(Season 1: Bipolar Disorder Storyline)
In this storyline, family and friends become concerned when Silver (Jessica Stroup) appears distressed and then goes missing. When Harry Wilson (Rob Estes), Debbie Wilson (Lori Loughlin), and Silver’s boyfriend, Dixon (Tristan Wilds), find her at the train station, Dixon tells her that he understands what she is going through and promises to get her help. After Silver is diagnosed with bipolar disorder and returns home, her sister and guardian, Kelly (Jennie Garth), works to get her the help she needs. Initially, Silver is annoyed when Dixon and Kelly continue to check on her to make sure she is OK. Once she realizes that they are doing it because they love her and are worried about her, Silver decides to invest some time and energy in her recovery. At the same time he is supporting Silver, Dixon is also trying to reconnect with his birth mother, who also lives with bipolar disorder.
Writers: Steve Hanna, Rebecca Sinclair, Jennie Snyder
Producers: Gayle Abrams, Jennifer Cecil, Jeff Judah, JoAnne McCool, Michael Pendell, Sean Reycraft, Gabe Sachs, Rebecca Sinclair, Jennie Snyder, Wendey Stanzler
Front of the Class
“Front of the Class” is based on the true story of Brad Cohen, a young man diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome who defies the odds to become a teacher. When Brad was growing up, teachers and other adults—even his father—interpreted Brad’s involuntary sounds and sudden jerking movements as attempts to get attention or simply acting up. He was ridiculed and teased by other kids. As a result, he hated school…until a principal learned his “acting up” was a result of Tourette’s Syndrome. The principal used an all-school assembly to educate the faculty and students about the condition, which helped Brad win their understanding and acceptance. That convinced Brad that he should be “the teacher he never had.” Brad had interviews with 24 schools in the Atlanta area that had teacher vacancies, but no one was willing to take a chance on him, despite an impressive college record and glowing recommendations. But he would not give up. On his 25th interview, he was offered a job as a 2nd grade teacher. Brad’s openness about living with Tourette’s Syndrome, as well as his easy-going manner and gentle humor, quickly won over his young students. In addition to the traditional curriculum, the students learned valuable lessons in tolerance and acceptance of differences. At the end of the year Brad was named the Outstanding First Year Teacher for the State of Georgia.
Writers: Brad Cohen (book), Tom Rickman (screenplay), Lisa Wysocky (book)
Producers: Andy Gottlieb, Cameron Johann, Brent Shields, Tim Shriver
(Season 5: PTSD Storyline)
In this storyline, Seattle’s Grace Hospital has a new arrival in the person of military doctor, Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd) who becomes the new love interest of Dr. Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh). Hunt, recently discharged from the Army, has been hired as the new chief of trauma at Seattle Grace. When Hunt’s traumatic experiences during the war turn into nightmares and emotional distress, Yang becomes very concerned about his well-being. After witnessing Hunt melt down on the hospital rooftop during the arrival of a trauma case, Dr. Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) confronts him about his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and urges him to get help. Hunt initially refuses Shepherd’s suggestion and begins to distance himself from Yang because he thinks he’s not worthy of her. After realizing he really does need help and cannot suppress his love for Yang, Hunt reaches out to Shepherd and begins seeing a therapist to work on his PTSD.
Writers: Jenna Bans, Stacy McKee, Tony Phelan, Joan Rater, Sonay Washington
Producers: Jenna Bans, Betsy Beers, Debora Cahn, Tammy Ann Casper, Zoanne Clack, Rob Corn, Karin Gleason, Mark Gordon, Allan Heinberg, Linda Klein, Stacy McKee, Tony Phelan, Jeff Rafner, Joan Rater, Shonda Rhimes, Lisa Taylor, Chris Van Dusen, Krista Vernoff, Mark Wilding
(Season 2, Episode 5: Gina)
In this episode, Paul (Gabriel Byrne) commutes from New York to Maryland to see his kids for the weekend and pays a visit to Gina (Dianne Wiest) to suss out what she might say in a deposition for the malpractice suit against him. She assures him she doesn’t see him as responsible for Alex’s death, but admits he didn’t talk about him that much in their supervision until after he’d died. Paul is interested to learn that Gina is seeing patients again; Gina, for her part, is surprised to learn that he has moved to Brooklyn and the kids and Kate are still in Maryland. As they discuss Alex, Paul admits he’s sick of listening to people’s problems and asks for help sorting out his own feelings. Acknowledging that his need to save people may be about his mother, Paul asks Gina if she will take him on—not for supervision, but therapy—and she agrees.
