Desktop News | September 2023
VitAL Alabama’s awareness-raising commercial about opioid overdose won an Emmy for Outstanding Achievement Public Service Announcement.
VitAL Alabama, an initiative dedicated to mental health awareness and combatting substance misuse and overdose crises through education, training and medication, collaborated with Seed Creative and produced the award-winning video titled “See a possible opioid overdose? Make a difference, Make the Call.” The video is part of VitAL Alabama’s Project FREEDOM campaign, aiming to address opioid overdose issues effectively. Its reach spans television, radio, YouTube and social media.
The main objective of the video is to promote Alabama’s Good Samaritan Law, urging bystanders to call for help when they encounter individuals at risk due to an opioid overdose. Laura Cabinass, representing VitAL Alabama, shared the motivation behind creating the video, emphasizing their goal to make complicated academic language accessible to the public.
Emphasizing the importance of the Good Samaritan Law, Cabinass highlighted that First Responders now have access to naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose if administered promptly.
The video’s creative journey began with an earlier version, which was later enhanced to its current impactful form. During the process, VitAL Alabama collaborated with a person in recovery, who provided invaluable insights for the video. The lead actor’s suggestion to portray a relatable experience of overdosing at a gas station added depth to the narrative.
“In the first commercial that we did, George from Seed Creative had this idea to use a person that he knows as the lead act who is actually in recovery. He was very beneficial. After that first video, we said, “OK, how can we make this better,’” said Cabaniss.
The award was received by one of the producers Nick Golden, from the Seed Production Company, during a ceremony held in Atlanta, GA, on June 17. Celebrating the win, the video’s co-producer George Edmondson took to Facebook, expressing his gratitude to the team and the community, stating, “Thanks to so many people. This one really means a lot.”
The larger Project FREEDOM campaign is also dedicated to raising awareness about opioids, exposure safety, fentanyl poisoning, overdose, and how to respond to someone who may be experiencing an overdose. To further assist Alabamians who are facing mental health challenges and addiction, and who are interested in prevention, VitAL launched an app called Connect Alabama last year. The app offers access to telehealth services and acts as a comprehensive resource for substance use and mental health services information across the state of Alabama.
For more information about VitAL Alabama, Project FREEDOM and other offerings, including the provision of free naloxone, visit https://bit.ly/3Kz5rmK .