MENTAL HEALTH GROUP LAUNCHES BIPOLAR DISORDER PSA

Campaign Comes Weeks After Troubled Super Bowl Player Was Diagnosed

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The National Mental Health Association is releasing a new public service announcement this week to
Photo: AP
Oakland Raiders center Barrett Robbins went missing from the Super Bowl.
help educate the public about bipolar disorder.

The campaign, designed by DiMassimo Brand Advertising, New York, comes just weeks after revelations that the Oakland Raiders center Barrett Robbins dropped out of the Super Bowl after missing team training and was later revealed to be suffering from depression and bipolar disorder.

Violent mood swings
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is characterized by violent mood swings. Sufferers can feel a high level of energy, have grandiose thoughts and ideas and become reckless or highly optimistic. Soon after, they'll lose interest in things around them and experience high levels of despair and anxiety.

James Radack, vice president of public education at the NMHA, which is based in Alexandria, Va., said this is the first time the organization has commissioned TV work on bipolar disorder, a disease that is often misdiagnosed. Mr. Radack said the aim of the initiative was to educate people who may not know they are suffering from the disease.

Teammates' reaction
"The reaction of [Mr. Robbins'] teammates was 'Suck it up and deal with it.' There was no recognition that he was suffering," Mr. Radack said. Two and a half million Americans have bipolar disorder, according to the organization.

DiMassimo created a 10-second TV ad using black-and-white photography to emphasize the emotional highs and lows that sufferers' experience. "It makes you love everybody; then it makes you hate yourself," reads one copyline from the campaign.

The NMHA is working through its 340 affiliates to promote the campaign to news directors nationwide. The organization is also finalizing a radio script and is directing people to an area of its site at www.nmha.org.

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