October 29, 2019

Health Affairs Grantwatch: “Why We Are Building A Community Of ‘Emotional Support Humans'”

Horizon Foundation President and CEO Nikki Highsmith Vernick penned a guest blog post in Health Affairs‘ Grantwatch explaining the beginnings of the Emotional Support Human Etiquette campaign and how we are addressing mental health awareness.

Through humorous illustrations and messages, we created a different kind of mental health campaign— one that encourages people to approach this subject with humor and without fear or shame. Modeled on the concept of “emotional support animals,” which provide comfort to many, the campaign urges people to become “Emotional Support Humans” for their loved ones who may be struggling.

Health Affairs is the leading journal of health policy thought and research.  The peer-reviewed journal was founded in 1981 under the aegis of Project HOPE, a nonprofit international health education organization. Health Affairs explores health policy issues of current concern in domestic and international spheres.

The campaign is one part of a large body of work to support our community’s mental well-being and promote early intervention. Other work includes funding the expansion of school-based mental health services in the Howard County Public School System, providing mental health support for children in Head Start, holding Mental Health Film Festivals and expanding free Mental Health First Aid and suicide prevention trainings in the county.