National Alliance on Mental Illness
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15 National Groups Seek Warnings From ABC On Suicide TV Episode


For Immediate Release, April 5, 2000
Contacts: Bob Carolla or Anne-Marie Chace 703-524-7600

A news release yesterday about the Mental Health Coalition Against Stigma in Hollywood inadvertently listed the American Association of Community Psychiatrists (AACP) as the Association of Adolescent & Child Psychiatrists. The ACAP should not be mistaken for the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatrists (AACAP), which is not a member of the coalition.

The news release also quoted early draft language for a warning and disclaimer that the coalition has proposed to ABC. A copy of the release with the final language is attached.

As Thursday night's broadcast of "Wonderland" approaches, with its climactic, powerful suicide scene, NAMI is engaged in discussions with ABC's Office of Broadcast Standards and Practices, as well as the U.S. Surgeon General.

NAMI reminds reporters to review Media Guidelines prepared by the Center for Disease Control and American Association of Suicidology which recognize that an established, scientific basis exists for concern that media presentations of suicide may contribute to causation of suicides by "suicide contagion." We continue to call on ABC and its affiliates to exercise responsibility to public health and safety concerns in airing this episode and future suicide themes.