Mental illness unit seeks shop to run TV, film outreach

WASHINGTON: An agency within the Department of Health and Human Services will soon issue an RFP for a campaign about the portrayal of mental illness on TV and in films.

WASHINGTON: An agency within the Department of Health and Human Services will soon issue an RFP for a campaign about the portrayal of mental illness on TV and in films.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration hopes to promote more accurate depictions of mental disease.

The selected agency will work with writers, producers, and directors to explain how they can - and why they should - incorporate mental disease and substance abuse themes into their productions.

The goal is to spur creative work that removes the stigma of mental illness and offers hope for prevention and recovery.

The program will build on the work done by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which uses the annual PRISM awards to encourage true portrayals of substance abuse and addiction.

The 2004 award for best feature film went to City of God, a Brazilian movie that portrays life in a drug-ravaged section of Rio de Janeiro. The film also garnered four Oscar nominations.

Terms have not yet been disclosed. The administration plans to issue the RFP next month.

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