WASHINGTON: The terrorist attacks left Americans struggling to cope
with depression and anxiety. Educating the public on these issues is the
communications challenge highlighted in a new campaign by the National
Mental Health Awareness Campaign (NMHAC) and the Ad Council.
Two PSAs will be broadcast on national TV and radio over the next six
months. The spokespeople for the campaign and the PSAs' stars are Tipper
Gore and Alma Powell, Colin Powell's wife. A toll-free number and a
website (www.nostigma.org) link people to mental health services in
Washington, DC agency Susan Davis International wrote the PSAs and
coordinated the release of the campaign. The group is also handling
media relations for the NMHAC.
Gore and Powell have appeared on a number of television programs,
including Good Morning America and CBS' The Early Show, and have written
an editorial featured in USA Today. The kickoff for the event was
October 11, exactly one month after the terrorist attacks.
Another aspect of the campaign will focus on creating forums to educate
journalists on how to write about and cover mental health.
The next step is a town-hall meeting in New York with survivors of the
attack and firefighters. Gore will host the meeting, which will then be
held in Washington, DC and other locations around the country.