Oh my god it worked. Something actually, for once, when we need it most, all the efforts generated by the Autism community the last week have drop-kicked the above campaign into the mess with us and we’ll mess with you acid vat of wrongheaded proposals forever without end, amen.
Via Wall St. Journal Blog, NYU Bows to Critics and Pulls Ransom-Note Ads:
After sparking widespread criticism, the New York University Child Study Center decided this afternoon to pull ads, which featured ransom notes that personified mental illnesses as kidnappers of children suffering from the conditions.
The center’s campaign, which began earlier this month, featured images of ransom notes to drive home the message that 12 million children are being held hostage by mental health problems, such as depression and autism…
Intended to raise awareness for childhood psychiatric disorders, the campaign instead mainly provoked the ire of many patient groups, who called the ads stigmatizing and fear-inducing. In spite of a quick backlash, Harold Koplewicz, director of the Center, stood by the campaign at first, saying it was bringing national attention to mental health concerns.
Today, Koplewicz told the Health Blog that he decided to pull the ads because “the debate began to become focused on the ads themselves” rather than on the disorders that they were intended to highlight.
Koplewicz insists there wasn’t a particular incident that spurred the decision, but told us that “many intelligent individuals and reasonable individuals were telling me they were reading the ads in a different way” than they were meant to be read. Many parents said they felt blamed for their child’s illness even though they were getting their child the best treatment they could, which was not the intention of the ads, says Koplewicz.
He has received thousands of phone calls and e-mails since the ads became widely publicized, about 70% against the campaign. Although he heard from parents who said the ads spoke to them, “simultaneously we unintentionally hurt many other people’s feelings,” Koplewicz says.
Disability rights activists have their shit together, and every time we cross paths at the statehouse I’m in awe that as a group they’re the only people who are having a good time. Categorically speaking, disability rights is not my scene, but everytime I turn around they’re making progress for people with psychiatric labels. Leaders are by definition worthy of keen attention and the highest praise. They got it.