I’ve mentioned Joey Pants a couple of times here at Celebrity Psychings, but in case you need brought up to speed: In addition to being a pretty well-known face on the big screen, Joey Pants – along with a slew of other celebs – is on a mission to stomp out the stigma of mental illness with his organization No Kidding, Me Too! (NKM2).
To help spread the word about NKM2’s mission, the importance of mental health awareness, and how his own experiences with mental illness led to his involvement with mental health advocacy, Pants has spent this year touring the country with his new documentary (also titled “No Kidding, Me Too!”) and sitting for question and answer sessions with viewers.
However, today Pants is taking the tour international and spending 12 days in Iraq with America’s troops, and this past Saturday he hosted a live broadcast on Ustream to discuss the event. (If you didn’t see the broadcast, you can watch the recording from NKM2’s front page.) Over the next 12 days, Pants will basically live in our troops’ barracks when he’s not traveling via Black Hawk to host twice-a-day viewings of the documentary and hold discussion sessions with the soldiers about his experiences, their experiences, and coping mechanisms.
I watched the broadcast Saturday and, simply put, was so amazed and impressed with Pants’ raw candor. From his morning bathroom habits (and I’m putting that lightly) to his daily antidepressants, there was very little Pants didn’t address.
The broadcast took place in what Pants called his “trophy room,” which he explained was filled with “all of the things [he] thought would make [him] happy” (Pants talks several times throughout the show about how – before he sought mental health treatment – he thought accumulating more material possessions would help extinguish the depression), and during the 52 minutes he was on air he:
- Talked about how his past lifestyle, which included creating a substance abuse issue by self-medicating, reflected his poor mental health and lack of diagnosis and treatment.
- Raved about how beneficial 12-Step meetings are and pointed out they’re not just for people with drug and alcohol addictions.
- Became emotional as he conveyed the fear his family felt about his trip to Iraq as well as how much closer he is with his family now that he’s treating his mental illness.
In everything I’ve ever read or watched about him and NKM2, Pants has held fast to his “you can’t be anonymous with mental illness” attitude. This broadcast, and his honesty, was no different. While each person’s health status is obviously his or her own private business, if we all finally realized there is absolutely no shame in having a mental illness…wow. Imagine how freeing that would be.
Overall, the broadcast was fantastic and, given the praise he gave online avenues of communication for allowing the possibility for people to “help millions of each other,” something tells me this won’t be the last Ustream sees of Joey Pants.