Press Release: Fiction Based on Fact: First Interactive Novel, Plus Web Site, Throws Spotlight on Widespread Mental Illness Epidemic - Client: NWPR - Date: June 2000

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Bi Polar disorder has reached epidemic proportions in the US, effecting around 53 million Americans and causing nearly a third of all suicide related deaths among 15-24 year olds a statistic that has virtually tripled since 1960 claim the National Association for Mental Illness.

While celebrities such as Rosie O’Donnell, Ben Affleck, and X from InSync, grab the headlines for their personal battles with the disease, the other side of the picture one that involves ordinary Americans -- is deeper, darker and much, much more widespread.

Jeremy's Prophecy DotCom, a new novel uncovers the harsh realities behind the controversial issue of bi-polar disorder. The world’s fis first interactive novel Jeremy's Prophecy DotCom is making an impact beyond its printed pages, away from its connecting website and outside of the story of the mysterious Jeremy Jacobs, a longterm bi-polar sufferer.

The book and website has created a cult phenomenon that is about to go mainstream. In turn, Generation X, for one, is paying attention to Jeremy’s story, analysing the issue and bringing an often ignored issue before the public-at-large and the general media the epidemic of depression and mental illness throughout the country, "There is a stigma involved in mental illness and this impacts Jeremy’s readership," says Keith Kimmel, author of "Jeremy’s Prophecy Dot Com. The novel was created because author Kimmel considered it to be the best means to tell the story of Jeremy Jacob's experiences, treatment and recovery. "We want to bring it out into the light, get the serious interest of the people in the mainstream media. Our timing is good: the Surgeon General, Dr. David Satcher, has just announced that his primary objective is combating mental illness and suicide prevention."

As a check of the thousands of daily user sessions sustained by the website reveals, "Jeremy’s Prophecy Dot Com" is getting the awareness of its core constituency, the 15-25 year olds, reports Kimmel with "on line interest ( in
Jeremy’s story that is amazing."

He adds: "The story is based on a real person whose name has been changed to Jeremy. He remains anonymous for fear of his own well being and safety. I met him and learned his story. Jeremy’s friends started the internet site and I decided to produce the book to document his recovery in a mental institution and thus gain greater awareness and understanding of mental illness through these two outlets.

"But they've ve taken on a life of their own, really struck a chord.The interactive website essentially continues the story where the book ends and works to allow readers into the mix where they can learn and confer through live discussion and e-mail. Links to various educational and support resources plus factual information are also accessed on the website."

Publisher of "Jeremy’s Prophecy Dot Com," Jon Morganstine, of Veneer Publishing LLC, notes: "This novel approaches the subject from a highly personal perspective and with the website gets the reader to participate in the healing process.”

He adds: "We believe we have produced a novel and innovative approach to one of the mosttroubling trends in our society today."

Written by Craig Stephens

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