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Friday, May 28, 2010

What a Difference a Friend Makes

What a Difference a Friend Makes (A National Campaign for Young Adults With Mental Health Issues)
According to a national survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) there are an estimated 9.8 million adults aged 18 or older living with serious mental illness. Among adults, the prevalence of serious mental illness is highest in the 18 to 25 age group, yet this age group is also the least likely to receive services or counseling for mental health issues.
To help address this problem and as part of Mental Health Awareness Month, SAMHSA and The Advertising Council have launched a series of national public service announcements (PSAs) designed to encourage, educate and inspire young adults (18-25 years old) to step up and support friends and family they know are experiencing a mental health problem.
Created by the advertising agency Grey New York, through the Ad Council, the campaign aims to promote acceptance of mental health problems by encouraging, educating and inspiring young adults to step up and talk openly about mental health problems. The new television and Web PSAs encourage young adults to step up and help a friend through recovery. The PSAs direct audiences to visit the campaign website, www.whatadifference.samhsa.gov, where they can participate in a new discussion forum, find tools to help in the recovery process, learn about the different types of mental illnesses, read real-life stories about support and recovery, and to see how friends can make all the difference. The PSAs will air in advertising time that will be entirely donated by the media. In an effort to further the reach of the campaign online, a social media program will also kick off this week.

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