INTERNATIONAL: Psychiatric body seeks PR to reduce illness stigma

WASHINGTON: America’s psychiatrists are seeking a PR firm to inform the public and the media of how new treatments can alleviate mental disorders.

WASHINGTON: America’s psychiatrists are seeking a PR firm to inform

the public and the media of how new treatments can alleviate mental

disorders.



The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has contacted five firms in

the Washington area about working on the six-figure account, according

to director of public affairs John Blamphin. While he declined to name

the agencies, he confirmed that the APA plans to select a firm this

spring.



Blamphin said the goal of the PR effort is to present more accurately

the value and success of new treatments for mental illness. ’It’s a

matter of reducing the stigma associated with mental illness and its

treatment,’ he said.



Blamphin was quick to add that the campaign is not an attack on

psychologists.



Still, he conceded that the APA’s members ’are concerned about their own

image as professionals’. He hinted that the public may not be entirely

aware that psychiatrists offer patients ’the full range of services’,

including prescribing medications to treat a wide range of mental

conditions - something psychologists are not allowed to do.



Edited by David McCormack.



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