“A New State of Mind: Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness” Premieres Statewide Tonight!

From NAMI California Newsletter: Award-winning actress and mental health advocate Glenn Close will narrate “A New State of Mind: Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness,” an inspiring documentary that tells the stories of everyday people to shatter myths about mental illness, highlighting the struggles faced by those with mental health challenges, and their hope, resilience and recovery.

One in four American adults suffers from a diagnosable mental health illness in any given year, but many don’t seek help because of fear of judgment, isolation and discrimination.

Through the stories of real Californians, viewers of “A New State of Mind” will come to understand that mental health challenges are more common than they think, that they can be managed and that recovery is possible. Elyn Saks, professor of law at the USC Gould School of Law and author, former U.S. Congressman Patrick Kennedy and five-time Olympic medalist diver Greg Louganis are among the many subjects profiled in the hour-long documentary.

Ms. Close is a dedicated mental health advocate, having founded a national anti-stigma campaign, Bring Change 2 Mind in partnership with The Balanced Mind Foundation, Fountain House, and Garen & Shari Staglin of the International Mental Health Research Organization (IMHRO). The idea for Bring Change 2 Mind was born when Ms. Close volunteered at Fountain House in order to learn more about mental illness, which both her sister, Jessie Close, and nephew, Calen Pick, live with.

“The toxic stigma around mental illness can be as painful as the illness itself,” said Ms. Close. “It’s crucial that these diverse and powerful stories are told and shared so that everyone realizes that mental illness touches us all. No one need struggle in isolation, silence and shame. Listening and having the courage to join the conversation will save lives.”

“A New State of Mind: Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness” is produced by KVIE, Sacramento’s PBS station, as part of a comprehensive statewide effort to increase the number of people who seek early help for mental challenges by reducing stigma and discrimination around mental illness. It is a Prevention and Early Intervention program of California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA), an organization of county governments working together to improve mental health outcomes for individuals, families, and communities, and funded by the voter-approved California Mental Health Services Act (Prop. 63).

The documentary will air on PBS stations across California during primetime on May 30.

Regional air times are listed below:

      • Eureka / KEET: 10 p.m.
      • Redding / KIXE: 10 p.m.
      • San Francisco / KQED: 10:30 p.m. on May 31
      • Fresno & Bakersfield / KVPT, Valley PBS: 8 p.m.
      • Reno & Lake Tahoe / KNPB: 8 p.m.
      • San Francisco Bay Area / KMTP: 8 p.m.
      • Los Angeles / KLCS & KOCE: 10 p.m.
      • Sacramento / KVIE: 9 p.m.
      • San Jose, Salinas, Monterey / KQED Plus: 10 p.m.
      • North Bay / KRCB: 8 p.m.
      • San Bernardino/Riverside / KVCR: 8 p.m.
      • San Diego / KPBS: 10 p.m.
      • PBS SoCaL: 10 p.m.

To learn more about “A New State of Mind: Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness” and California’s mental health movement, visit EachMindMatters.org.

Click here to view the film online.



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Adolescent Suicide Risk Increases with Exposure to Suicide According to Recent Study

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health reported in the May 21 Canadian Medical Association Journal that exposure to suicide can lead to suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in adolescents.

The finding was based on responses from 8,766 Canadian adolescents aged 12 to 17 who were part of the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, carried out from 1998 to 2007. Study participants were asked whether anyone in their school had died by suicide and whether they personally knew anyone who had died by suicide. Social support for the youths and stressful life events were also assessed in the study. The prevalence of exposure to a schoolmate’s suicide and personally knowing someone who died by suicide increased with age, and such exposure was consistently associated with suicide attempts and, to a lesser degree, with suicidal ideation.

“Our results support schoolwide interventions over current targeted interventions, particularly over strategies that target interventions toward children closest to the decedent,” the researchers concluded.

Experts say that patient involvement is key to any suicide-prevention strategy’s success. Read more on that topic in Psychiatric News here. And find more information about such strategies in The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Suicide Assessment and Management, Second Edition, available here.

