Normalizing Conversations Around Mental Health

Growing awareness of mental illness and increasing willingness to talk about mental healthcare, especially after the experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, is opening needed channels of communication, raising awareness and supporting the availability of more resources for treatment and care. Nonetheless, the disparities in prevalence and treatment of mental illness remain. At Johnson & Johnson, we want to help ensure everyone gets the help they need.

We created the campaign, Depression Looks Like Me, to promote greater representation and open dialogue about mental illness. We teamed up with mental health and LGBTQIA+ influencers to amplify the unique experiences of the community and reinforce the message that they are not alone if they’re living with depression. We also shared resources that specifically support the LGBTQIA+ community, ranging from places to find inclusive therapists to 24/7 live hotlines.

Chelia Man (he/him), Chris (he/him), Diedra Nottingham (she/her) - Living with depression (photo)
Trusted voices in our Depression Looks Like Me campaign.

Did you know?

Only one in three Black adults with mental illness receives treatment.3

3 National Alliance on Mental Illness,, accessed March 2023.

Prioritizing a Community-based Approach to Advance Mental Health Equity

Janssen Neuroscience established the Community Health Equity Alliance in 2021 for Black adults living with serious mental illness. In 2022, the Alliance established state coalitions that have launched tailored resources for Black communities, such as systems of care navigation, peer support and faith-based community engagement and collaboration with local advocacy, professional and community partners in California, Georgia, North Carolina and Texas.

Our aim is to reduce racial bias and improve culturally sensitive care provided by healthcare providers treating Black adults with serious mental illness, while educating community stakeholders on key issues, including disparities, diversion and crisis mitigation.

Courtney Billington

Head, Government Affairs North America, Johnson & Johnson

Opening Up About Postpartum Depression (PPD)

Shame and lack of education around PPD make it incredibly hard for mothers in the Middle East to talk about their feelings – even to those closest to them – or to seek help. On Arab Mother’s Day in March 2022, JOHNSON’S® Baby launched a bold campaign called #OpenUp to destigmatize PPD and encourage mothers to actively seek expert support. In total, we reached more than 16 million people and received many messages from mothers who felt empowered after hearing new insights on PPD and understanding support is available.

We’re so proud to have taken the first bold step towards normalizing the conversation around PPD. Our innovative #OpenUp campaign brings together mothers and influencers to reach our audience, bridge gaps, and kickstart long overdue conversations in our region.

Rochelle Barreto

Essential Health Marketing Director for Africa, Middle East and Turkey,
Johnson & Johnson

Did you know?

One in seven women faces postpartum depression.4

4 American Psychological Association,, accessed March 2023.

Supporting Healthcare Professionals

Across our J&J MedTech portfolio, we maintain several programs to advance awareness, education and healthcare access while investing in building a population of diverse surgeons and frontline healthcare workers to support effective and empathetic treatment for people of color.

As a founding sponsor of MedTech Color, J&J MedTech acts to advance the representation of persons of color in the medical device industry. In addition to supporting several outreach events, J&J MedTech team members served as subcommittee co-chairs, clinical trial experts and webinar panelists on a range of topics.

J&J MedTech also advances DEI education across the industry through strategic partnerships with HCPs, patient organizations, and community partners. For example, the J&J Institute partnered with Advances in Surgery (AIS) and the American College of Surgeons (ACS) to host a webinar series on driving DEI change in hospitals and clinics, reaching hundreds of thousands of participants from 150 countries.

Did you know?

Despite comprising 13.4% of the U.S. population, only 1.4% of practicing optometrists are African American.5

5 Black EyeCare Perspective,, accessed March 2023.

Supporting Nurses

Johnson & Johnson has a long history of supporting health equity initiatives for nurses on the frontlines. In 2022, we launched The Future of Nursing is Me series, sharing stories of current, nurses and nursing students from underrepresented groups.


TYLENOL® and the Canadian Nurses Foundation established a scholarship fund to advance diversity in the nursing community and support further health equity research. With a special focus on addressing the needs of BIPOC in Canada, 19 scholarships were awarded in 2022 and 2023 to Canadian nursing students who identify as BIPOC.

Building upon its existing partnership with the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA), BAND-AID Brand® launched the OURTONE™ Nurses Recharge Fund in 2022, committing $150,000 to 60 qualified NBNA members on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic—selected by NBNA—to receive funding to help alleviate costs and time spent on everyday stressors at home including groceries, childcare, utilities, laundry and/or cleaning services.

Building a Pipeline of Black Optometrists

In partnership with the nonprofit Black EyeCare Perspective, 30 students received matriculation grants to study optometry. 2022 marked the second year Johnson & Johnson partnered with the program that seeks to achieve the 13% Promise, a call for equity in the increase of Black representation in the industry.

I’m specifically interested in ocular disease because it predominately affects African Americans. I want to focus on catching and treating those diseases.

Emely Miniño Soto

NECO student, member of Black EyeCare Perspective Pre-Optometry Club (BEPPOC)

Training Surgical Residents of Color

Since 2019, J&J MedTech company Ethicon’s three-year partnership with the Society of Black Academic Surgeons (SBAS) has provided training to surgical residents of color via Diverse Surgeons Initiative (DSI). Each year, SBAS selects residents to participate in the DSI for whom Ethicon provides additional surgical training.

Advancing Women Surgeons

In 2022, our Women of Orthopaedics team made further progress in advancing female talent and elevating female surgeon leadership, engaging more than 1,500 orthopaedic surgeons worldwide through events, society partnerships, congresses, and industry initiatives in the U.S., Australia, UK and Latin America. This includes a partnership with the Arthroscopy Association of North America, in which 100 students completed an all-day immersion program to help them progress toward a career in the specialty area.

