The National Association of Broadcasters are aligning with the White House and other organizations to bring awareness to mental illness. The CEO of the organization, Gordon Smith, appeared alongside President Obama on Monday to announce a new campaign aimed at changing the attitudes about mental illness through TV ads and social media.
Some attendees of the National Conference on Mental Health included Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and actress Glenn Close to name a few.
The NAB plans to produce public service announcements to distribute to local radio and television stations starting in July. The Entertainment of Industries Council and the California Mental Health Services are also partnering up with NAB. They are creating materials for writers and producers to create stories and tips on how to portray mental illness in movies and TV shows.
Gordon Smith is a former senator of Oregon who lost his son 10 years ago to suicide. During his speech, President Obama said that “Gordon doesn’t want other parents to go through the agonizing loss that he’s endured.”
Mental illness is finally coming to light after many instances of public shootings and explosions often done by someone with a mental illness. The campaign is out to break the stereotypes of mental illness and spread knowledge on what is characterized as a disease.