Writers: Warren Leight (teleplay), Marsha Norman
Producers: Paris Barclay, Alysse Bezahler, Mickie Reuster, Noa Tishby, Sarah Treem
Law & Order: SVU
(Season 10, Episode 1: Trials)
In this episode, Detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) receives a call about a stolen van. A seven-year-old boy behind the wheel claims he stole the van to escape from abusive foster parents. As the case unfolds, it becomes apparent that it may be connected to an unsolved rape case that could help Benson catch a serial rapist. Working with her fellow detectives and one of the rapist’s former victims, Caitlyn Ryan (Sara Gilbert), Benson is able to put the rapist behind bars and help Caitlyn deal with the rape trauma syndrome—a form of PTSD—she had been experiencing. She also helps Caitlyn, who turns out to be the birth mother of the seven-year-old, move one step closer to getting him back. While she is trying to solve the case, Benson must also deal with the anxiety over her own sexual assault that took place while she was undercover in a women’s prison months earlier.
Writer: Dawn DeNoon
Producers: Neal Baer, Gail Barringer, David DeClerque, Dawn DeNoon, Arthur W. Forney, Amanda Green, Jonathan Greene, Peter Jankowski, Ted Kotcheff, Peter Leto, Judy McCreary, David Platt, Randy Roberts, Sheyna Kathleen Smith, Daniel Truly, Dick Wolf
(Season 7, Episode 7: Mr. Monk’s 100th Case)
In this episode, a television news magazine called “In Focus” is airing a profile of Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub). “In Focus” follows Monk as he tries to solve his 100th case, and the show is interspersed with interviews of Monk’s friends, family, colleagues, and even some of the criminals he helped put away over the years. After using his extraordinary intuition to investigate and solve the mystery surrounding the deaths of three aspiring actresses, Monk talks of retiring with an even 100 cases solved, until his assistant Natalie Teeger (Traylor Howard) reminds him that the cases of Douglas Thurman and James Novak are separate from one another, meaning that Monk has in fact solved 101. With Monk standing on such an uneven number, he won’t be retiring any time soon, which is very bad news for the criminals of San Francisco.
Writer: Tom Scharpling
Producers: Jack Bernstein, Andy Breckman, David Breckman, Scott Collins, Hy Conrad, David Hoberman, Douglas Nabors, Anthony Santa Croce, Salvatore Savo, Tom Scharpling, Tony Shalhoub, Shana Stein, Joe Toplyn, Randall Zisk
United States of Tara
(Season 1, Episode 4: Inspiration)
In this episode, Tara (Toni Collete) gets hired by her sister’s friend Tiffany (Jessica St. Clair) to do a mural in her apartment. Amazed by her work and artistic abilities, Tiffany recommends Tara to the head person at the world headquarters of a prominent organization to do something in the executive dining room. As the mural progresses, Tara starts to feel better about herself and her new friendship with Tiffany. However, just as Tara feels that she is finally making a significant breakthrough, Tiffany’s curiosity about Dissociative Identity Disorder leads to a major setback. With the support of her husband Max (John Corbett), daughter Kate (Brie Larson), son Marshall (Keir Gilchrist), and younger sister Charmaine (Rosemarie DeWitt), Tara is determined not to let one incident derail her talents or her life as a good wife and mother.
Writer: Alexa Junge
Producers: Brett Baer, Diablo Cody, Justin Falvey, Dave Finkel, Darryl Frank, Dan Kaplow, Richard T. Schor, Steven Spielberg
“Helen” is the story of a university music professor who seems to have it all. Happily married to David (Goran Visnjic), Helen (Ashley Judd) also enjoys a loving relationship with her teenage daughter, Julie (Alexia Fast). Yet, she suffers from a deep, debilitating depression that penetrates the very fabric of her well-being. David and Julie love and support her unconditionally, but at times she becomes inaccessible and withdrawn. When she befriends one of her music students, Mathilda (Lauren Lee Smith), Helen understands they share a common bond. While continuing to struggle with her own issues, Helen tries desperately to help her student. “Helen” is a portrait of a marriage and a story of friendship—of courage, devotion, and the triumph of love.
