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NAMI StigmaBuster Alert; Mental

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NAMI StigmaBuster Alert
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On the upcoming episode of Mental (http://www.fox.com/mental)  on Tuesday, June 16,
an eight-year-old boy is diagnosed with bipolar disorder and stigma hides a family
secret. NAMI is continuing to monitor the show and would especially like comments on
this episode.

Thus far, StigmaBusters are giving the show both thumbs up and thumbs down. (See
below) Past episodes can be seen on the show's Web site.


The SAMHSA ADS Center (http://www.promoteacceptance.samhsa.gov/default.aspx) is
offering a free teleconference on "Suicide Prevention and the Role of the Social
Determinants of Health" on June 25 at 2:00 p.m. (ET).

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NAMI StigmaBuster Alert
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On the upcoming episode of Mental (http://www.fox.com/mental) on Tuesday, June 16,
an eight-year-old boy is diagnosed with bipolar disorder and stigma hides a family
secret. NAMI is continuing to monitor the show and would especially like comments on
this episode.

Thus far, StigmaBusters are giving the show both thumbs up and thumbs down. (See
below) Past episodes can be seen on the show's Web site.
Free Teleconference: Registration Deadline

The SAMHSA ADS Center (http://www.promoteacceptance.samhsa.gov/default.aspx) is
offering a free teleconference on "Suicide Prevention and the Role of the Social
Determinants of Health" on June 25 at 2:00 p.m. (ET).

Please register by Friday June 19
(http://www.promoteacceptance.samhsa.gov/teleconferences/registration/default.aspx)
. Social determinants include poverty and substandard housing. Economic turmoil like
increased unemployment, foreclosures and loss of investments also are major stress
factors can that affect suicide risks.
Mental Notes

Below are excerpts of some comments received to date about the show. NAMI is
interested in receiving more comments after the June 16 episode. Comments can also
be sent to Ask FOX (mailto:[email protected]) (include city and zip code).

Pro

* I really liked the [show]. It felt like the writers understand that someone with
a mental illness is a person first and a "case" secondarily. The lead actor
portrayed a fun irreverence for the system and a deep appreciation for the patient
as a person with a life and a personality beyond the illness. I feel like my loved
one is honored by this TV show.
* I am absolutely thrilled…I have said, more than once while I am watching, that I
wish I had a doctor like him. The main idea is that the patients deserve to be
treated like a human being …In no way do I feel that mental illness is being shown
with a negative stigma. If anything, the show educates those watching that with
proper treatment (traditional or unorthodox) all individuals with a mental illness
have a chance to achieve recovery.
* The show was a little boring and unrealistic but I liked the overall message that
people can get better.
* I was ready to fight if there was any major demeaning remarks or disrespect for
mental illness. I came away pleasantly surprised and thrilled…I cried during quite
a bit of it as it brought back very vivid memories of the hospitalizations of my
brother…[I hope] the series will continue to portray the real life story that our
families deal with everyday.
* My husband and I have been enjoying it thoroughly and my son and his wife, one
with schizoaffective disorder, and one with bipolar also like it. So far, only good
comments. We must wait and see if it gets destructive.

Con

* Due to the upsetting content, I was only able to watch about 5 minutes…I don't
believe this portrayal of mental illness is the type of message we want to send. It
could not compare with the film "A Beautiful Mind."
* I feel that the series premiere of Mental was inappropriate and trivialized
mental illness. I think it is important not to portray serious mental illness,
which requires extensive therapy and medication, as just some mystery that can be
"solved" if one digs deep enough and does the right detective work….I believe this
show paints a distorted picture of mental illness.
* I was disappointed.. It appeared to me that the patient's medications were
stopped and he returned home to live with his sister and her family, productively
producing his art and living happily ever after. This morning after viewing the
show, my 38 year old son didn't take his psych meds as he wanted to be "free" just
like the man in the show.
Out of the Inbox

Because of the large number of StigmaBuster messages received, they cannot all be
answered individually; however, we appreciate every e-mail and do review every
stigma report and prioritize 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!

Please send reports of stigma to Stella March (mailto:[email protected]) .

NAMI ~ 2107 Wilson Blvd. ~ Suite 300 ~ Arlington, VA 22201 ~ www.nami.org

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