Sunday, April 13, 2008

SAMHSA and Ad Council Debut National Mental Health Anti-Stigma Campaign on College Campuses

Suicide is the Second Leading Cause of Death among College Students

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), working in collaboration with the Ad Council, announced today a program that has delivered their National Mental Health Anti-Stigma public service advertising (PSA) campaign for the first time directly to colleges and universities throughout the country. The campaign aims to reach 18-25-year-old adults and is designed to decrease the negative attitudes that surround mental illness by encouraging these young adults to support friends with mental health problems. As an extension of the campaign, new materials created specifically for college students have been distributed to colleges and universities nationwide.

Mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, are widespread in the United States. According to SAMHSA, in 2006 there were an estimated 24.9 million adults aged 18 or older living with serious psychological distress, an indicator highly correlated with serious mental illness.

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