NAMI StigmaBuster Alert: May 6, 2008
NAMI Convention: Jane Pauley
TV journalist Jane Pauley will attend NAMI’s national convention on June 13-16 in Orlando, Florida to receive an award for her contributions toward eliminating stigma. She is the author of Skywriting: My Life out of the Blue, in which she shared her personal experience with bipolar disorder. This month, she will moderate a PBS panel discussion in conjunction with the premiere of the documentary,Depression: Out of the Shadows (May 21 at 9:00 PM).
West Virginia Update
Owners of West Virginia’s former Weston Hospital, renamed the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, have stonewalled public complaints about the name and plans to host attractions such as a" Hospital of Horrors" and "Psycho Path" dirt bike races. In fact, it’s gotten worse.
Their Web site now features a Gothic "hauntings and mystery" theme, including "ghost tours" during the month of May. The tours seemed timed to follow a profile of the hospital on the Sci Fi’s channel’s Ghost Hunters show on April 30. The tours "aren’t for the faint of heart."
Following last month’s SB alert , one StigmaBuster contacted historic preservation agencies to challenge public grants and tax benefits that the owners may be receiving fro the hospital’s landmark status. The owners–who say they themselves live with mental illnesses— believe they are helping to preserve history, educate people about mental illness and revive the local economy.
Don’t expect this case to be resolved soon. In the meantime, send a new message through the new Website. But beware. You may end up on their mailing list, which is probably not for the faint of heart.
Free Teleconference: May 14
The federal government’s Campaign for Mental Health Recovery, part of the fight against stigma, is sponsoring a teleconferenceforum on "Effective Strategies for Direct Contact: Using Art and Multimedia Approaches."
The forum is Wednesday, May 14, 2008 from 3:00 to 4:30 PM EST. No registration is required. To participate at that time, dial 1-800-369-0860 and once prompted, enter the code 97174#. For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Personal contact is the most effective strategy in breaking down stereotypes, overcoming stigma, and changing people’s attitudes. Six organizations who have received CMHR state implementation grants will provide an overview of their programs. They include:
- Mike Wood – Mental Health Association of Siouxland
- Cynthia Keele - NAMI Missouri
- Linda Kiva- Mental Health Client Action
- Heather McDonald – Focus on Recovery, United, Inc.
- Ann Benner – Virginia Organization of Consumers Asserting Leadership.
- Bud Bowles – United Self Help
Out of the Inbox
Because of the large number of StigmaBuster emails received each month, not every one can be answered individually, however, we appreciate every message and do evaluate every stigma report, prioritizing them for action. We also appreciate receiving copies of responses. They are important in helping to coordinate strategy and pursue genuine dialogue. You are our eyes and ears! Your help makes a difference! Send reports of stigma to Stella March: email@example.com.