The lime green park bench is hard to miss – and that’s the
point. It’s designed to call attention to an issue that is often
Recognizing that when it comes to health, peoples’ minds deserve
the same attention as their bodies, Mission Hospital is activating California’s
Mental Health Movement, Each Mind Matters in south Orange County. The
initiative is uniting millions of people from the region and throughout
the state to share a vision of improved mental health and reminding people
of the importance of having caring conversations about mental health.
“Encouraging people to talk openly and honestly with one another
about their thoughts and feelings is so crucial to improving mental health,
and that’s what this is all about,” says Christy Cornwall,
director of community benefit at
Mission Hospital. “It’s inspiring to see our community members opening their
hearts and minds and understanding that mental health has equal importance
to physical health.”
Now in its second year, the effort is reminding people that starting conversations
in a safe way means making a promise to both talk
and listen. Doing so leads to early support and help that can reduce needless
suffering and even save lives.
According to the team of experts at Mission Hospital, a conversation is
a great first step to help people feel safe to open up about sensitive
issues. A simple talk or call is a meaningful start to let someone know
they are understood and that someone is truly listening to them.
The green bench is an important piece of the effort. Adorned in the national
color for mental health awareness, the portable bench is a reminder about
the importance of starting a caring conversation about mental health in
a safe, comfortable and familiar space.
Mission Hospital is taking a unique approach through public outreach that
actively encourages residents to “Promise to Talk” openly
and honestly about mental health. This message and call to action is being
shared in neighborhoods by outreach teams, community event participation,
bus advertising, door-to-door canvassing, local print and broadcast public
service announcements, and more.
The lime green bench appears regularly at local south Orange County events,
civic centers, community facilities, schools, shopping areas, events and
more. It functions as a local icon for mental health and support. Mission
Hospital has earned the top award for best public outreach initiative
in the Western U.S. for its bilingual campaign from the Public Relations
Society of America (PRSA).
To see when the bench is coming to your neighborhood in 2017, go to
PromiseToTalk.org or #promisetotalk!
Community members are encouraged to make their “Promise to Talk”
today. Individuals may make a promise at
PromiseToTalk.org, through @PromiseToTalk via
Twitter, or in person at events where Mission Hospital is participating with Each
Mind Matters. Several thousand south county residents already have made
For tips on how to start a conversation, or to learn more about local mental
health services, go to