NAMI StigmaBuster Alert: September 8, 2006
Fighting Stigma: Free Teleconference, September 14th
The ADS Center, the federal government's Resource Center About Discrimination and Stigma, will hold a free teleconference on Thursday, September 14, 2006 from 12:00 to 1:30 P.M. EST on "Protest and Reward Strategies" in eliminating stigma.
One of the teleconference presenters will be NAMI’s Director of Media Relations, Bob Carolla, discussing the StigmaBusters program. For more information and to register for the free teleconference in advance, please visit the ADS Center Web site.
On September 26, ABC-TV will premiere Help Me Help You starring Ted Danson (formerly of Cheers), who is described as a doctor leading "a gaggle of eccentric folk in group therapy," except that he might be "the craziest and most self-obsessed of all." Please monitor it. We need your reaction.
One StigmaBuster has reminded us that The Bob Newhart Show in the 1970s involved a psychiatrist and occasionally, members of a therapy group - and was very funny, with the psychiatrist being the butt of most jokes.
Laughter: The Best Medicine?
Last month’s alert solicited StigmaBuster views on whether mental illness could ever be funny. We received about 250 responses, falling roughly in the following categories:
- 50% -- Yes, but only when it’s not stigmatizing in nature; i.e., making fun of the illness, not the person, and especially if it educates others or helps a person cope.
- 25% -- Yes, but only when we are laughing among ourselves, consumers, families and therapists.
- 14% -- Never
- 11% -- Yes. Lighten up. Laughter is the best medicine.
Those in the first category left a lot of room for discussion about the nature of stigma and what different kinds of humor may work best to educate, and in what contexts. We expect we will hear more on the topic.
Stella March, National Coordinator
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