Divergent News

Carlos Vieira Foundation & 51Fifty Energy Drink Ask For Donations While Promoting Stigma for Autism Program Chuck Lenoard on mentions the stigma children with autism face (bad kids, etc) and notes how the term mentally retarded is no longer an acceptable term. Yet the company, 51 Fifty Energy Drink, with the slogan “Live The Madness” is still promoting mental illness stigma with their branding. Having a mental illness is not a choice. Being a badass is a choice. Do you know what children and people with autism also have comorbidties that include mental illness? These folks already have enough stigma aimed at them from society without cementing the slang version of the term 5150 slapped on the puzzle pieces logo known for autism awareness. It’s unacceptable to promote autism awareness with this brand name and slogan. The 51 Fifty Energy Drink promotes its consumers as risk-takers and anyone who dares to chase their dreams despite naysayers. The founder, Carlos Vieira, named the company after being labeled “crazy”  by friends by choosing high-risk behaviors in race car driving. The name of this product is akin to calling it “Retarded: Get Your Stupid On,” or “Catch Cancer: Live Like There’s No Tomorrow.” I’m asking the company to do better with their brand and marketing, and to stop promoting mental illness stigma by launching a petition on ( Inline image 2) and at ( 1). The campaigns were created this weekend. Already the campaign on has 57 supporters. 51 Fifty Energy Drink is carried by all California Fastrip locations, Fresh and Easy stores, and is growing their reach into the Arizona market. Please join me in letting this company know they can and need to do better. Here are some links to show the connection to stigma and autism in society. Serial Killers, Autism, and Mass Murder – Once Again Asperger’s, Autism, and Mass Murder  Studies within the past 15 years have shown about 70 percent of people with autism spectrum disorders may meet criteria for what are known as comorbid mental health disorders described in psychiatry’s diagnostic manual, the DSM-IV. One 2011 study from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden found about 70 percent of young adults with Asperger syndrome had experienced at least one episode of depression. Part of the reason it is so hard to separate out mental illnesses from autism is that autism is still not fully understood and looks different in each person. For more about #TheReal5150  and the campaign’s goal of breaking the stigma of mental illness visit:

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