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Press Release

How Right Now Initiative Partners with National Organizations and Celebrities

Sept. 17, 2020 (ATLANTA) – Many Americans are suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic, regardless of whether they actually have COVID-19. As millions of Americans continue to adjust to the isolation that comes with social distancing, many are struggling with overwhelming feelings as well as personal and family crises related to the pandemic. A survey from How Right Now, a new initiative to address people’s feelings of grief, loss, loneliness, and worry during the pandemic, found nearly half reported experiencing anxiety (40%) and over a quarter reported feelings of isolation or loneliness (29%) and depression (26%).[1]

Recognizing the toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on people’s mental health and wellbeing, some of the nation’s leading organizations, as well as celebrities and professional athletes, have come together to support the How Right Now initiative. The aim of the initiative is to increase people’s ability to adapt and be resilient throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. How Right Now, which is made possible with support from the CDC Foundation, provides information and tools to help reduce stress and offers resources for coping during this time.

While there are many groups of people who are facing mental health challenges during the pandemic, there are several specific groups who are disproportionately affected. These include:

  • Adults over 65 years and their caregivers;
  • People with pre-existing mental and physical health conditions;
  • People who are experiencing violence; and
  • People who are experiencing economic distress.

“We know people want actionable steps they can take to support their mental health and wellbeing during this time. We recognized early in the development of the How Right Now initiative that the best way to address the needs of these groups would be to work directly with organizations who serve them to provide information and support related to emotional health,” said Amelia Burke-Garcia, PhD, MA, program area director at NORC at the University of Chicago.

“We are incredibly grateful to our partners for all of their support with the How Right Now initiative, and together, we want to get the word out to as many people as possible who can benefit,” said Judy Monroe, MD, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation.

National, community and professional organizations taking part in the How Right Now initiative include AARP, NAACP, United Way, Red Cross, National Latino Behavioral Health Association, and the National Alliance for Mental Illness and Mental Health America (complete list below). All materials, including the initiative’s website, (, are offered in English and Spanish.

The initiative will continue working with a growing group of partners and influencers to expand the reach of the most up-to-date and effective tools, coping skills and hotlines. 

Full List of Partners:

AARP, Alzheimer’s Association, American Cancer Society, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, American Psychological Association, American Red Cross, America’s Warrior Partnership, Blue Dove Foundation, Boy Scouts of America, Certified B Corporation, Chicago Hispanic Health Coalition, Faces and Voices of Recovery, Futures without Violence, Hispanic Heritage Foundation, Key Ministry, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), liveSAFE Resources, Meals on Wheels, Mental Health America (MHA), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL), National Congress of American Indians, National Council for Behavioral Health, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, National Latino Behavioral Health Association (NLBHA), National Network to End Domestic Violence, National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, Pathways to Promise, Shatterproof, Suicide Prevention Resource Center, The Kennedy Forum, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, United Way, Vibrant Emotional Health, YWCA USA.

Celebrities and Professional Athletes Participating in the Campaign:

Lance Bass, Andre Dawson, Omari Hardwick, Amy Hargreaves, Melissa Joan Hart, Mario Sebastian Guini, Tito Puente Jr., Tony Richardson

The CDC Foundation helps mobilize philanthropic and private-sector resources to support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) critical health protection work. Established by Congress more than two decades ago, the CDC Foundation is an independent, 501(c)(3) public charity. Research was completed by NORC, University of Chicago, and communications strategy and creative production by Burness and TMN Corp.

[1] According to a May AmeriSpeak survey of the U.S. adult population.