Radio Facts: When I say “Revolutionary” I mean this is a subject that has been ignored for TOO long in the black community because not only does it exist, it's a MAJOR problem. Kudos to Terrie, KevThe Stay Strong Foundation, SAMHSA, and the Ad Council Launch National Mental Health Campaign for the African American CommunityMental Health Activist & Author Terrie M. Williams Serves as Campaign Spokesperson and Co-Executive Producer of Powerful Healing PSAs featuring National Cares’ Susan L. Taylor, Member of the Bloods, and A Preacher’s Daughter in Web Video Diaries Sharing Battle with DepressionThe Stay Strong Foundation, in collaboration with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Ad Council, announced its launch of a national public service advertising (PSA) campaign designed to raise awareness of mental health problems among young adults in the African American community on February 23, at Howard University.The new PSAs were unveiled at a Black History Month event at Howard University to coincide with the first annual HBCU National Mental Health Awareness Day. The launch was telecast to colleges and universities nationwide. The campaign aims to promote acceptance of mental health problems within the African American community by encouraging, educating and inspiring young adults to step up and talk openly about mental health problems. The PSAs direct audiences to visit a new website, www.storiesthatheal.samhsa.gov, where they can learn more about mental health problems and how to get involved.The Stay Strong Foundation (SSF) is a 501(c)(3) organization founded by Terrie M. Williams and Xavier Artis in 2001 to empower America’s youth. The Foundation encourages corporate and individual responsibility; develops educational resources for youth and youth organizations; provides and coordinates internships; sets up mentoring opportunities; and facilitates visits by prominent individuals and business professionals to schools, libraries, youth organizations and group homes, For more information, please visit www.healingstartswithus.net, www.thestaystrongfoundation.org, and www.used2beme.net.Williams, one of Ebony magazine’s “Power 150” for Activism and Woman’s Day magazine “50 Women On A Mission To Change The World”, is an advocate for change and empowerment. She has utilized her influence and communications expertise for more than 30 years to educate and engage audiences in causes that affect the community, the nation and the world.She launched The Terrie Williams Agency in 1988 with superstar Eddie Murphy and the late jazz legend Miles Davis as her first clients. Since then, her agency has developed and implemented public relations and communications strategies for some of the biggest personalities and corporations in entertainment, sports, business and politics.As an author, Williams has written four successful books and countless articles. Her first book, The Personal Touch: What You Really Need to Succeed in Today's Fast-paced Business World (1994, Hachette Books), is a perennial business bestseller. Her second book, Stay Strong: Simple Life Lessons for Teens (Scholastic, Inc., 2001), has been utilized in school curricula and was the catalyst to launch The Stay Strong Foundation, a national non-profit for youth. A Plentiful Harvest: Creating Balance and Harmony Through The Seven Living Virtues (Hachette Books, 2002), is her undertaking to help others achieve balance in their daily lives. Terrie’s latest work, a book entitled Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting ( Scribner 2008) reveals her personal struggles with depression and the impact the stigma of this and other mental illnesses have particularly on the African-American community.The public discourse generated by Williams’ book Black Pain and her Foundation’s creation of a national mental health advocacy campaign, “Healing Starts With Us,” led to a collaboration with Grey Worldwide advertising for the Ad Council's and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Campaign for Mental Health Recovery.Williams, along with partner, Xavier Artis (co-founders of the Stay Strong Foundation), co-executive produced the web video/PSA campaign and secured the current subjects/stories now featured on the campaign website. Williams is the campaign’s official spokesperson. The Stay Strong Foundation works to support, educate and inspire African American youth through a series of programs and events that are designed to raise awareness of teen issues, promote the personal well-being of young people and enhance their educational and professional development.“It is the work of the Stay Strong Foundation and my personal mission to educate everyone, and in particular the African American community, about depression and its impact on our communities,” said Williams. “Every day so many of us wear the “mask” of wellness that hides our pain from the world, yet we are dying. Now is the time to identify and name our pain–minus the myths and the stigmas—and seek the help so many of us need. I am a woman on fire–and will do all I can to spread the word. Our lives depends on it”.“It is only through the sharing of our stories that we begin to understand that we are not alone – -and can begin to heal from the trauma, wounds, and secrets that infect many of our lives,” said Artis. “Many of our youth are walking wounded with the deck stacked against them”.Mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, are widespread in the U.S. and often misunderstood. According to SAMHSA, in 2008 there were an estimated 9.8 million adults aged 18 or older living with serious mental illness. Among adults, the prevalence of serious mental illness is highest in the 18 to 25 age group, yet this age group is also the least likely to receive services or counseling. In 2008, 6.0 percent of African Americans ages 18-25 had serious mental illness in the past year.
An open letter to the Black Music Industry by a Black Music Creative: