INDIANAPOLIS — You’ve probably watched the commercial, but what actually is the “Kicking the Stigma” campaign?
For Indianapolis Colts owner and CEO Jim Irsay, it’s all about embracing and encouraging those who battle mental illness.
Irsay appeared on CNN over the weekend, and went into detail about the Colts’ new campaign.
“We want to find the lonely, find the people who are hurting,” Irsay told CNN, “when people are lonely, hurt, and afraid, you don’t attack them – you try to find ways to embrace them.”
The back and forth battle with mental illness is something that Irsay admits to struggling with himself. He says it’s been a constant battle with himself, and for his family.
“This illness has affected my family for many generations, and I’m not ashamed to say that,” Irsay told CNN, “I’m very proud to say it because when you come through something like this, it really makes you a better person and changes the world for the better.”
The “Kicking the Stigma” commercials also feature Colts outside linebacker Darius Leonard, who has detailed his own battles with mental health issues. Irsay appears right alongside Leonard in the commercial spots and is more than happy to put his name on this initiative.
Irsay told CNN, “We want to see more compassion and find more ways to help people, so it’s been a privilege and I’m humbled to help out in any way that I can.”
He tells CNN that his strategy for offering mental health resources is similar to a soldier’s strategy on the battlefield.
“As they say, we leave no man or woman behind, and that’s the same way we feel about ‘Kicking the Stigma’.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues, click here for links to events, programs, and resources that may be able to help in the fight against mental illness.