Writer: Sandra Nettleback
Producers: Chris Curling, Oliver DeCaigny, Christine Haebler, Robert Little, Doug Mankoff, Jens Meurer, Kirk Shaw, Andrew Spaulding, Judy Tossell, Mark Wachter
Lars and the Real Girl
This heartfelt comedy revolves around a lovable introvert whose emotional baggage has kept him from fully embracing life. After years of near solitude, Lars Lindstrom (Ryan Gosling) invites Bianca, a friend he met on the Internet, to visit him. He introduces Bianca to his brother, Gus (Paul Schneider) and his sister-in-law, Karen (Emily Mortimer). They are stunned to learn that Bianca is a life-sized doll, not a real person, although Lars is treating her as though she is alive. They consult the family doctor, Dagmar (Patricia Clarkson), who explains that this is a delusion Lars has created—and recommends that they should all go along with it. What follows is an emotional journey for Lars and the people around him.
Writer: Nancy Oliver
Producers: Sarah Aubrey, Peter Berg, Whitney Brown, John Cameron, William Horberg, Sidney Kimmel, Bruce Toll
This suspenseful thriller is about a powerful attorney who is backed into a career corner that offers little room to fight free. Attorney Michael Clayton (George Clooney) is a “fixer,” the go-to guy when his powerful New York law firm wants a mess cleaned up. But now he is handed a crisis even he may not be able to fix. Arthur Edens (Tom Wilkinson), the firm’s top litigator in a $3 billion case, has an apparent mental breakdown during a deposition and goes from advocate to whistleblower. When Clayton is dispatched to bring him home, he soon learns that Edens not only has doubts about defending the lawsuit, but also that the company in question may be acting to ensure a positive outcome no matter what the cost. And the more Michael tries to undo the damage, the more he’s up against forces that value corporate survival over human life—including his own.
Writer: Tony Gilroy
Producers: George Clooney, Jennifer Fox, Christopher Goode, James A. Holt, Anthony Minghella, Kerry Orent, Sydney Pollack, Steve Samuels, Steven Soderbergh
From Academy-Award® nominated director Joe Wright, “The Soloist” is a poignant and ultimately soaring tale based on an incredible true story of a disenchanted journalist’s transformative odyssey through the hidden streets of Los Angeles. It is here that he discovers and builds a most unlikely friendship with a man with schizophrenia, bonding through the redemptive power of music.
Columnist Steve Lopez (Robert Downey, Jr.) is at a dead end. The newspaper business is in an uproar, his marriage to a fellow journalist has fallen apart, and he can’t remember what he loved about his job in the first place. While walking through Los Angeles’ Skid Row one day, he sees the mysterious, bedraggled figure Nathaniel Ayers (Jamie Foxx) pouring his soul into a two-stringed violin. At first, Lopez approaches Ayers as just another story idea in a city of millions, but as he unearths the mystery of how this alternately brilliant and distracted street musician—once a dynamic prodigy headed for fame—wound up living in tunnels and doorways, an unexpected quest begins. Imagining he can change Ayers’ life, Lopez embarks on a quixotic mission to get him off the streets and back to the world of music. But even as he fights to save Ayers’ life, he begins to see that it is Ayers—with his unsinkable passion, his freedom-loving obstinacy, and his valiant attempts at connection and love—who is profoundly changing him.
Writers: Susannah Grant (screenplay), Steve Lopez (book)
Producers: Rikki Lea Bestall, Tim Bevan, Josephine Davies, Eric Fellner, Gary Foster, Eric Heffron, Russ Krasnoff, Jeff Skoll, Leeann Stonebreaker, Patricia Whitcher
Autism: The Musical
“Autism: The Musical” counters today’s growing statistics with one woman’s optimistic pledge to lead a group of children with autism in defying diagnosed expectations by writing, rehearsing, and performing their own full-length musical. Following five Los Angeles children over the course of 6 months, director Tricia Regan captures the struggles and triumphs of their family lives and observes how this musical production gives these performers a comfort zone in which they can explore their creative sides. Both on- and off-stage, “Autism: The Musical” is a call-to-action, bringing attention to a modern-day challenge, all the while celebrating the way the human spirit can overcome any challenge.
Producers: Sasha Alpert, Joey Carson, Perrin Chiles, David S. Glynn, Janet Grillo, Jonathan Murray, Tricia Regan, Kristen Stills
In a Dream
“In a Dream,” directed by Jeremiah Zagar, is an exploration into the life of his father, the remarkable mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar. Over the past four decades, Zagar has covered more than 50,000 square feet of Philadelphia with stunning mosaic murals made out of tiles and mirrors. This documentary chronicles Isaiah’s work and his tumultuous relationship with his wife, Julia. It follows the Zagars as their marriage implodes and a harrowing new chapter in their life unfolds. It is an exploration of the fallout that ensues when the line between art and life is blurred beyond distinction.
