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mtvU and The Jed Foundation Ask Students 'How Are You A Friend?'
Date:10/29/2008

"Half of Us" Campaign Launches New On-Air and Online Content to Fight Mental Health Stigma and Empower Students to Help Their Friends

NEW YORK, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- mtvU, MTV's 24-hour college network, and The Jed Foundation, the leading nonprofit working to reduce emotional distress and prevent suicide among college students, are expanding their Peabody Award-winning "Half of Us" campaign with new content launching today that encourages students to support friends who may be struggling emotionally. New additions to the campaign include on-air content featuring interviews with students and high-profile artists; information on identifying and addressing mental health problems in peers; a Facebook application that encourages students to express their emotions and support each other; and public service announcements that empower students to move beyond the commonly used question "how are you?" to really see if friends are struggling and offer support if needed.

The "Half of Us" campaign takes its name from research showing that nearly half of all college students say they have been so depressed they couldn't function at some point during the last year. A recent study out of the University of Texas at Austin also found that half of all college students have thought about suicide. Peers can play an important role in encouraging friends to get help for emotional problems - research conducted for the campaign found that over 75% would turn to friends if they were struggling. To make sure that students are prepared to help peers in need, the "Half of Us" campaign is focusing efforts on starting a healthy dialogue around mental health issues, giving students the information they need to identify common warning signs of a problem and preparing them to encourage friends to find the support they need.

"It's impossible to be in college today and not know someone who is struggling," said Ross Martin, Head of Programming for mtvU. "The 'Half of Us' c
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SOURCE mtvU
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