Mental health stigma is everywhere. You will find it in movies, on television and radio, and in your local newspaper. Sometimes writers knowingly go for the lowest common denominator; sometimes they are truly unaware of the impact of their words.

So, when you hear or see something offensive, make some noise. Call and write the general manager of your local radio station when the shock-jocks use offensive humor to bolster ratings. Do the same by voicing your opinion to studio heads, television producers, and newspaper editors when you see insensitive and inaccurate portrayals of individuals living with mental illness. Start a petition, either hand written or electronic and get as many names on it as you can.

Remember that the media and entertainment industry are businesses. At the end of the day they need sponsorship; to get sponsorship they need an audience. Therefore, if you want to be an agent of influence, just follow the money. Call and write the sponsors. Start a blog and go national - or go global! The last thing in the world a sponsor wants is for their product or message to be associated with public outcry or controversy.

FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) The Nation's Top Media Watch Group

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