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NMHA Requests That ABC Immediately Pull Crumbs from Broadcast

The National Mental Health Association (NMHA) finds Crumbs to be a very degrading and deplorable portrayal of an individual living with a mental health condition. NMHA asks ABC to take Crumbs off the air before it further fuels the pervasive stigma that surrounds mental health problems.

Crumbs is the perfect example of why such stigma surrounds mental illness and why individuals living with mental health problems are reluctant to seek help. NMHA is at a loss as to how Crumbs could be approved for broadcast by one of our nationís most successful broadcast networks.

With such talents as Fred Savage, William DeVaine and Jane Curtain combined with ABCís funding muscle, ABC had an opportunity to portray Jane Curtainís character in a realistic and compassionate way. ABC chose instead to get cheap laughs at the expense of people who bravely struggle and usually overcome their illnesses. Is it acceptable to poke fun of a character recovering from cancer treatment or heart surgery?

Crumbsí second program goes as far to have Curtainís character engaged in an affair with an orderly while she received treatment. Not only does this grievously belittle someone with a serious medical condition, it also implies that those in the mental health profession are unethical and would take advantage of a very vulnerable and seriously ill patient.

One in five Americans will experience a mental illness in any given year, and so we ask ABC and the other broadcast networks to remember this when making all future decisions concerning such programs as Crumbs.

Programs like Crumbs set back the progress that NMHA, and those in the mental health field, have strived for in addressing the range of needs facing the millions of Americans with mental illness. NMHA is requesting that Crumbs be taken off the air before further damage is done. For more information, visit the NMHA website at http://www.nmha.org/index.cfm


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