Michigan Moves to Improve Mental Health in New Broadcast and Web Video

Friday, May 22, 2015


DETROIT -- Did you know that one in four people has a mental illness?

It impacts every community, every race, and does not discriminate. Some of the most brilliant minds and talented people on the planet – including two U.S. presidents, famous actors, professional athletes and countless others -- also have a mental illness. Mental illness is a medical condition just like physical illness. People can live successful lives with early intervention and effective treatment. 

As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, the Ethel and James Flinn Foundation in partnership with the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority is proud to present “Opening Minds, Ending Stigma” – a compelling 30-minute TV special which airs Saturday, May 23 at 7 p.m. on CBS 62.

The special features Michigan leaders, mental health organizations, and people with mental illness in a probing look at the issues and solutions in delivering care and ending the stigma associated with it. 

The Flinn Foundation in concert with DWMHA produced this privately funded special as the kickoff of what they hope to be a statewide effort to educate people about mental illness and improve services and treatment.

This special will be made available to other mental health organizations as a community service to distribute after its TV broadcast debut. If interested, contacts are listed above or visit www.flinnfoundation.org or www.dwmha.com

“Treating mental illness shouldn’t be viewed any differently than treating physical illness,” said Andrea Cole, CEO of the Flinn Foundation.

“It’s time to change the conversation and outdated views about mental illness,” added Tom Watkins, president/CEO of the DWMHA.

Watch "Opening Minds, Ending Stigma” 7 p.m. Saturday May 23 on CBS 62.

Among those appearing in “Opening Minds, Ending Stigma”

  • Andrea Cole –Ethel and James Flinn Foundation
  • U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow
  • Michigan Lt. Governor Brian Calley
  • Nick Lyon - Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
  • Chief James E. Craig – Detroit Police Department
  • Honorable Judge Freddie G. Burton, Jr. – Wayne County Probate Court
  • Kevin Fischer – NAMI Michigan
  • Dr. John Greden – U of M Depression Center
  • Dr. Herbert Smitherman – Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority
  • First Lady Michelle Obama
  • Waltraud “Wally” Prechter – Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund
  • Tom Watkins – Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority
  • Nikki & Haran Rashes
  • Frank Taylor
  • Lt. Andrew & Jamie Turner
  • Lexi Wronokowski

For Audio links from the special, or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Brooke Blackwell, Director of Communications DWMHA 313-833-2761, [email protected] 

John O’Donnell, Communications Consultant, Flinn Foundation 248-496-0029, [email protected]

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