The new ad attempts to call attention to the stigma against those with mental illnesses.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness is launching a new public service announcement in an attempt to reduce the stigma of those suffering from mental illness worldwide.
NAMI, in partnership with the Hope & Grace Initiative, launched “StigmaFree”, which will include actress and mental health advocate Mayim Bialik, according to a NAMI statement.
The PSA is part of a larger campaign and was released to coincide with Mental Health Month, which is May.
The PSA will be available for both 30 and 15 second spots, and in it Bialik talks about how hurtful it is to call someone with a mental health condition names like “nutjob” or “schizo.”
Authorities and advocates are concerned that use of such names, and a general stigma against those who suffer from mental issues, not only may worsen those mental issues but cause sufferers to not even try to seek help.
NAMI has put together three tips for lessening the stigma of mental illness:
“Step 1: Education — Everyone knows a little about mental health issues but knowing the facts about mental illness can help educate others and reject stigmatizing stereotypes. Mental illness is not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing. Understanding mental health isn’t only about being able to identify symptoms and having a name for these conditions but dispelling many false ideas about mental health conditions as well.
“Step 2: See the person and not the illness — One in five Americans live with a mental health condition and each of them has their own story, path and journey that says more about them than their diagnosis. Whether you live with mental illness or are a friend, family member, caregiver or medical professional getting to know a person and treating them with kindness and empathy means far more than just knowing what they are going through.
“Step 3: Take action — The country’s mental health care systems have been in crisis for a long time and often keep treatment and recovery out of the hands of many who need it. Better legislation and policies to improve lives for everyone is an ongoing endeavor.”