(From  Psychiatric News Alert)
(Image: Piotr Marcinski/Shutterstock.com)

Award-Winning Author Discusses Living With Schizophrenia

Psychiatric News Alert, Sunday, May 19, 2013

“My therapist used to say I was three people—Professor Saks, the lady with the thick medical history, and Elyn,” recounted Elyn Saks, Ph.D., J.D., in a conversation today with APA President Dilip Jeste, M.D., at the Opening Session of APA’s 2013 annual meeting about her struggle with and continuing recovery from schizophrenia. “And he thought Elyn was the most neglected. Eventually, through psychotherapeutic work, coming to terms with the narcissistic injury of having a serious mental illness, it began to define me less. It became accident rather than essence. Today Elyn and Professor Saks are at the forefront, and the lady with the thick chart is trailing in third.”

Saks’ remarks were part of a wide-ranging conversation with Jeste about living with a serious mental illness while also pursuing a successful career as a writer, ethicist, and lawyer. Saks is the Orrin B. Evans Professor of Law, Psychology, and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship winner. She is also the author of an award-winning best-seller, The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness, an autobiographical account of her long struggle with schizophrenia.

Jeste interviewed Saks about issues related to recovery, stigma, resilience, the relative value of psychosocial and pharmacological interventions, and bioethics relevant to people with serious mental illness. She recounted painful—as well as joyful and humorous—aspects of her journey and concluded with a note of gratitude to the field of psychiatry. “In many ways psychiatry has been the star of my show. I’m incredibly grateful for what you do. And on behalf of my fellow patients, thank you very much,” she said.

A Conversation with Mariel Hemingway

Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 7 p.m., at the Arclight Theater in Los Angeles. Sponsored by Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission

Mariel Hemingway will be sharing clips from her documentary, Running from Crazy, shown at the Sundance Film Festival this year.

Mariel Hemingway, Oscar-nominated actress, best-selling author, and mental-health advocate with a family legacy of seven suicides, including her famous grandfather, Ernest Hemingway, will talk about the history of mental illness in her family and will be joined by mental health experts in the community to continue the discussion.

NAMI Communications Coordinator Brendan McLean interviewed Mariel about the film and her experience with mental illness:

“Running From Crazy was a powerful journey for me. I wanted to share my story as a way for others to realize no matter what and where you come from everyone has a story and some relationship to mental instability. I am a Hemingway and have struggled with depression and craziness in my family but I believe that we all share similar stories. I want others to feel supported and the stigma of mental illness to be obliterated. The more we have a dialogue about this issue the better for everyone. Also the positive take away is my belief, based on my experience, that our lifestyle informs our mental wellness is a strong message.”

See the full interview at the NAMI National Site.

A Conversation with Mariel Hemingway begins at 7 p.m. at the Arclight Theater on May 15. For more information about the event and for reservations to attend, go to Free Your Minds Projects. See also the very fine review of Running from Crazy at The Telegraph.

NAMI South Bay Leaders Representing Families in Sacramento

NAMI South Bay leaders Paul Stansbury and Sandy Villano have been selected to serve on the MHSOAC (Mental Health Services Act Oversight and Accountability Commission). The MHSOAC oversees the Adults and Older Adults Systems of Care Act; Human Resources; Innovative Programs; Prevention & Early Intervention Programs; and the Children’s Mental Health Services Act. The Commission replaced the advisory committee which had been established pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code Section 5814.

Paul Stansbury serves on the Financial Oversight Committee, which provides MHSOAC reports, proposed policies and recommendations regarding anticipated Mental Health Services Act revenue cycles, as well as strategies and roadmaps to expand services by timely expenditure and leveraging of funds. (Committee 2013 Charter.)

Sandy Villano serves on the Client and Family Leadership Committee, which ensures “the perspective and participation of diverse community members reflective of California populations and who have lived experience of severe mental health issues, including their parents/caregivers and family members, is a significant factor in all MHSOAC decisions and recommendations.” (Committee 2013 Charter.)

MHSOAC’s Mission:

Provide vision and leadership, in collaboration with clients, their family members, and underserved communities, to ensure Californians understand mental health is essential to overall health. Hold public mental health systems accountable. Provide oversight for eliminating disparities; promote wellness, recovery and resiliency; and ensure positive outcomes for individuals living with serious mental illness and their families.