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NAMI Honors the CBS Television Network Public Service Campaign on Depression

June 28, 2006

Washington, D.C.— The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) will honor the CBS Television Network with its Outstanding Media Award for Public Service for the network’s CBS Cares public service awareness campaign on depression, during its annual national convention this week.

"CBS Cares has made an extraordinary commitment and contribution to public education about depression," said NAMI executive director Michael J. Fitzpatrick. "The network has helped remove stigma surrounding mental illness. They have encouraged people to get help when they need it—particularly men, who often are reluctant to do so."

During the past year, CBS Cares has aired 30-second, 15-second and 10-second public service announcements (PSAs) during prime-time hours. They have focused on fighting stigmas associated with the disease and reinforcing understanding that depression is a treatable medical illness.

The PSA’s have featured CBS’s Greg Gumbel (CBS Sports), Anthony LaPaglia (Without A Trace), Mandy Patankin (Criminal Minds), Danny Pino (Cold Case) and Mike Wallace (CBS News).

The CBS Cares campaign includes the website www.CBSCares.tv developed in partnership with New York Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell, and other leading experts whereby viewers can find general information on depression such as causes, treatments, medication and recommended resources. The Harvard School of Public Health has called it a "breakthrough website."

"CBS Cares has done an amazing job," said NY Presbyterian CEO Herbert Pardes, M.D., a former head of the National Institute on Mental Health. "The website is the most expansive and detailed presentation on depression I have ever come across from a national media network. It is vast in scope, but accessible and understandable for people seeking critical health information. I am certain that many CBS viewers have benefited from the campaign."

"We are honored to have CBS Cares recognized by NAMI," said Martin Franks, Executive Vice President, Planning, Policy and Government Affairs, CBS Corporation. “Serious depression affects millions of Americans, and CBS wants to help them as well as their family members and friends. We are very committed to continuing to bring our viewers information and resources to help them deal with this medical disease.”

CBS Cares is highly regarded for leadership in effectively taking on stigmatized and under-served causes. With network PSAs as its fulcrum, the campaign has been built into a public service project, involving every media asset of CBS. In addition to depression, the PSAs have addressed HIV/AIDS, alcohol abuse, breast cancer, child abduction, child abuse, diversity/tolerance, drug abuse, education, literacy, the V-Chip and women's heart disease.

NAMI, the nation’s largest grassroots organizations dedicated to improving the lives of people with serious mental illnesses, such as depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, will present the award  July 1, 2006 in Washington, D.C.

More coverage of the 2006 NAMI Convention


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