Bring Change 2 Mind: End the Stigma

Bring Change 2 Mind

I’ve written before about Bring Change 2 Mind, but recently I’ve been writing each week about organizations which are mental health allies and decided it’s time to revisit them.

Bring Change to Mind is an anti-stigma organization that was co-founded by Glenn Close in 2009. Her inspiration was her sister, Jessie, who has bipolar disorder and her nephew, Calen, who has schizo-affective disorder.

From their website, Bring Change 2 Mind’s mission is:

To end the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness through widely distributed Public Education Materials based on the latest scientific insights and measured for effectiveness.To act as a portal to a broad coalition of organizations that provide service, screening, information, support and treatment of mental illness.

In a 2009 article for Huffington Post titled “Mental Illness: The Stigma of Silence, Close wrote:

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 day when someone casually describes someone as ‘crazy,’ ‘nuts,’ or ‘psycho’.

I have no Illusions that BringChange2Mind.org is a cure for mental illness. Yet I am sure it will help us along the road to understand and constructive dialogue. It will help deconstruct and eliminate stigma.

Glenn CloseOne thing I find funny is that Glenn Close starred in Fatal Attraction, which has to be one of the worst portrayal’s of mental illness ever written. She has said “My Fatal Attraction role  played into the stigma’ of mental illness. I say she has redeemed herself. Other characters Close has played who have mental disorders are Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire and Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard.

In addition to working with some of the Hollywood elite, such director Ron Howard and musician John Mayer, she has gotten the attention of political dignitaries. In June, 2013 President Barack Obama said that he wants to end the stigma of mental illness at a White House conference organized in response to the shootings at a Connecticut elementary school. Glenn Close was in attendance. The event was designed to encourage those struggling with mental illness to seek treatment. Also at the event was Bradley Cooper who was nominated for an Oscar for a role as a man with bipolar disorder in “Silver Linings Playbook”.

Bring Change 2 Mind has worked to help to end the stigma through a series of public service announcements, which can be viewed on their website BringChange2Mind.org

In addition to the PSA’s on their website, you will also find:

Fact sheets on a variety of types of mental illness

An excellent reading list

Stories written by people with mental illness and information on how you can send yours

A pledge to help end the stigma of mental illness

A collection of t-shirts at ridiculously low prices

A toolkit to download which includes posters and cards that you can print and distribute in your school, office, and neighborhood.

Information on how to join Bring Change 2 Mind as they walk to end stigma with their partner, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

You could also join me and purchase one of their ridiculously low priced $10 t-shirts. I like the one that simply says “Bipolar”.

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