NYU Child Study Center launches children's mental health public education campaign


Campaign designed by BBDO New York

NEW YORK, October 20, 2005 Look out this Halloween for a caped avenger adorning telephone kiosks around New York City. This boy, featured on one of the first ads in the NYU Child Study Center's public education campaign, suffers from Tourette's. Like many other children in New York City who feel ashamed about their disorder, he attempts to hide behind his mask and cape.

More than 10 million children and adolescents in the United States suffer from a diagnosable psychiatric illness, and nearly 70% never receive treatment. These disorders rob children of the ability to learn, make and keep friends and enjoy life. The NYU Child Study Center has announced the launch of a children's mental health public education campaign so kids with Tourette's and other mental health disorders don't have to feel ashamed any more.

With this campaign the Child Study Center hopes to raise awareness of these disorders and provide information on how parents can get help for their children. The campaign, which consists of five color ads, was designed pro bono by BBDO New York. Display space on telephone kiosks around New York City was donated by Van Wagner Communications. The ads will also appear in The New York Observer, New York Magazine and Education Update.

"We are extremely grateful for the generosity of BBDO New York and Van Wagner Communications," said Harold S. Koplewicz, M.D., director of the NYU Child Study Center. "Their contributions have allowed us to create a campaign that will help parents, educators and the general public recognize the signs that their children may be suffering from a mental health disorder."

Each of the five ads focuses on a different disorder including: Anxiety, Tourette's Disorder, Depression, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Learning Disorders.

One of the first ads to appear will highlight Tic and Tourette's Disorder with the headline "Sometimes the hardest part about being a kid, is being a kid." The ad provides additional information on the disorder, "Being a child is not easy if you are one of the 20% of school-age children affected by Tic disorders. Children with Tourette's, a chronic tic disorder, often also have problems with attention or anxiety. Tics and Tourette's are very treatable, but if ignored can have a negative impact on a child's self-esteem and development. Most Tic disorders begin around age 6, but can start as early as age 3. Early intervention is crucial."

The campaign also directs the public to AboutOurKids.org, the NYU Child Study Center's web site, where scientifically sound information on mental health and parenting can be accessed including: The Parent Letter, over 300 parent-friendly articles, and a comprehensive A-Z Disorder Guide.

"This advertising was designed to help create awareness of the NYU Child Study Center and to let people know that there is a place in New York City for families and children to get help with these issues," said Scott Higgins, BBDO New York Art Director on the project, "We are proud to have been a part of this effort."

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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