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Hollywood Gets Involved

While watching television the other night, I stumbled across a commercial with Glenn Close. She was wearing a t-shirt that said “sister” across it and was walking next to another woman with a t-shirt reading “bipolar”. I was instantly intrigued! I went to the website that evening and discovered that Glenn had founded a national anti-stigma campaign for mental illness. She partnered with The Balanced Mind Foundation, Fountain House, and Garen & Shari Staglin of the International Mental Health Research Organization (IMHRO). Glenn has a sister with Bipolar disorder, and a nephew who has also been diagnosed with mental illness.

The mission statement of this organization is, “Working together to erase the stigma and discrimination of mental illness”. Their website, has a lot of great information regarding mental health. Other stars became involved, including Ron Howard, who directed the organization’s first PSA, and John Mayer, who donated his song, “Say”, to the PSA’s soundtrack.

Madness and Creativity are linked, and there is research that supports this idea. Hollywood is also full of creativity and madness. Although mental illness is still stigmatized, it is refreshing to see someone who has popular media influence use it to help teach and support mental health advocacy.

Sometimes it helps to know that “famous” people are just as human as everyone else. Below are just a few examples of famous Hollywood Stars who have revealed that they have and have gone through the experience of living with mental illness:

Catherine Zeta-Jones - Bipolar Disorder
Mel Gibson - Bipolar Disorder
Brooke Shields - Postpartum Depression
Carrie Fisher - Bipolar Disorder
Emma Thompson - Depression
Paula Deen - Panic Attacks and Agorphobia
Elton John - Substance Abuse and Bulimia
Sinead O’Connor - Bipolar Disorder
Ben Stiller - Bipolar Disorder
Sting - Bipolar Disorder
Robin Williams - Bipolar Disorder
Jim Carey - Bipolar Disorder
Robert Downey Fr. - Bipolar Disorder

The more people get involved about getting the word out about mental health, the more that can be done to help improve the lives of those who struggle with it!