Public Service Announcements: Early Recognition of Mental Illness

Individuals who are deaf and communicate via American Sign Language (ASL) are among the most at-risk segments of the population in terms of mental health knowledge, illness prevalence, and treatment access. Estimates are that only 2% of deaf individuals needing mental health services receive them. This population lacks access to mental health information via radio, TV and the written word (average literacy of deaf high school graduates in the US is about 4th grade). This project will produce a series of television public service announcements (two PSAs each in 10, 15, and 30 second lengths) featuring deaf actors using ASL to convey mental health awareness information. The PSAs will be aired in the Rochester, NY region where there is a large deaf population, their effectiveness evaluated, and also disseminated nationally.

Principal Investigator :
Robert Pollard, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology)

This project is sponsored by the American Psychiatric Foundation.

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Contact Information

Videophone (for voice callers or VP users)

  • 585-286-5041


  • 585-275-6785 (voice or TTY)
  • 585-273-1117 (fax)


300 Crittenden Blvd.
Rochester, NY 14642