Producers: Pamela Tanner Boll, Geralyn White Dreyfous, Ross Kauffman, Jeremy Yaches
True Life—I Have Schizophrenia
On “True Life: I Have Schizophrenia,” we meet three young people who are living with schizophrenia and get a glimpse into the everyday challenges they face. Twenty-five-year-old Josh refuses treatment because, for the most part, he feels his voices are his companions and doesn’t see his illness as a problem. Most of the symptoms 23-year-old Ben suffers from are controlled with medication, but the varied side effects of the meds keep him primarily in the house, only comfortable hanging out with his family. Amber, 19, was only diagnosed a year ago. Her response to medication has been very successful. “True Life: I Have Schizophrenia” shines a light on mental illness and gives viewers a glimpse of what it’s like to go through life working on recovery.
Producers: William E. Badgley, Craig D’Entrone, Marshall Eisen, Betsy Forhan, Dave Sirulnick, Elana Wertkin
Mary Ellen Copeland
Mary Ellen Copeland’s first introduction to mental health issues began when she was only 8 years old, when her mother, a highly educated and vivacious woman, began experiencing episodes of deep depression alternating with extreme mania. She was diagnosed as “incurably insane,” and spent the next 8 years of her life in a state mental institution, at a time when there were few medications and little treatment. Eventually, she started connecting with other patients and, using what we now call peer counseling and peer support, got well, was discharged, and returned home. She picked up the pieces of her life, built supportive relationships, returned to her career, and worked diligently to maintain her wellness.
Later, Copeland also began to experience severe mental health challenges and was diagnosed with “manic depression.” Medication and hospitalizations did little to help. Out of frustration, she began to study how people who have mental health issues cope on a day-to-day basis, how they get well, and how they stay well for the long term. With the aid of several vocational rehabilitation counselors, she developed a series of survey instruments and studied 125 volunteers. Their responses became the basis for her own recovery and for the various resource books and the recovery curriculums she developed. Her first book was The Depression Workbook: A Guide for Living with Depression and Manic Depression. Since then she has written many books, trained people worldwide to help others and themselves, and conducted additional research. In collaboration with others, she developed the popular Wellness Action Recovery Plan (WRAP), a simple self-help system for identifying and utilizing personal resources to get well and stay well.
In 2005, Copeland’s work led to the creation of the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery, a non-profit organization that continues her work through trainings worldwide. She continues to study and develop new resources, including e-learning courses that make recovery tools widely available and accessible.
Eric Arauz is a mental health advocate and president of an inspirational speaking and mental health consulting company, Arauz Inspirational Enterprises. He travels throughout the United States proving that recovery is possible and that people with mental illnesses are able to live full and happy lives. From the largest Federal agencies to Yale University and into the most secure wards in maximum-security psychiatric hospitals, his message of redemption and hope resonates with his varied audiences.
Arauz has the unique perspective of a family member and patient. His biological father, who attempted to end Eric’s life when he was 12, died of untreated mental illness. Arauz was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and alcohol and drug addiction in 1995, and has been housed in numerous psychiatric hospitals including the Veterans Administration maximum-security ward as a disabled Navy veteran. He was held in restraints for more than 24 hours. His family was told that he was beyond treatment. Since then, Arauz has earned a bachelor’s degree with Magna Cum Laude honors; a master’s degree, graduating at the top of his class; and acceptance in to a doctoral at Rutgers University. He also works with agencies dealing with veterans issues and mental illness, and focuses his time on talking with college and high school students about self-definition, resiliency, and acceptance. Arauz’s message is one of love, understanding, and compassion. He feels strongly that he has been given a second chance and is committed to sharing his message of resurrection.
Marian Bacon has overcome many challenges to make a tremendous impact in her community through her volunteer work, personal advocacy, and strong connections throughout the mental health community. She is employed with the Memphis Center for Independent Living, an organization that actively works for the social inclusion and independence of persons with disabilities. She is also active with NAMI and the Tennessee Mental Health Consumers Association. Through NAMI she is a presenter for the “In Our Own Voices” program and has shared her story with countless others in an empowering way that both educates and inspires. Bacon has been an exceptional volunteer for 5 years with the Crisis Center, a program of Family Services of the Mid-South, where she has helped others deal effectively with issues including drug and alcohol addiction, sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, homelessness, mental illness, grief, and suicide. As a Crisis Center volunteer, she has served as an emotional lifeline for people dealing with these issues by providing compassionate, non-judgmental, 24-hour live telephone support. She has also worked with the Safe Campus Program that addressed the issues of sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking among college students and young adults. Bacon’s compassion, commitment, and willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty are the hallmarks of an exceptional advocate.
