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TV and Radio Stations Provide the Most Trusted Public Health Information

TV and Radio Stations Provide the Most Trusted Public Health Information

May 9, 2024

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, a pivotal time for media, medical professionals and policymakers to unite in addressing the profound impact of mental health on individuals, families and communities.

Broadcast networks and local TV and radio stations provide Americans' most trusted news, and take seriously their responsibility to provide accurate, useful public health information. NAB provides stations with tools, including reporting resources and PSAs, to promote the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. In addition, broadcasters across the country are interviewing local experts and providing actionable tools to help their communities break the stigma around mental health.

As we commemorate Mental Health Awareness Month, broadcasters are working to foster a culture of empathy, understanding and support, reminding their communities: Help is available, and you are not alone.

ABC News Provides Tools to Combat Stigma

ABC News Medical Contributor Dr. Alok Patel used his ABC News "Patel It Like It Is" segment to discuss routine ways we can unconsciously contribute to mental health stigma. According to the report, it’s estimated that only half the people living with a mental health condition seek treatment.

California Firefighters Shine a Light on Mental Health

Tegna's ABC10 Sacramento shined a light on the mental health struggles faced by firefighters and other first responders, whose unique exposure to stressful conditions and traumatic tragedies leads to serious challenges, including a high suicide rate. Nonprofit Hearts 4 Heroes provided the Roseville Fire Department with a therapy dog to help firefighters cope with the stresses of their job and open conversation about mental health in their work.

Philadelphia Station Encourages Listeners to Reach Out

Audacy's KYW Newsradio in Philadelphia marked National Mental Health Awareness Month with a story encouraging listeners to reach out to friends and family in distress. This simple act is key to reducing stigma and helping individuals connect with the services they need. "If you saw somebody that you really cared about walking down the street with a limp, all of a sudden, you wouldn't think twice about saying, 'Hey, what's going on with your leg?' You could say that because you know them, and we should think about mental health in the same way," Dr. Matthew Hurford, president and CEO of Community Care Behavioral Health, told the station.

CBS News Texas and Pro Football Player Advocate for Mental Health

NFL player Solomon Thomas and his parents founded The Defensive Line, an organization to provide resources and help to those struggling with mental health, driven by the purpose they found after losing Thomas' sister to suicide. CBS News Texas in Dallas-Fort Worth highlighted their organization during Mental Health Awareness Month, part of their mission to “encourage everyone to find time to take care of their mental well-being.”

23 ABC Bakersfield Combats Mental Health Stigma

23 ABC Bakersfield, owned by Scripps Local Media, interviewed local behavioral health provider, Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, on their work and the continued battle against mental health stigma. "Everybody has mental health," Lou Groce, public information officer at Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Said. "There's going to be times when your mental health is great, and there's going to be times when you're having some challenges with your mental health. That’s totally normal, and it's totally okay."

How Broadcasters Serve Their Communities

More than 2.47 million American jobs depend on broadcasting, and the local broadcast radio and television industry - and the businesses that depend on it - generate $1.17 trillion annually for the nation's economy.

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