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Association News
‘Healthy Minds’ TV Show Earns Emmy Nominations
Psychiatric News
Volume 45 Number 12 page 9-9

Being nominated for Emmy Awards is probably the furthest thing from the minds of psychiatrists and others who develop media projects to educate the public about mental illnesses and their treatment. But earlier this year, those involved in creating the PBS series "Healthy Minds" learned that their show had indeed received such recognition.

The 16-part series garnered New York Area Emmy Award nominations for two of its episodes—one titled "Autism" and one titled "PTSD: Helping Our Troops."

The program is hosted by psychiatrist Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., medical director of Holliswood Hospital in Queens, N.Y., and chair of the APA Council on Communications.

The awards are given out by the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. "Healthy Minds" was nominated for special programming in the medical/science category.

The American Psychiatric Foundation (APF) provides financial support for national distribution of the series, which is produced by New York PBS station WLIW. And at the meeting of the APA Assembly last month in New Orleans, APF President Richard Harding, M.D., announced that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will also be providing financial support for the program.

The mission of the "Healthy Minds" series is to destigmatize mental illness and the people who suffer from it and to show those individuals and their families that the mental health system offers an array of effective interventions for these often-misunderstood disorders.

Each of the 30-minute programs is devoted to a specific mental health condition or psychiatric disorder and is built around interviews with researchers and clinical experts who discuss diagnosis and treatment of that disorder. The episodes also feature an interview with a person who is recovering from the particular disorder and may also include family members who discuss their experiences. The goal of these interviews is to humanize what to many in the public is a mysterious and sometimes frightening illness.

Anchor for JumpAnchor for Jump

Attending the New York Area Emmy Awards ceremony on April 18 are (froom left) psychiatrist Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., host of the TV show "Healthy Minds"; show producer Theresa Statz-Smith; and Paul Burke, director of the American Psychiatric Foundation. 

Among the topics that the show has featured are living with schizophrenia, eating disorders, suicide prevention in teenagers, and chemical dependency. Well-known personalities have also been interviewed about mental illnesses for which they have been treated, including Patty Duke and Jane Pauley on bipolar disorder and Mike Wallace on depression.

"My hope for the show," Borenstein said, "is to encourage people who may have a mental disorder to seek help and not to suffer in silence."

The series' executive producer, Theresa Statz-Smith, commented that the public's response and the Emmy nominations demonstrate "that ‘Healthy Minds’ is serving a need in people's lives, which is what we set out to do."

When the envelope containing the Emmy winner was opened in an April 18 ceremony in New York, "Healthy Minds" was, however, not the name that was announced. The winner was "Race for the Cure," a special about breast cancer produced by WCBS TV. blacksquare

Anchor for JumpAnchor for Jump

Attending the New York Area Emmy Awards ceremony on April 18 are (froom left) psychiatrist Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., host of the TV show "Healthy Minds"; show producer Theresa Statz-Smith; and Paul Burke, director of the American Psychiatric Foundation. 

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