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URGENT! Vote Now!


Your help is urgently needed. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has a chance to be awarded $1 million in the "Chase Community Giving" program being conducted on Facebook.

Between Friday, Jan. 15 and Friday, Jan. 22, Facebook. users can vote for up to five non-profit organizations among 100 that were nominated in an earlier round. If AFSP receives the top award, it will expand a pilot depression awareness and suicide prevention program to college campuses nationwide.

You must be a Facebook user to participate.

  • Click here to go to its Web site and follow instructions on how to vote.
  • Tell as many family and friends as possible through "social networking" means such as Facebook and Twitter or by simply forwarding this notice to them by e-mail
  • Ask them to vote and also help spread the word to as many people as possible by Friday, Jan 22nd.
  • The need is great. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among college age youth. Time is of the essence.

Stop the Cuts!

Stop the Cuts

NAMI's top priority for 2010 is to save state mental health services from massive state budget cuts. Too many times, mental illness is overlooked, marginalized, trivialized or stigmatized by policymakers.

Watch NAMI advocates in action in Maine.

The New York Times has reported on Oklahoma's $16 million cut.

In Chicago, a mental health agency has scrambled for a $350,000 grant to replace a cruel cut of $2.3 million.

Help NAMI track what's happening. If you see a news story about mental health budgets cut in your state, please send its Web site link to Please also tell us about any personal experiences you or family are having as a result of state budget cuts.

Where There's Smoke, There's Stigma

Happy Holidays

Smoking is hazardous to your health. But the Holt's Cigar Company has gone a step further.

Holt's is an internationally known mail order business. An advertisement (PDF document) on page 3 of its December 2009 "Hotwire" catalogue offers "insane discounts" on Leon Jimenes 300 cigars. It features a Hannibal Lecter mask and calls the sale "so insane it's fit for a straightjacket."

No, it's not insane. It's offensive. Please send a message by e-mail or through contact information below.

  • Stop the stigma in Holt's catalogue and advertisements.
  • One in four people experiences a mental illness in any given year. That includes the company's 70+ employees and their families. The recent Leon Jimenes 300 ad is an insult to all of them.
  • The ad perpetuates the stereotype (and myth) that mental illness is commonly linked to violence. It trivializes serious medical conditions and cruelly refers to straitjackets which represent severe medical trauma.
  • The U.S. Surgeon General has declared that the stigma surrounding mental illness is a barrier to people getting help when they need it. It's a public health hazard. Holt's should support public education about mental illness instead.

Robert Levin, President and CEO
Holt's Cigar Company
12270 Townsend Rd.
Philadelphia, PA 19154
Phone: 215-676-8778
Fax: 215-676-9085
Toll Free: 800-523-1641

Out of the Inbox

Because of the large number of StigmaBuster messages received, they cannot all be answered individually; however, we appreciate every e-mail and do review every stigma report and prioritize them for action.

We also appreciate receiving copies of responses. They are important in helping to coordinate strategy and pursue genuine dialogue. You are our eyes and ears! Your help makes a difference!

Please send reports of stigma to Stella March.

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