Advancing Surgical Options for the Transgender Community

Gender-affirmation surgery is a name for medical procedures that help people transition to their self-identified gender. Following a unique Facial Gender Affirmation Surgery Summit hosted by DePuy Synthes, a J&J MedTech company. DePuy Synthes continues to leverage MedTech expertise to address the unique needs of the transgender community, educating surgeons about the principal maxillofacial surgery procedures involved in facial feminization surgery, as well as an overall approach to transgender healthcare management.

Engaging for Patient Advocacy

We maintain multiple initiatives across Johnson & Johnson to advance awareness and influence patient and customer behavior, as well as support inclusive policymaking in different countries.

Did you know?

86% of Black and 81% of Hispanic adults in the U.S. have health insurance compared to 91% for all others.
37% of Black and 45% of Hispanic adults have deferred healthcare decisions, compared to 35% of all others.
20% of Black and 32% of Hispanic adults have tried to receive healthcare, but were unable to do so, compared to 16% of all others.6

6 Harris Poll, 2022, conducted on behalf of DePuy Synthes, J&J MedTech.

Meeting Patients Where They Are

The disturbing trend of delaying healthcare, exacerbated though the COVID-19 pandemic, has disproportionately affected certain populations, including Black and Hispanic adults in the U.S. as evidenced by research conducted on behalf of J&J MedTech. To encourage people to prioritize their health and pursue care with confidence, J&J MedTech launched My Health Can’t Wait in 2021 as an educational effort and resource hub. In 2022, we continued to support initiatives to inform varied communities in the U.S. and internationally (Australia, India, Italy, Japan and Latin America).

Strengthening External Partnership Capabilities

A cross-functional, multi-cultural, multi-generational team of over 30 Janssen employees collaborated to deliver Janssen’s Our Race to Health Equity Enduring Alliances Playbook in December 2022 for use across the company globally. The Playbook is designed as an actionable tool that every employee may reference for information and insights relating to best practices, operational considerations and business decision-making on how to engage in racial health equity-focused external engagements across our vast external partner network. The Playbook empowers every employee to make a difference in closing the health equity gap by leveraging our company scale and size to effect change with four external partner/collaboration types:

  • Academic institutions and professional associations (STEM education) to promote diverse STEM education and building a diverse talent pipeline
  • Suppliers to drive sustainable growth in diverse spend to create an inclusive supply base for Johnson & Johnson and deliver equity for suppliers
  • External advisors to incorporate multiple perspectives in our external advisor and key opinion leader (KOL) forums and build a diverse KOL network
  • Scientific and clinical research partnerships to promote diversity in advancing innovation and increasing research related to diverse populations and health equity topics

Similarly, J&J MedTech’s Signature Equity Program advances support across the U.S., forming partnerships with community-based organizations, mobilizing “boots on the ground” and offering resources and expertise to help meet community healthcare needs. In 2022, J&J MedTech and Janssen sponsored events and provided education resources to more than 3,000 community members. These community members were also able to receive free health screenings through these events in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and Columbia, South Carolina.

Convening Patient Advocates to Sharpen Our DEI Focus

Our HealtheVoices community is designed by and for online patient advocates, offering a safe space to engage on the most pressing issues impacting patients. Co-created in 2020 with several passionate advocate leaders focused on racial and social justice, the HealtheVoices Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI) Task Force shapes health equity programming for patient advocates with the mission of driving change in healthcare and patient advocacy across disease states. In 2022, the HealtheVoices DEAI Task Force:

  • Published an Instagram Live series on transgender health, advocacy and allyship;
  • Generated educational social media campaigns supporting 12 awareness events during the year, including Juneteenth, Pride and Hispanic Heritage Month;
  • Issued public statements in support of the AAPI and LGBTQIA+ communities following violence against them in the U.S.;
  • Supported the first oncology-focused event through HealtheVoices for HCPs on how to be an advocate for health equity in addressing disparities in multiple myeloma and promoted the event on social media to their respective networks;
  • Engaged patient advocates in discussions on health equity with Johnson & Johnson leaders.
There are few places in my life where I experience the diversity of backgrounds that I find at [HealtheVoices]. It’s a great reminder that not everyone with a chronic health issue comes from the same ethnic background, region of the country, or socio-economic situation. Each health condition comes with unique symptoms, challenges, and treatments. When everyone chooses to embrace the diversity that we inevitably have, we create an accepting environment to tackle difficult issues.

Howard Chang

Psoriasis Advocate, Determi-Nation Member and former HealtheVoices Conference Advisor

Promoting Diverse Representation in Dermatology

Through our focus on equitable skin care, we engage with leading voices in dermatology to encourage health equity. In 2022, Janssen Immunology led a LinkedIn live session, as part of our IMMpactful Conversations series, with the theme, “Inclusivity in Dermatology: Why Representation Matters.” Leading dermatologists discussed how psoriasis can present differently for people of color, community led solutions, and the impact of mentoring partnerships.

Did you know?

Almost 50% of African Americans have obesity, and approximately four out of five Black women are overweight or obese, according to medical guidelines.7

Encouraging Conversations About Obesity

Ethicon, a J&J MedTech company, has long supported surgeons and their patients in addressing weight loss. Launched during Health Literacy Month, Ethicon teamed up with healthcare advocate, Khaliah Ali, and the American Academy of Family Physicians to help educate about the impact of obesity, particularly for Black women and the Black community overall.

Did you know?

Black men die of prostate cancer at double the rate of all other races.8

Janssen Biotech maintains a website with information and resources about prostate cancer specifically for Black men.