Skip to main content

Changing the Conversation: B4Stage4

B4Stage4 Program 2016 Video


In the second year of a unique communications partnership, Mental Health America (MHA) and ITN Productions have launched a news and current affairs-style program that investigates the progress and raised awareness of mental health in the United States. The program premiered at the MHA Annual Conference on June 8th in Alexandria, Virginia. Approximately 1 in 5 Americans live with mental illness, but despite this, their portrayal is too often negative and misrepresented. ‘Changing the Conversation – B4Stage4’ explores how people and organizations are changing the conversation and perception of mental health in America, and what have been the latest findings and advances to understand and detect mental disorders.

An estimated 26 percent of people living homeless in the U.S. have mental illness. In an exclusive report, President and CEO of MHA, Paul Gionfriddo, and his wife Pam share their personal story with their adopted son Timothy, diagnosed with Schizophrenia who became homeless and is now reunited with them after years of searching and perseverance.

‘Changing the Conversation - B4Stage4’ also features a series of sponsored editorial profiles from businesses and organizations focusing on researching and treating mental health issues in the United States.

Key Industry Interviews

Profiles include the Aging Brain Initiative, a collective endeavor at MIT, who are developing new treatments and technologies to solve the problem of brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease; the Picower Institute For Learning and Memory at MIT, providing new insights and treatments for very complex brain disorders such as autism, depression schizophrenia, addiction and degenerative diseases; the KnKt’d app & software platform, developed by Synergistic Creations, using technology to bring people closer to their wellness - and their providers; the UC Davis Mind Institute and their research to identify the environmental causes affecting Autism & ways to intervene.

Also from the MHA Annual Conference, the program contains interviews with some of the high-profile keynote speakers and advocates of mental health including former WNBA player Chamique Holdsclaw, Olympian and Author Suzy Favor Hamilton, and actor Chris Wood.

Presented by newscaster Johanna Botta, ‘Changing the Conversation - B4Stage4’ is an in-depth, online program which brings together the insights, personal experiences and real stories of people and organizations that are driving change, advocacy and policy, and who are challenging the perception of mental health in America. 

From ITN

ITN Productions’ Head of Industry News, Simon Shelley said: “Mental health problems touch more people that we might think, they are very common but still misunderstood, and the progress and advances made in this area not heard of enough. We are proud to partner with Mental Health America and share the courageous and inspiring stories of the people and organizations that endeavor to change the stigma, support research, and drive change.”

From MHA

Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO of MHA, said: “For too long, the focus of our policy attention has been on public safety, post-crisis intervention, and deep-end services. But all the evidence shows that to get the best results and to promote recovery from mental health conditions, the secret is in early identification and intervention before Stage 4. We have to change this policy, and the way we're doing it at MHA, in partnership with ITN Productions, is by changing the conversation from the start." 

About ITN Productions:
ITN Productions is ITN’s bespoke production hub producing creative and commercially valuable content for the corporate, commercial, broadcast and digital sectors. Industry News forms part of this offering and is a communications tool for leading industry bodies and national associations produced in a broadcast news program format, including interviews, news items and sponsored editorial profiles. For more information visit:

About Mental Health America:
Mental Health America (MHA) - founded in 1909 - is the nation's leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to helping Americans achieve wellness by living mentally healthier lives. MHA’s work is guided by its Before Stage 4 (#B4Stage4) philosophy – that mental health conditions should be treated long before they reach the most critical points in the disease process—and driven by its commitment to promote mental health as a critical part of overall wellness, including prevention for all, early identification and intervention for those at risk, integrated health, behavioral health and other services for those who need them, and recovery as a goal.