Mental Health Campaign For African American Community Launched
Newswise — Officials from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Ad Council and the Stay Strong Foundation unveiled a national public service campaign designed to raise awareness of mental health problems among young adults in the African American community. The event is part of Black History Month and it is being held to coincide with the first annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) National Mental Health Awareness Day.
WHO: Paolo del Vechhio, Associate Director for Consumer Affairs, Center for Mental Health Services, SAMHSA
Terrie M. Williams, MSW, Co-founder of The Stay Strong Foundation, nationally known author of Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting and campaign spokesperson Priscilla Natkins, Executive Vice President, Director of Client Services, The Ad Council Joseph Lankford, Howard University Student
WHAT: Unveiling of new TV, radio, print and Web PSAs, as well as a new website, designed to promote the acceptance of mental illness within the African American community by encouraging, educating and inspiring young adults to step up and talk openly about mental health problems
Historically Black Colleges and Universities’ Center for Excellence in Substance Abuse and Mental Health at Morehouse School of Medicine, a grant funded through SAMHSA, created National HBCU Mental Health Awareness Day. The HBCU Mental Health Awareness Day is the first national effort to promote behavioral health at HBCUs. The purpose is to increase public knowledge and student awareness about mental health issues and to foster a more supportive and informed environment on HBCU campuses and in the community. For more information, visitwww.hbcucfe.net
SAMHSA is a public health agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The agency is responsible for improving the accountability, capacity and effectiveness of the nation’s substance abuse prevention, addictions, treatment and mental health services delivery system. SAMHSA can be reached at www.samhsa.gov. The Ad Council (www.adcouncil.org) is a private, non-profit organization that marshals talent from the advertising and communications industries, the facilities of the media, and the resources of the business and non-profit communities to produce, distribute and promote public service campaigns on behalf of non-profit organizations and government agencies. The Ad Council addresses issue areas such as improving the quality of life for children, preventive health, education, community well-being, environmental preservation and strengthening families. The Stay Strong Foundation (SSF) is a 501(c) (3) organization founded by Terrie M. Williams and Xavier Artis in 2001 to empower America’s youth. The Foundation encourages corporate and individual responsibility; develops educational resources for youth and youth organizations; provides and coordinates internships; sets up mentoring opportunities; and facilitates visits by prominent individuals and business professionals to schools, libraries, youth organizations and group homes.