Recently, actress Glenn Close spoke out against letting words over power us. Words like depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.
This is a cause close to her heart. Close’s sister has bipolar disorder and her nephew has schizo-affective disorder. She refers to her sister and nephew as her heroes because of the struggles they face and overcome every day. They were her inspiration to get involved and fight the stigma associated with mental illnesses.
Statistics show that 1 in 6 adults and 1 in 10 children suffer from a diagnosed mental illness. That leaves room for a population of people with mental illnesses that are never diagnosed, meaning a sizable portion of the U.S. population suffers not only from the everyday struggles of mental illnesses (often unaware), but also with stereotypes and negative misconceptions about their condition.
Close is on a mission to change things. She has partnered with Foundation House, the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation, and Garen and Shari Staglin of International Mental Health Resource Organization to start a campaign called Bring Change 2 Mind.
The campaign is designed to combat misconceptions and assumptions about mental illness by providing easy access to reliable, accurate information and connect those in need with education, support, hotlines, and volunteer opportunities. These resources may be found at www.bringchange2mind.org.
“It is just the beginning, but I hope it will give people the courage to talk about mental illness, to lose their fear of the words, to conquer shame and stigma,” Close said. “There is nothing to hide. Schizophrenia. Bipolar disorder. Depression. I have no fear. We are all connected, and none of us should ever feel marginalized, stigmatized, and alone.”