HARRISONBURG, Va. (Mennonite Mission Network) - Twelve 30-second public service radio spots fighting the stigma of mental illness are being mailed to 8,000 radio stations across the U.S. in March. The radio campaign on behalf of the Mennonite churches is titled “Unsung: Family Voices on Mental Illness.”
“Families are the shadow mental-health system in America, unheralded and unsung,” said Dr. Joyce Burland, founder of the Family to Family program of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in one of the spots.
Burland said mental illness is the only illness where families “never get a covered dish.” People frequently try to hide the illness, and Burland points out that “it’s a real firing line that families live,” because they must frequently come to the aid of family members in emergencies while at the same time battling misunderstanding and myths about mental illness.
One of the radio spots features former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, who has long worked for education on mental illness, but most are the ordinary voices of individuals and families struggling with a variety of illnesses.
Hundreds of radio stations are expected to air the free spots on a public service basis.
Faith & Values Media, a consortium of faith groups with media interest supplied part of the funding for the campaign. All of the interviews come from the Shadow Voices: Finding Hope in Mental Illness documentary, which originally aired on ABC-TV and was winner of a “VOICE” award from the U.S. Department Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The radio spots are available as downloads from www.thirdway.com/rad. Helpful resources to accompany the radio spots and the Shadow Voices documentary are available at www.shadowvoices.com
The spots were produced by Mennonite Media, producers of socially-conscious award-winning media for over 56 years. Mennonite Media is a division of Mennonite Mission Network. The spots were edited at Alive Studios in Harrisonburg by Robby Meadows, engineer, with original piano music by Jeff Duffield. Producers were Burton Buller, executive producer, Melodie Davis, producer, and Dorothy Hartman, production manager. Barbra Graber and Chris Kratz are narrators.