ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque man is on a mission to end the stigma associated with mental health, now he’s being featured in an international campaign to help raise awareness.
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Robert Arrieta is not a fan of how he looks with a mustache, but in November, he grows it out anyway. “You get a lot of interesting looks,” Arrieta said. “Family members can be very verbal about how they feel about it,” he explained.
Despite some negative feedback, Arrieta says his whiskers are a good conversation starter, and he’ll take any chance he gets to discuss mental health. “That’s kind of the point to say, I’m supporting Movember,” Arrieta explained.
Movember is a global movement encouraging men to grow out their stashes, to spread awareness for men’s health, including mental health. It’s a mission Arrieta has shared for the past five years. A first responder for 17 years, Arrieta says he battles depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
It’s that fight that inspired him to create Skulls for Hope, a non-profit organization raising awareness for mental health with shirts and bracelets, and connecting those struggling to resources in the community.
Now Arrieta is not only sparking conversation locally but globally. He was recently featured in a Movember campaign video. He hopes the video, and Skulls for Hope leave people with an important message. “It’s okay not to be okay,” Arrieta said.