You are the public relations director for your university and have been involved with student life directors, residential advisers and professionals in the medical clinic and mental health offices discussing the lack of awareness of the entire university community of clinical mental illnesses—those that arise from chemical imbalances in the brain, some of which do not manifest themselves until people are 17 or older.
A baseline survey done last semester indicates that less than 15 percent of the students know about mental illnesses, and only 23 percent of the faculty do. Awareness was somewhat higher among staff, almost 25 percent, although they are not always able to distinguish between behavioral problems such as eating disorders and clinical mental heath issues. The decision has been made to launch a campuswide awareness campaign. The university’s president is going to launch the campaign with a speech at the fall convocation of students and faculty, a speech that will later be posted on the university’s Web site, under student life.
a. You have to craft the convocation speech. Write an outline and the accompanying news release.
b. Additional follow-up presentations must be made for the different colleges to give to their faculty and staffs. You need to write a script in PowerPoint with visuals and sound for that. Prepare a draft of the major points.
c. Each of the on-campus living units will be asked to make a similar presentation. You must write that too for CD-ROM presentations. What would you suggest for this version?
d. Human Resources will be asked to show a briefer version in a DVD format to all new employees. That also is your job. Prepare a draft.
How will you handle these presentations to encourage audiences to learn more about mental illness and to seek help for themselves or others when they see symptoms? What will you do about being tactful about presenting the subject when there are likely to be some people with mental illness in the audience? How will the different audiences change the tone of the presentation?