NAMI members in Florida reported shock and dismay to learn about the stigmatizing mental illness theme for Universal Orlando Theme Parks Halloween Horrors Events for the Month of October 2004. This Theme Park attracts tourists from around the U.S. and the world to Orlando.
Publicity media kits including a committal form to a fictitious psychiatric ward for a visitor who might be "driven insane" by the planned Halloween Horror event and a personalized straight jacket for each reporter indicates insensitivity and ignorance.
Their web site features a man in a straight jacket with horrific head movements and facial expressions, headlined "Halloween Horror Nights® at Universal Orlando® the biggest, most terrifying Halloween event ever…including all new haunted houses and four inescapable scare zones."
A NAMI StigmaBusters letter sent to Robert Gault, President & CEO of Universal Orlando Studios Theme Park has not been acknowledged.
Please send or fax your message to:
Mr. Robert Gault, President & CEO
Universal Orlando Studios
1000 Universal Studios Plaza
Orlando, Florida 32819-7610
General Information: (407) 363-8000
FAX: (407) 224-6922
And to an important corporate partner at the theme park
E. Neville Isdell, Chairman & CEO
The Coca-Cola Corp
One Coca-Cola Plaza
Atlanta, GA 30301
Fax: (404) 676-6792
The season finale on May 24th as well as previous episodes presented hurtful and stigmatizing portrayals and language. In our NAMI message to the Producer and Writers I informed them about the impact of such story lines that reflected ignorance and insensitivity to the struggles of real persons with severe mental illnesses and their families. Coincidentally along with treatment and rehabilitation, their "hope and faith" provide supportive strengths on their road to recovery.
No direct response. However, most important is whether any new episodes for "Hope And Faith" will show a new understanding -- that persons with mental illness deserve the same respect as those with all other disorders of the body.
Please join us at a Round Table Discussion about busting stigma and discrimination, on Thursday, September 9th, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. We look forward to meeting you!
Stella March, National Coordinator
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