Mark Davis, M.A. has consistently used his experiences and skills to combat stigma, inspire others in similar circumstances, and affect change in both health and behavioral health systems. He is a proud gay man who is recovering from addictions and living with a mental illness, hearing loss, and HIV—since testing positive in 1988. He is a leader in several communities including behavioral health consumers/survivors, suicide attempt survivors, individuals with disabilities, and those representing sexual and gender minorities. Davis has inspired the development of more than 75 peer-run groups and cross-system collaborations for persons using multiple service systems. He also has affected the development of culturally competent research, funding, data collection, and services for bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, intersex, and questioning (LGBTIQ) citizens, as well as those receiving behavioral health services and people living with HIV/AIDS. He is the founding president of the Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers’ Association and has worked in the mental health consumer/survivor recovery civil rights movement since 1985. Beyond Pennsylvania, he has been a speaker, consultant, and trainer in 43 states for a variety of consumer, family, community, and professional associations. He is a suicide attempt survivor and became dedicated to suicide prevention after his sister Jennifer’s death by suicide. Davis facilitates Pink & Blues, a Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) peer-run recovery, support, and advocacy group for persons living with a mental illness who identify as LGBTIQ, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in the heart of Philadelphia.
John Kevin Hines
As a teenager, Kevin Hines was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and struggled to find adequate and effective treatment. Finding just the opposite, his illness became worse and, in September 2000, he attempted to take his own life by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. He is one of only 29 people to have ever survived.
After a long and difficult recovery, he began speaking out about his experience. To date, he has spoken to more than a quarter of a million people, actively spreading a message of hope and health to groups both nationally and internationally. He is an outspoken advocate for suicide prevention, including working with the Bridge Rail Foundation to raise the rail on the Golden Gate Bridge. His will to live and stay mentally well inspires people of all ages to change their lives for the better. Hines also encourages physicians and mental health clinicians to be more empathetic to their patients, and to, as he says, “put yourself in their shoes.”
Hines is living proof that someone with a serious mental illness can also be an extremely productive member of society. He has spoken to scores of audiences, particularly young adults, including active members of every branch of the military. An accomplished, powerful, and inspiring speaker, he has been featured in the film “The Bridge” and appeared on Larry King Live, 20/20, Anderson Cooper 360, Good Morning America, and many more national and international media programs. He has written many articles about suicide prevention and mental health, and is in the process of writing his autobiography, “Chronicles of a Psychotic Mind.”
Ann Kirkwood is a mental health consumer and advocate who specializes in adult education, social marketing, anti-stigma programs, and school- and community-based mental health and suicide prevention programs for rural areas. She has a master’s degree in communications from Boise State University and undergraduate degrees from the University of Washington. Kirkwood directed the Better Todays, Better Tomorrows children’s mental health gatekeeper training program, which has been recognized as an evidence-informed practice, and directed public relations, public involvement, and strategic planning for the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare for 9 years before joining Idaho State University. She also worked for 18 years as a reporter, editor, and publisher at various newspapers across the country. Kirkwood was the winner of an International George Peabody Award in 2000 and a NAMI public information award for a documentary, “Hearts and Minds,” concerning teens and mental illness. She now specializes in rural mental health and stigma, suicide prevention, disabilities, and communication technology as a senior research associate for Idaho State University. She has received service awards from NAMI Idaho and the Idaho Planning Council on Mental Health. She directs the Idaho Youth Suicide Prevention Project and the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline Research Project. Kirkwood was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1997 and has since focused her efforts on reducing stigma about mental illness, increasing awareness, reducing suicides, and increasing treatment-seeking among people with mental illness.
T.J. Curtis is a youth mental health advocate and president of Youth M.O.V.E. National Inc. (Motivating Others through Voices of Experience), which is a youth-led subsidiary of the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health organization. Originally started as a committee known as the National Youth Development Board, Youth M.O.V.E. is a national organization devoted to improving services for youth. With leadership from youth advocates like Curtis, Youth M.O.V.E. has created a definition of “youth-guided care” and developed the principles of what it means to be youth-guided, youth-directed, and even youth-driven, depending on the developmental level of each person.
