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NAMI StigmaBuster Alert: July 30, 2008


Reader’s Digest: Normal or Nuts?

The latest issue ofReader’s Digest (August 2008) includes an article, "Normal or Nuts?" based on a feature that ran last summer—which some StigmaBusters protested for its slang and trivialization of mental illness.

Last year’s protests may have had an effect. The feature now includes a box headlined “When You May Need Help” pointing out that serious mental illnesses are "woefully untreated" and including NAMI’s Web site as a resource (among others). Otherwise, the tone is the same.

"We are a nation of nutty folk," the article observes. "But not to worry. To be human is to be quirky…Of course, not all quirks are cute, and some may even require professional attention…. The line between silly and serious is vanishingly thin." Mental health professionals are then quoted, answering questions about behaviors that might fall on either side of the line.

Does "nutty" word play constitute stigma? Does humor help promote education? Please read the article and let Reader’s Digest know your views. Include your full name, address and daytime phone number:

Webcast: StigmaBuster Training

The Campaign for Mental Health Recovery has posted a Webcast on the Internet that features a two-part video presentation about using public service announcements (PSAs) to overcome stigma. It covers key media relations tools, including media lists, “pitching,” and working with coalitions. The Webcast is a training tool for using the Campaign’s “community site kits” to support “What a Difference a Friend Makes” PSAs targeted to teens and young adults. Site kits are available for free from Elizabeth Edgar at

Music Contest!

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) is sponsoring a"“Facing Us" national contest  open to amateur and professional musicians to raise awareness of depression and bipolar disorder—and to help overcome stigma by celebrating the ways in which people living with these conditions use creative expression not only to cope, but thrive. The contest includes cash prizes. The deadline for submissions is September 1st.

Out of the Inbox

Because of the large volume of StigmaBuster emails received each month, we cannot answer every one individually; however, we appreciate every message and evaluate every stigma report, prioritizing them for action. We also appreciate receiving copies of responses you receive.They are important in helping to coordinate strategy and pursue genuine dialogue. You are our eyes and ears! Your help makes a difference! Send reports of stigma to

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