Helping Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan

New PSAs Give Families a Way to Start Talking With Troubled Veterans

By Published on .

For American's veterans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, coming home can be one of their biggest challenges. Nearly one-third of the 1.7 million veterans who are serving or have returned from the region suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression or traumatic brain injury. Because of the stigma associated with mental illness, many veterans avoid seeking help. At the same time, many people don't know how to approach a friend or family member who has recently returned home.

To help these veterans, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) and the Ad Council are launching a new series of public service announcements to empower the family and friends of these veterans by giving them resources to start the conversation and help these veterans make the transition to civilian life. TV and radio spots direct friends and family members to a new Web site,, where they can engage in an interactive forum and get conversation tips, critical mental health resources and information about working with the Veterans Administration.

The new TV and radio PSAs were created pro bono by BBDO New York, and Web banners and rich media ads were developed by AOL. Clear Channel's Creative Services Group, Saatchi & Saatchi and AOL donated their resources to develop additional radio, print, outdoor and Web advertising.

These spots are a continuation of the Veterans Support Campaign rolled out by the Ad Council and IAVA on Veterans Day 2008, which reached out to veterans directly, encouraging them to visit, a private social network where Iraq and Afghanistan veterans can access critical resources and share their experiences.

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