The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has partnered with The Advertising Council to launch a national public service advertising (PSA) campaign to promote recovery from mental health problems within the Hispanic/Latino community by educating and inspiring young adults to talk openly about issues of mental health.
The culturally-targeted PSAs seek to motivate societal change towards social acceptance and decrease negative attitudes that may surround mental illness. These PSAs are part of a larger multicultural public service effort designed to reach Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Chinese American and African American communities during National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.
Mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, are widespread in the U.S. According to SAMHSA, from 2004 to 2007, an average of 15.6 percent of Hispanic/Latino 18-25 year olds reported serious psychological distress in the past year. Despite the high prevalence among this group, only slightly more than one in four (28.3 percent) of Hispanic/Latino young adults with serious psychological distress received care within the past 12 months. Overall the rates at which racial and ethnic minority young adults seek treatment are much lower than their Caucasian counterparts.
“Raising awareness that effective treatments for mental illnesses are available and that people recover, can encourage those in need to seek help,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. “This outreach to the Hispanic community will help open dialogue about supporting friends or family members with mental health problems in a culturally relevant way.”
Created by Hispanic/Latino advertising agency Wing through the Ad Council, the new “Accept/Ignore” PSA campaign includes in-language radio, print, outdoor and Web banner ads, and directs young adults to visit the campaign Web site, www.aceptarignorar.samhsa.gov, where they can find tools to help support a friend in the recovery process and seek out additional resources.
“We are proud to continue our work with SAMHSA to broaden our campaign for mental health recovery into the Hispanic community,” said Peggy Conlon, president & CEO of the Ad Council. “This multicultural advertising effort will help decrease the stereotypes surrounding mental illnesses while providing young adults with the resources they need to support their friends living with mental health problems.”
Alain Groenendaal, president and CEO of Wing added, “For many Latinos, their immediate social network is very important to them and they use technology to enhance their connection to friends and family. By channeling a social media platform which is very familiar to them, we’re able to speak to young Hispanics directly. We’re delighted to partner with the Ad Council and SAMHSA to extend a message of acceptance throughout the Hispanic community.”
The Ad Council and SAMHSA first launched the Campaign for Mental Health Recovery nationwide in December 2006. To view the ads, please visitwww.adcouncil.org. The PSAs will air in advertising time that will be entirely donated by the media.
SAMHSA is a public health agency within the Department of Health and Human Services. Its mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities. (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.