Curtis draws upon his childhood experiences of growing up in the foster-care system since the age of 3, being adopted at the age of 16, and living with depression and anxiety disorder to help youth with similar backgrounds. He is a martial artist and poet, and has spoken publicly about his experiences in the foster care, education, and juvenile justice systems.
As the star of FX’s hit series “Damages” (soon to enter its third season) and one of the most established actresses of her generation, Glenn Close is accustomed to being in the spotlight. With firm footing on the silver screen, stage, and television, Close’s talent and versatility has made her one of Hollywood’s most critically acclaimed actresses.
Close has appeared in or lent her voice to more than 35 films. She has been nominated for five Academy Awards®, for her work in "Dangerous Liaisons," "Fatal Attraction," "The Natural," "The Big Chill," and "The World According to Garp."
On stage, Close has appeared in more than 10 Broadway shows. She won her first Tony Award® for Best Actress in the romantic comedy “The Real Thing” in 1984, and a second for her performance in “Death and the Maiden” in 1992. In 1995, she won her third Tony Award® for her performance as silent-screen star Norma Desmond in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical of “Sunset Boulevard.”
Television has also proven to be a highly successful medium for Close, where she has appeared in or provided voice-overs to more than 25 shows and made-for-TV movies and been nominated for 10 Emmy Awards®. She just won her third Emmy Award® for her riveting portrayal of high-stakes litigator Patty Hewes on the series "Damages," her second consecutive win in 2 years as "Best Actress in a Drama" for that performance. She won her first Emmy Award® in 1995 for her nuanced portrayal of a real-life U.S. Army colonel who disclosed that she was a lesbian and fought to stay in the military in “Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story,” for which she also served as executive producer.
In addition to her success as an actress, Close has become a strong advocate for mental health awareness. She has begun speaking openly, and with their blessing, about family members who suffer from mental illness and how that personal experience has motivated her to volunteer for and publicly support Fountain House, a globally acclaimed New York-based, clubhouse model program that provides people with mental illness critical access to education, employment and community.
Close received the 2009 Inspire Award for her role as a mental health advocate. This award, given annually by AARP The Magazine, pays tribute to 10 extraordinary people age 50 and over who have made the world a better place through their innovative thinking, passion, and perseverance.
Grey New York
In partnership with the Ad Council, Grey New York has provided pro-bono creative ideas and execution for a public service campaign aimed at decreasing negative attitudes about mental illness and encouraging young adults to support friends who are living with mental health issues. This work constituted the first phase of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Campaign for Mental Health Recovery. For Phase II, Grey New York is providing further pro-bono creative development and applying state-of-the-art social marketing strategies to develop new online components for the general market campaign, and culturally relevant public service announcements that address mental health awareness among African Americans. Grey New York has shown a strong commitment to mental health issues and contributed their time and talent with a sensitivity that has resulted in highly creative campaigns that resonate with the intended targeted audiences.
Grey New York is the flagship and largest office of Grey—famously effective since 1917—which is the advertising network of Grey Group. Grey Group ranks among the largest global communications companies. Its parent company is WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY). Grey Group’s total offering includes G2, activation marketing, health care communications, media planning and buying, and public relations.
Senator Gordon Smith & Mrs. Sharon Smith
Former U.S. Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon and his wife, Sharon, adopted several children in the 1980s, including sons Morgan and Garrett and daughter Brittany. On September 8, 2003, Garrett, then a 21-year-old college student majoring in the culinary arts, died by suicide after a long struggle with depression. While losing Garrett was the saddest and hardest challenge they have ever faced, the Smiths have turned a personal tragedy into a crusade to tear down the stigma associated with mental illness and improve care for those in need.
Thanks in large part to the Smiths’ advocacy efforts, the U.S. Congress passed the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act in 2004, which authorized $82 million for suicide-prevention and awareness programs at colleges, universities, and American Indian organizations. Senator Smith also took the lead in the historic passage of the Mental Health Parity Act of 2007, along with inclusion of parity requirements for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and Medicare program, and increased funding for mental health services at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Mrs. Smith served on Governor Kulongoski’s Mental Health Task Force and has traveled to college campuses across Oregon to share Garrett’s story and to advocate for suicide prevention programs. She and Senator Smith also serve as board members for the advocacy groups TeenScreen National Center for Mental Health Checkups and SPAN USA, which help to educate the public about the importance of depression awareness and suicide prevention.
Senator and Mrs. Smith’s commitment to the mental health community remains strong and they continue to ensure that Garrett’s memory lives on through their advocacy work. They have brought visibility to suicide as a preventable public health problem, increased access to critical mental health services, and saved lives.