Happy 4th of July, sweet readers!
(Well, almost, or belated, depending on when you’re reading this.)
In honor of July 4th, I thought we’d take a look back at four of the most inspiring celebrity mental health stories of 2013 so far.
After (and sometimes before and during) battling addiction and mental illness, these famous folk have enjoyed successful careers and helped spread education, encouragement, and hope to others.
1. Friends Star Matthew Perry
Matthew Perry has been pretty vocal about his own prescription pain pill addiction and rehab. After a friend introduced him to the nation’s drug court system, he became pretty vocal about that, too, leading U.S. drug czar Gil Kerlikowske to present him with the Champion of Recovery Award for “giving a voice to millions of Americans in recovery.” (Actor Matthew Perry Awarded for Drug Court Advocacy)
I follow a lot of Harry Potter-related social media accounts and websites because, well, I’m obsessed.
I have multiple versions of the books and copies of the school books in the series; I’ve dressed up for movie premiers; and I have quality lightening bolt jewelry.
Philip Seymour Hoffman is out of rehab and back on the sobriety wagon, folks!
What, you didn’t know he’d fallen off?
Neither did I, but apparently Hoffman had been abusing prescription drugs for the past year. Also, he started using heroin just one week before entering the east coast detox program.
Hoffman, who is well known for his roles in Capote and Moneyball (and, if you’re me, as Lester Bangs in the most ridiculously best movie of all time, Almost Famous), saw his backslide after an impressive 23-year sober stretch.
Here’s an upcoming Weekend Watching for you, sweet readers.
The 2013 Cannes Film Festival ends in a couple of days, and something else was going on amid all those glamorous red carpet appearances, hopeful debut filmmakers, and all those directors vying for the coveted Palme d’Or.
Focus Features International reportedly spent some time shopping a new Amy Winehouse documentary.
Winehouse’s wildly successful career was cut short in 2011 when, after publicly battling substance abuse, she died of alcohol poisoning at 27. Her legacy certainly has lived on, though, with the Amy Winehouse Foundation and her father’s book Amy, My Daughter.
Award-winning director Asif Kapadia (Senna) and producer James Gay-Rees (Exit Through the Gift Shop) are set to work on the still-untitled film and have released a joint statement about the project:
Amy was a once-in-a-generation talent who captured everyone’s attention. She wrote and sung from the heart and everyone fell under her spell. But tragically, Amy seemed to fall apart under the relentless media attention, her troubled relationships, her global success and precarious lifestyle. As a society, we celebrated her huge success, but then we were quick to judge her failings when it suited us.
The film will feature previously unseen footage of Winehouse and, according to Kapadia and Gay-Rees, will “look at Amy’s story sensitively, honestly and without sensationalizing her.”
Are you an Amy Winehouse fan looking forward to the new documentary? What do you hope to see (and not see) in the film?
Mariel Hemingway is sharing her life-long struggles with mental illness, drug addiction, and family suicide (seven relatives — including one of the most influential writers in American history, her grandfather Ernest Hemingway — have committed suicide) in her new documentary, Running from Crazy.
The 51-year-old model and actress teamed up with Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple (Harlan County, USA; American Dream) to create a film that “places an emphasis on suicide awareness and the importance of mental health evaluations” and one that, the two hope, “offers hope for people living with mental illness by showing that they are not alone in their struggles.”
Back in February, Silver Linings Playbook star Bradley Cooper teamed up with former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy to do a press conference on the movie industry’s progress toward “removing stigma of mental illness.”
(If you remember, the DBSA named Kennedy, who was the author and lead sponsor of the Mental Health Parity & Addiction Equity Act of 2008 and co-founder of One Mind for Research, an honorary advisory board member back in 2012.)
Glenn Close launched Bring Change 2 Mind because she has a personal connection to mental illness; her sister, Jessie, has bipolar disorder. Joey Pantoliano launched because he manages what he calls brain “dis-ease.” Most of us admire these celebrities for being so open about such stigmatized conditions and advocating for awareness, research, and acceptance.
However, not everyone is comfortable with celebrities taking on advocacy roles — especially those celebrities who don’t have any personal experience with mental illness — and that is exactly what Bradley Cooper has done during his global Q&A sessions about Silver Linings Playbook and mental health.
So, I got to meet Boyd Tinsley last Saturday night.
BOYD FREAKING TINSLEY!
Some of you might know him from an awesome little group called Dave Matthews Band and, if you do (and you’ve been reading this blog for a while), you know how obsessed I am with DMB.
I don’t play favorites, but if I did, Boyd and Dave would be it. I just love Boyd, for reasons irrelevant to this post so I’ll spare you, so this was a huge deal for me.
UPDATE: 2/25/2013: The Oscars winners are in, and although Silver Linings Playbook didn’t fare as well as some people predicted (Peter Travers not included), the lovely, though not very graceful, Jennifer Lawrence did leave with the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Congratulations Jennifer!
UPDATE: 2/24/2013: I finally watched Silver Linings Playbook over the weekend, and I loved it. Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman was spot on when he said the film portrays mental illness in “natural and poignant terms.” Nothing seems forced, cliche, or – above all – stigmatizing. I highly recommend it. Highly.
OSCARS 2013 UPDATE: Peter Travers, movie critic for Rolling Stone, has released his 2013 Oscar predictions in a video, which I won’t suggest you watch because, frankly, it’s exhausting.
So, because I love you more, here’s a run-down:
Travers predicts and/or suggests:
So, how about you, readers? Have you seen Silver Linings Playbook? Do you think the actors, director, and film itself will receive more love than Travers predicts?
(Read on for the original post.)
Happy Mental Health Month, readers!
This week’s challenge is to incorporate laughter into our daily lives.
The physical, mental, and emotional health benefits of laughter are plentiful. Laughter can boost endorphins, help you manage stress, help you get a better night’s sleep,
As people who read up on celebrity news or keep up with entertainment media, you’re probably well aware of the humor waiting around every corner!
So, why not take a page from the Your Body, Your Mind readers’ challenge and try to incorporate more laughter in your week?