Last Wednesday, Oscar-nominated and Tony, Emmy, and Golden Globe award-winning actress and mental health advocate Glenn Close and her sister Jessie Close launched BringChange2Mind.org.
Similar to Paige Hemmis’s Blueprint for Hope campaign and Joe Pantoliano’s No Kidding, Me Too! organization, Bring Change 2 Mind is a nonprofit organization geared toward helping raise awareness about mental illness as well as providing information and support to people with mental illness and is already receiving positive reactions from Good Morning America, The View, MSNBC’s Dr. Nancy, and AOL Health and, on launch day, The Huffington Post featured “Mental Illness: The Stigma of Silence,” a Close-written article in which the actress dives into her personal experiences with mental illness – experiences that have played roles in her quite active involvement with mental health advocacy:
I also have the challenge of confronting the far less entertaining reality of mental illness in my own family. As I’ve written and spoken about before, my sister suffers from a bipolar disorder and my nephew from schizoaffective disorder. There has, in fact, been a lot of depression and alcoholism in my family and, traditionally, no one ever spoke about it. It just wasn’t done. The stigma is toxic. And, like millions of others who live with mental illness in their families, I’ve seen what they endure: the struggle of just getting through the day, and the hurt caused every time someone casually describes someone as “crazy,” “nuts,” or “psycho”.
In addition to Close’s PSA, Bring Change 2 Mind so far offers:
- A Learn the Facts section where you can learn the facts about certain mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and PTSD (you’ll need to mouse over “Learn the Facts” to access this).
- An excellent Get the Help You Need resource section filled with the contact information of numerous mental health groups.
- A Contact Us section of a different variety (this form helps you find the best mental health organization for your situation).
- Suggestions on how you can Be Involved.
- An area where you can Share Your Story by posting your own video about your experiences with mental illness.
Obviously, I think it’s wonderful when celebrities use their star power to help raise mental health awareness and help eradicate stigma, but what I find even more encouraging is that celebrities like Close, Hemmis, and Pantoliano aren’t just sticking their famous names to a cause – these people actually have firsthand experience, whether it’s as a patient or as a loved one, with mental illness.
Image Source: Wikipedia