National Assn. of Broadcasters CEO Gordon Smith appeared at the White House with President Obama on Monday to announce a new campaign to change attitudes about mental illness through TV ads and social media.
Smith was among those attending the National Conference on Mental Health, along with Vice President Joseph Biden, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and actress Glenn Close.
Plans are for NAB to produce the PSAs for distribution to local radio and TV stations in July. The Entertainment Industries Council
and California Mental Health Services Authority also are teaming with NAB on creating materials for writers and producers with story ideas and tips for the depiction of mental illness in movies and TV shows.
Smith, a former senator from Oregon, lost his son to suicide 10 years ago. In his remarks, Obama cited the new campaign and said that “Gordon doesn’t want other parents to go through the agonizing loss that he’s endured.”