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Ms. Stella March
NAMI StigmaBusters, with its dedicated advocates across the country and around the world, are successfully fighting the pervasive and hurtful stigma that exists toward persons with mental illness -and- also commending print media, TV and films that send accurate messages to the public.
NAMI StigmaBusters now number 8,600. Numbers do count, so let your voice be heard.
My Sister's Keeper
We commend CBS, the Hallmark Hall of Fame, and the producers and cast of My Sister's Keeper, which aired on January 27, 2002. The movie is based on a true story about a woman's (Kathy Bates) quest to live as normally and independently as possible, despite her mental illness (schizo-affective disorder). You can order videos through www.hallmark.com or 1-800-HALLMARKfor $14.95 plus shipping and handling.
SITUATION: A recent ad for the Nissan Altima read "Known to Cause Obsessive Compulsive Behavior." It appeared in numerous magazines such as Fitness and Oprah.
ACTION: We contacted Nissan to educate them about the hurtful nature of their ad, which was reported by StigmaBusters who struggle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Nissan has since pulled the ad and it will not be seen in the future, although some magazines still on newsstands may have it.
ACTION: We contacted Proctor and Gamble to educate them about the offensive nature of straight jackets and told them it was especially inappropriate to market the ad on children's programs because many children may have a parent or sibling with a mental illness. Proctor and Gamble has agreed to withdraw the commercial six months earlier than scheduled.
We received numerous reports about a "Mental Health Hotline" on Flowgo Funflash's Web site.
The "hotline" featured the following, unfortunately common "joke": If obsessive compulsive, press 1 repeatedly. If co-dependent, have someone press 2 for you," going on to paranoid, delusional, etc.
Since the Web site provided contact information, we contacted them to explain the struggle of people with mental illness, and the hurtful, demeaning nature of the "Mental Health Hotline" They said they would take it off immediately.
Warner Brothers Studios is releasing this film March 29th. It features a top cast, including Robin Williams, Danny Devito, and Edward Norton. The trailers for the film have triggered concern that mental illness may be mocked, because it refers to Williams' character as having "once been sane."
ACTION: We contacted Warner Brothers, who described the film as dark, edgy and in typical Danny DeVito style. They said it is a satire dealing with a person who has lost control of his life and assured us that the film does not poke fun at or involve mental illness.
FYI . . . Tune in on Monday, March 25th at 10/9c, to Once and Again.
The show will feature Lily's brother, Aaron, (who has schizophrenia). He expresses a desire to move out on his own with a young woman who is also mentally disabled (Ally Sheedy). Lily finds it emotionally impossible to let him go.
Many people requested that we drop the "5 Complaints Rule" before protests are launched. We are now doing so and will be adopting a more flexible approach in choosing targets.
Priority will still be given to major corporations, television shows, etc. We cannot address Internet Web sites that do not have official oversight.
Stella March, Coordinator
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We look forward to hearing from you!