NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith was a panelist in a at the White House National Mental Health Conference, and his promise to devote air time to getting the message out on the topic drew praise from President Barack Obama.
The local television and radio stations that comprise NAB are putting together a public awareness campaign designed to “…reduce negative attitudes and perceptions about mental illness through television and radio ads, and social media.”
Obama stated, “We wouldn’t accept if it only 40 percent of Americans with cancer got treatment. We wouldn’t accept it if only half of young people with diabetes got help. So why should we accept it when it comes to mental health? It doesn’t make sense.
“But the good news is there are plenty of groups stepping up to change that. A former colleague of mine, Gordon Smith, a former Republican Senator, lost his son to suicide ten years ago, and I remember him speaking so eloquently about it. Gordon is now the head of the National Association of Broadcasters.
“Today the National Association of Broadcasters is announcing a new campaign designed to change attitudes about mental illness through TV ads and social media, because Gordon does not want other parents to go through the agonizing loss that he’s endured. So we thank you Gordon for that great work.”