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APA Participates in Anti-Stigma Campaign
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APA Participates in Anti-Stigma Campaign
Teens and Young Adults Told: Change Your Mind About Mental Health

At a June 7th, 2000 press conference led by Tipper Gore, the American Psychological Association, in conjunction with MTV:Music Television and the National Mental Health Awareness Campaign, launched a new public outreach effort aimed at changing teen attitudes about mental health.

As part of the effort, APA has published a new brochure called Change Your Mind About Mental Health, available free to the public by calling 877-495-0009 toll-free. MTV is airing public service announcements that encourage teens to call for a free copy of the brochure.

The new brochure addresses many teen concerns, including the causes and signs of mental health problems. It relates experiences of teens who have recovered from panic attacks, depression and eating disorders. It also offers ideas for where and how to seek help.

"Young people may be especially vulnerable when experiencing mental health problems. They tend to be very independent and the prospect of having to ask for help can be difficult for them," says Russ Newman, Ph.D., J.D., APA's Executive Director for Professional Practice. "This compounds the problem of not knowing where to go to find help."

Every year one in five teens develops some form of mental illness, and suicide has now become the third leading cause of teen deaths. Mirroring societal attitudes toward mental illness, teens are often reluctant to seek the help they need for fear of the stigma that still accompanies mental health issues. "The success of Warning Signs, which resulted from all of your hard work, led to the development of this new effort," says Jan Peterson, Assistant Executive Director for Public Relations and Communications. "We hope to mobilize grassroots support of the anti-stigma project as well."

Psychologists can call 800-964-2000 to order up to 300 free copies of the brochure to distribute in their communities. Materials that provide ideas for suggested outreach to the media and the public regarding this new effort are also being developed for Public Education Campaign Coordinators and will  be distributed soon. The brochure can be viewed online at

This article is brought to you by TPA's Public Education Directorate and APA's Public Education Campaign.

September 2000
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