Project Relate, an anti-stigma advertising and public service campaign serving Nebraska, was launched on April 7, 2004. Developed through the cooperative efforts of Nebraska mental health service providers, advocacy groups, and nonprofit organizations, the campaign aims to increase awareness and improve public perceptions of people with mental illnesses. In addition to addressing stigma and providing mental health education, Project Relate operates a clearinghouse of mental health resources for the entire State.
Stigma is the feeling of fear or shame associated with mental illnesses. Lack of information about mental illnesses and their effects often results in stigmatization. Stigma hurts people who work hard to battle their illnesses as well as people who have lost a loved one to suicide. It also hurts people who try to support their loved ones as they cope with mental illnesses. Despite the abundance of medical and scientific information about mental illnesses, some people believe it is a topic that should not be spoken about in publicthat it is a sign of moral and personal weakness.
Project Relate strives to break down the stigma and stereotypes associated with mental illnesses. It helps the public relate to individuals with mental illnesses. The advertising campaign features eight 30-second television and radio commercials, a series of print ads and billboards, and an educational Web site devoted to mental health information and resources.
Project Relate has been recognized with two awards. The National Association of Social Workers' Nebraska Chapter recognized the Kim Foundation with the Public Citizen of the Year award for their work on behalf of Project Relate. Also, the American Advertising Federation recognized the Omaha Federation of Advertising with the Club Achievement Award; they were awarded first place in the public services category for their work on Project Relate.
For more information and for materials from Project Relate, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or access the campaign Web site, www.projectrelate.org.