APA taps Fleishman for image revamp

WASHINGTON, DC: Hoping to spread the word that psychiatry entails more than just patients lying on a couch, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) has chosen Fleishman-Hillard for a multi-year educational effort.

WASHINGTON, DC: Hoping to spread the word that psychiatry entails more than just patients lying on a couch, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) has chosen Fleishman-Hillard for a multi-year educational effort.

WASHINGTON, DC: Hoping to spread the word that psychiatry entails

more than just patients lying on a couch, the American Psychiatric

Association (APA) has chosen Fleishman-Hillard for a multi-year

educational effort.



According to APA director of public affairs John Blamphin, Fleishman

bested four unnamed firms - three national and one local - to win the

account, valued at dollars 250,000 for its first year (PRWeek, March

13). He said approximately 20 firms expressed interest in leading the PR

push, which is jointly funded by the APA and the American College of

Neuropharmacology, based in Nashville.



Blamphin believes the profession of psychiatry as well as patients

seeking psychiatric help ’have been stigmatized’ through inaccurate

portrayals in the media. Specifically, he said, psychiatrists are often

’portrayed as villains,’ while the serious problem of mental illness is

often trivialized.



What the APA wants the public and the media to know is that current

treatments for mental illness are ’science-based’ and employ the full

spectrum of the psychiatrist’s medical skills (all are licensed doctors)

to help patients.



Another part of the effort, Blamphin added, is explaining the role and

value of psychiatric research and addressing concerns that without

adequate funding new medical treatments and options may be jeopardized.

For example, Blamphin noted that the correlation between depression and

other medical problems is just now being understood.



A final segment of the PR effort will clarify the difference between

psychiatrists and psychologists. ’It’s not a campaign so much as a

stepping up of what we are already doing,’ Blamphin said.



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