Monday, 15 April 2013

Nabisco makes light of mental health issues in Wheat Thins commercial

Nabisco makes light of mental health issues in Wheat Thins commercial, The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December forced the country to look at the lack of availability of quality mental health services. According to an April 15 Education Week report, a budget proposed by President Obama last week includes $55 million to help educate teachers on possible symptoms of mental health issues, plus an additional $50 million for professionals to work with those students identified.

However, mental health advocates are accusing Nabisco of setting back the progress with a new Wheat Thins commercial, which makes light of a puppet being restrained in a mental hospital.

Andrea Lee works for the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI). She is also the mother of two children with mental illnesses. She said it saddens her as a mother and professional that Nabisco considers the struggle of individuals with emotional and psychological issues to be a joke.

Lee explained,

“The Wheat Thins ad makes light of a serious health issue and makes a terrifying experience into a joke. Any commercial that made fun of any other life threatening illness such as cancer or diabetes would be denounced by anyone that saw it. For some reason mental illnesses, which can be life-threatening, are deemed acceptable to joke about.”

Andrea contacted Nabisco with her concerns and the company stood by their ads, saying it was simply a “tongue-in-cheek look at how much people like Wheat Thins.”

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