Thursday, February 09, 2012

Things I like Thursday

OK, just one thing, but you know what? It was a big one.

A local TV station ran this horrifically offensive, fear-mongering spot about patients in our state mental hospital and literally called them "prisoners on the loose."

If I didn't know better, I wouldn't have thought it was real. It was like an SNL skit spoofing fear-mongering bad TV.

So my organization went to the mattresses. We sent out an action alert and posted on our Facebook page asking people to call and spam the station and let them know that people living with mental illness were not freaks, and that people getting mental health treatment were not "prisoners on the loose."

And guess what? Within just a few hours, because of our volunteers taking time to let them know that people living with mental illness were not big scary monsters, they pulled it. They are running the news segment tonight, but apparently it's not nearly as inflammatory as the ad spot was. (You can see the original spot by visiting this advocacy group's web site.)

*Ninja update* - and I am not making this up - the advocacy group's site was hacked! So you can visit this awesome blog post from The Portland Mercury, which has the video embedded.

I take this personally. I live with anxiety and depression and I kiss my toes that I have an anti-depressant that works most of the time, and a supportive and loving partner, family and friends. If I didn't, I'd probably have ended up in a hospital too.

That said, I have relatives and friends whose illnesses got so bad that they had to be hospitalized. That TV station was demonizing people just like my family, volunteers, and colleagues.

Can you imagine a group of people with any other illness - say, cancer or diabetes - being so stigmatized for seeking help for a health issue, or for being treated at a hospital?

So what do I like this Thursday? I like grassroots organizations kicking ass, thank you very much.


Calvin said...

Well done. Well done. Sock it to those media guys.

Claire said...

Way to go, lady! Magnificent!

Granny Annie said...

If only more groups could rally like that and put the media in its place. You can be proud of the quick response your group brought about. The commercial was horrible and it's a shame the media freaks couldn't figure it out for themselves. Oh yikes, "media freaks" is not a nice term for another group of human beings who cannot help their own affliction.

LL Cool Joe said...

Good for you!!!! I was going to write a post about the way "little people" as in Joe Public are now beginning to change things and making a difference in the world we live in.

Maybe I will post about that.

John McElveen said...

Love you! Both of you...seriously. I hate when people judge and don't understand!



Riot Kitty said...

Squirrel and Claire: Thanks!
GA: Thank you...and it was nice to see such a quick result.
Joey: Go for it!
John: Thanks, amigo ;)

Darth Weasel said...

glad to see real world action.

Too bad there is media people pay attention to in the first place, but that is a post for another time...or place, like G's

G said...

Excellent work done by one and all.

Kind of sucks that the advocacy's website was hacked. I mean, who would be skanky enough to hack a mental health advocacy website?

Absolutely love that cat pic.

Marnie said...

They need to come out of the Dark Ages. Ought to be ashamed. I'm glad your organization did something about it! Years ago I needed a prescription for some problems I was going through and it was the best thing I could ever had done. I worry when people become so judgemental. xo

Riot Kitty said...

Darth: True! Write it and I will read it :)
G: Yeah, that was weird! Fortunately, that alternative paper grabbed it and embedded it.
M: I was totally shocked, I have to say. I suppose that's why our organization exists, to combat stereotypes and fear-mongering like this.

Lynn said...

Good job getting the word out. That's what I hate about local news sometimes.

A Beer for the Shower said...

Good for you and your organization. I studied a lot of Rehabilitative Psych for my undergrad, and I fully agree with your stance. I like to see grassroots organizations kicking ass too. Way to go.

Riot Kitty said...

Lynn: Ditto, and thanks!
ABFTS: Merci! It's much more satisfying than seeing corporations kick ass.

Scarlet said...

Way to go, chica, and I hear you, mental illness is just that, an ILLNESS! Why don't more people get that? :/