents people with mental illnesses from seeking help
- The Art of Ending Stigma strives to help educate about the biological basis of mental illnesses, break down stigma and build empathy through artistic expression
TITUSVILLE, N.J., June 26, 2018 – The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson and Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC are joining with Mental Health America, OneMind, PeaceLove and other leading mental health and arts organizations to leverage the power of artistic creation to break down stigma about mental illnesses and build greater empathy and understanding. Champions of Science: The Art of Ending Stigma, a new global project, encourages all people to share artistic expressions about mental illnesses and the importance of overcoming stigma, while also educating about the biological basis of these diseases.
People can submit their artwork to be featured in an online gallery at artofendingstigma.com. Additionally, people can share their creativity with others using the hashtag #ArtofEndingStigma.
The website also features educational resources about mental illnesses and combatting stigma, and suggestions about how to seek help or offer support to those who are experiencing mental health challenges.
Click to Tweet: Janssen and Johnson & Johnson Innovation announce new global project: Champions of Science: The #ArtofEndingStigma and invites you to participate by sharing an original artistic expression about #mentalillness and the importance of fighting stigma. http://po.st/Y55iZO
The project’s goals are underscored by a new national survey of U.S. adults aged 18+ conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of Janssen and Johnson & Johnson Innovation. Nearly all survey participants (92 percent) believe there is stigma in our society against those with mental illnesses. Of them, 81 percent attribute stigma to lack of understanding, followed by about half (52 percent) who say it is because of how mental illnesses are portrayed in popular culture. Further, among those who know someone with a mental illness, 62 percent say that person is or has been afraid to seek treatment.
“Globally, one person out of four will be affected by a mental or neurological disorder at some point in his or her life, and, quite tragically, 90 percent of all who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness.[i],[ii] Stigma and misinformation prevent many from getting appropriate treatment and support in developed and under-developed countries alike,” said Adam Savitz, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Director of Clinical Research, Neuroscience, Janssen Research & Development, L.L.C. “Fighting mental illnesses is as much about helping society overcome misperceptions as it is about empowering people to manage their diseases. Artistic expression can be a powerful tool for all involved. The Art of Ending Stigma project will help people cope and recover, and it will engage many more through greater understanding and empathy.”
Janssen is donating $5,000 to each nonprofit organization participating in the program to honor the work they do in the mental health and art communities.
“There is growing support for people living with mental illnesses, but misunderstanding still exists about what day-to-day life is like for those of us living with these disorders,” said Jeffrey Sparr, artist and co-founder of Peace Love, an organization that helps people find their voices through expressive arts and storytelling programs. “The power of art to communicate can be transformational and can help us break down the stigma. It can demonstrate to people how we overcome daily obstacles that they would otherwise never see, and it provides unique perspectives about how stigma is harmful to those with mental health challenges.”
Champions of Science: The Art of Ending Stigma will accept art submissions from the public in a variety of formats and styles from June 26 through October 31, 2018. Select artwork will be featured at an upcoming scientific symposium about advances in the neurobiology of mental illnesses at the New York Academy of Sciences on October 9, 2018. For inspiration and to participate in the project, go to www.artofendingstigma.com.
Additional Survey Results
Other findings from the survey highlight the nation’s divided mindset about people living with mental illnesses, revealing general support for providing individuals with greater help, but also misinformed views that can undermine that perspective.
- Almost all survey respondents (99 percent) feel it’s important for people living with mental illnesses to get the help they need, and more than three-quarters (76 percent) don’t think enough is being done in our society to help those with mental illnesses.
- At the same time, one in five survey respondents (19 percent) say they do not believe that all mental illnesses are serious medical conditions.
- 86 percent believe psychological factors, such as character flaws and weakness, play a role in mental illnesses.
- While more than two-thirds of survey respondents (68 percent) know someone with a mental illness, the majority (62 percent) say they don’t know how to help them.
- Nearly half of survey respondents who know someone with a mental illness (48 percent) say they do not know how to speak to them about seeking treatment, and a third (34 percent) do not feel comfortable discussing mental health issues with family and friends.
About the survey
The survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of Janssen between February 21 and March 7, 2018 among 2,000 U.S. adults aged 18+. Figures for age, gender, income, employment, race/ethnicity, region, education, marital status and size of household were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.
About Champions of Science
Science touches our lives in every imaginable way. From antibiotics and telecommunications, to genomics, precision medicine and 3D printing, science has improved the human condition, leading to longer, healthier, happier lives for people all over the world. To continue to advance, science needs champions!
As a global healthcare company, the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies is uniquely positioned to champion the role of science in society. We have launched Champions of Science – a multi-faceted public engagement initiative – to convene and catalyze champions of science and engage people of all generations and backgrounds to see the unlimited opportunities that science brings.
About the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson
At the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, we are working to create a world without disease. Transforming lives by finding new and better ways to prevent, intercept, treat and cure disease inspires us. We bring together the best minds and pursue the most promising science. We are Janssen. We collaborate with the world for the health of everyone in it. Learn more at www.janssen.com. Follow us at www.twitter.com/JanssenUS and www.twitter.com/JanssenGlobal.
About Johnson & Johnson Innovation
Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC focuses on accelerating all stages of innovation worldwide and forming collaborations between entrepreneurs and Johnson & Johnson's global healthcare businesses. Johnson & Johnson Innovation provides scientists, entrepreneurs and emerging companies with one stop access to science and technology experts who can facilitate collaborations across the pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer companies of Johnson & Johnson.
Under the Johnson & Johnson Innovation umbrella of businesses, we connect with innovators through our regional Innovation Centers, JLABS, Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JJDC, Inc. and our Business Development teams to create customized deals and novel collaborations that speed development of innovations to solve unmet needs in patients. For more information please visit www.jnjinnovation.com.
[i] “World Health Report.” World Health Organization, October 2001. Web April 2018. <http://www.who.int/whr/2001/media_centre/press_release/en/>.
[ii] “Risk of Suicide.” NAMI. Web April 2018. <https://www.nami.org/learn-more/mental-health-conditions/related-conditions/suicide>.