Ms. Stella March
NAMI StigmaBusters, dedicated advocates across the country and around the world, are fighting pervasive, hurtful prejudice and discrimination that exists toward people with mental illnesses-while commending leaders who communicate accurate messages to the public about mental illness.
Stigma discourages people from getting help when they need it. It dehumanizes individuals. It contributes to lack of investment in the mental healthcare system, with catastrophic costs and consequences.
The time to act is now. NAMI StigmaBusters currently number almost 10,000. Numbers do count, so let your voice be heard!
It's no secret that the movie "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" had one of the most successful openings at the box office in history the weekend of November 15th. What's almost a secret-because most people leave the theater before it appears- is the final scene that follows a long string of credits. A stereotyped image of mental illness is used as the basis of a final joke.
Earlier during the movie, Professor Lockhart, a narcissistic, fraudulent, and cowardly wizard tries to cast a "memory charm" to cause people to forget, using a broken wand. When it backfires, he "loses his mind" and can't remember his own name. The final scene shows the cover of his latest book, entitled "Who Am I?" with a picture of him in a straitjacket. Because "pictures" in Harry Potter's wizard world move and talk, he also is wiggling and mumbling aimlessly.
We do not want to publicize an isolated scene, which perhaps less than 25% of moviegoers ever will notice, but StigmaBusters should protest directly to the movie's distributor. Please emphasize the following points:
Wendy's once again has recently aired its television commercial portraying a small support group session with the leader calling on the members to report. The last person announces that he bought Wendy's Classic Double with Cheese and says: "Call me crazy but it felt great!"
The Executive Director of President Bush's "New Freedom" Commission on Mental Health joined NAMI's StigmaBusters in complaining about the commercial at a recent Commission hearing. The development startled Wendy's public relations department, which for the first time seems to be taking our complaints seriously. The commercial trivializes mental illness and its treatment.
Please send a message to:
Mr. Jack Schuessler
Chairman & CEO
Wendy's International, Inc.
4288 W. Dublin-Granville Road
Dublin, OH 43017
An Insanity Test on a commercial Website called thespark.com targets high school and college students, who once again are most at risk of onset of major psychiatric illnesses and for whom the third-leading cause of death is suicide. Once again, stigma is no joke.
The "test" perpetuates stereotypes and misinformation that discourages people from seeking treatment when they need it.
Even worse, the principal advertiser on the site is Panasonic. StigmaBusters need to send them both a message that spreading and sponsoring stigma cannot be tolerated. One way to do so is by also reporting them to the New York and New Jersey departments of human rights.
Please send messages making the following points:
SparkNotes LLB at
76 9th Avenue, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10011
Don Awatani, Chairman & CEO
1 Panasonic Way
Secaucus, N.J. 07094
New York State Division of Human Rights
20 Exchange Place, 2nd Floor
New York, N.Y. 10005
Phone: (212) 480-2522
New Jersey Division on Civil rights
140 E. Front St. 6th Floor
Trenton, N.J. 08625
On the November 14, 2002 episode of NBC's "Will and Grace," Gene Wilder portrayed a partner in Will's law firm, returning from a long stay supposedly in the London office. However, he later confessed being in the "loony bin" using body language to emphasize that he had been "crazy" and "nuts."
Send a message to: email@example.comPut Attention Executive Producers (David Kohan, Max Mutchnick, James Burrows) in the subject line. Also contact:
President & CEO
NBC Television Network
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10112-0002
We cannot answer all of your messages because of the huge volume we receive. However, we do appreciate and evaluate your reports and support. It's also important to hear about any replies you receive.