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NAMI StigmaBuster Alert

March 15, 2006 ***********************
NAMI StigmaBuster alert


Contact: smarch@nami.org

**Crumbs: Swept Away?**

ABC-TV’s Crumbs hasn’t been seen since the last episode aired on February 7. The network is not saying whether the show has been cancelled or whether new episodes may still pop up later in the season. Stigma, however, had largely been eliminated by the last two episodes. We’ll keep monitoring.

**Offensive Action Figure**

Archie McPhee & Co. in Seattle is the online retailer of an offensive action figure produced by Accoutrements, also in Seattle. The company’s toys, gifts, and novelties “made by Magic Pixies” are described as having “a sense of humor that is distinctively our own.”

One of the company’s latest products is an “Obsessive Compulsive Action Figure” (http://www.mcphee.com/items/11561.html) that includes a surgical mask and sanitary towelette. The back of the package includes an “Are You Obsessive-Compulsive?” test that lists criteria such as “You carry a bottle of spray bleach in your briefcase” and “You wash your hands after taking a shower.”

For persons who score 10 points on the test, the package recommends they seek help at the Web site of the Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation (http://www.ocfoundation.org) . The referral was printed without the Foundation’s permission. They have protested the action figure, but have received no reply to date.

Let’s support them by letting the “Magic Pixies” know how offensive the action figure is. Please contact both Accoutrements and the Archie McPhee & Co. to reinforce the protest:

* The US Surgeon General has warned that the trivialization of mental illness perpetuates stigma, contributing to a barrier that discourages people from seeking help when they need it. On average, eight years pass from the onset of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and getting treatment.

* OCD is no joke. It is an illness often compounded by major depression that can lead to suicide. The action figure is not educational. It is flippant and misleading. It violates social responsibility.

* It is unconscionable to imply that any mental health organization would support or be affiliated with a product of this nature.

Archie McPhee & Co.
P.O. Box 30852
Seattle, WA 98113
425/349-3009 (order line)
425/349-5188 (fax)

P.O. Box 30811
Seattle, WA 98113
800/886-2221 (order line)
425/349-3838 (customer service and sales)
425/349-5188 (fax)

**Voice Award Nominations**

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is seeking nominations for its second annual Voice Awards. Awards are given in two categories.


The first is for producers and writers in the entertainment industry (film, television, or radio) who have offered respectful depiction of people with mental illnesses, and whose productions were released in 2005. The deadline for nominations in this category is Friday, April 7, 2006. For more detailed information, see the Voice Awards Web site. (http://www.allmentalhealth.samhsa.gov/voiceawards/nomination.html)


The second award category is for consumers who have personally demonstrated that recovery is possible; participated in efforts to reduce discrimination and stigma; and made a positive impact on their community, workplace, or school. The deadline for nominations is Friday, April 21, 2006. Nominations can be sent to voiceawards@vancomm.com. See the Voice Awards Web site (http://www.allmentalhealth.samhsa.gov/voiceawards/nomination.html) for more information.

Videos of last year’s Voice Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, featuring actors Maurice Benard and Mariette Hartley and others, are online on SAMHSA’s ADS Center Web site. (http://www.adscenter.org/2005VoiceAwards.htm) It is best viewed with Windows Media Player.

Stella March, National Coordinator
NAMI StigmaBusters


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