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McLean Hospital today announced that it earned a Bronze Bell Award at the 49th Annual Bell Ringer Award Gala last evening at The Revere in Boston. Sponsored by The Publicity Club of New England, the region’s venerable networking and education organization for public relations and communications professionals, the Bell Ringer Awards honor superior work completed by PR and communications professionals across New England.
Before a sold-out gathering of hundreds of peers, McLean Hospital, the largest psychiatric affiliate of Harvard Medical School, took home the Bronze Bell in the category of non-profit campaigns for its “Deconstructing Stigma: A Change in Thought Can Change a Life” national public awareness campaign.
“The Bell Ringer Awards are a testament to the talent, creativity, and vision of communications professionals across New England,” said Cheryl Gale, president of The Publicity Club of New England. “The work submitted for this year’s competition not only displayed innovative thinking, it also delivered meaningful, game-changing results on behalf of hundreds of clients. What makes these honors all the more impressive is that they are bestowed by peers within our community who have judged the work to be worthy of these awards. We congratulate all of our winners, including McLean Hospital for Deconstructing Stigma.”
Deconstructing Stigma: A Change in Thought Can Change a Life is a series of larger-than-life photographs and interviews with people from across the United States who have been affected by mental illness. Its initial physical installation opened in December 2016 at Boston’s Logan International Airport.
The installation, website, and companion book serve to capture the complexity of living with a psychiatric disorder, seeking treatment, navigating insurance and healthcare systems, and facing stigma.
Told through the eyes of its participants, Deconstructing Stigma boldly tears down the misconceptions of what those with mental illness look like. The volunteers in this project are more than just statistics or nameless faces. They are mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, lawyers, doctors, engineers, musicians, and more. Each one has been affected by mental illness, and each one has also faced stigma.
“It is an honor to be recognized for this one-of-a-kind campaign that continues to have an impact on how psychiatric disorders are perceived,” said Adriana Bobinchock, senior director of Public Affairs and Communications for McLean and one of the chief architects of the campaign. “While we always had great aspirations for this project, we could never have predicted how moving it would be—for the hospital staff who devoted their time and expertise, as well as for the featured volunteers who trusted us to tell their stories. Although the McLean team was there to accept the award, this was truly a group effort and we share it with every one of our Deconstructing Stigma volunteers.”
Founded in 1948, The Publicity Club of New England strives to promote and encourage involvement in the communications industry and specifically the professions of public relations, promotions, and marketing. Additional information about monthly Publicity Club programs, social and networking events, the “Bell Ringer” blog, and the Bell Ringer Awards Ceremony can be found at pubclub.org. Follow us on Twitter @PubClubofNE (#pcne).
The Bell Ringer Awards program was instituted to recognize public relations work that demonstrates excellence in creative planning and professional education and exhibits a high degree of success in reaching predetermined objectives. Open to all New England practitioners, the program, now in its 49th year, symbolizes one of the greatest tributes in any field of endeavor—the recognition of superior performance by one’s peers.