BringChange2Mind, a mental-illness awareness video campaign founded by Glenn Close and featuring her bipolar sister and schizophrenic nephew has won a Silver Telly Award, presented to the best cable programs and video programs created for the Web.
In a video directed by Ron Howard, mentally ill people assemble in a huge crowd in New York City's Grand Central Station. Each of them wears a white T-shirt bearing the name of his or her illness, and each mentally ill person is accompanied by a loved one wearing a T-shirt identifying the wearer's relationship to the mentally ill person, such as "mother" or "other half." John Mayer's song "Say" soars in the background as the crowd swells, filling the station.
In accompanying videos, Glenn Close -- who is most famous for portraying a mentally ill woman in the film Fatal Attraction -- and other participants tell their personal stories.
"I'm 56 years old, so when I became bipolar, nobody had a clue," says the actress' sister Jessie Close. "It wasn't until I was 47 that I was properly diagnosed."
"We were clueless," says Close, sitting beside her. "Even though we now know that there is genetic depression and genetic mental illness in our family," they never made the connection. "Jessie and Calen, my nephew, are my heroes. ... The fact that she's still here," Close says, pointing to Jessie, "is a great testament to her strength as a human being."
Reflecting on her own past, Jessie remembers:
"I was in the habit of trashing relationships with my wildness and selling a house and buying another one and exchanging cars once a year and all that manic stuff and then of course after the mania goes, after you've been up for days and nights' then depression sets in. The dperession is sheer blackness. There is no out. There is no future. It's just pure blackness. ... It has taken years to get to being as steady as I am now."
She says she hopes the video campaign "wakes up people who are not mentally ill [and helps them] see that we really shouldn't be the brunt of a joke."
"It took me a long time to even come to terms with the fact that I do have an illness," Pick says, "and even today it's hard for me. ... It's a disease of our brain, and our brain is our tool to see the world. There's all the classic stuff: There's the paranoia, there's the delusions -- a lot of times for myself it's the kindling effect: When I start to exper symptoms, it's almost as if the symptoms snowball, and they become more and more powerful. Yhe paranoia feeds off the delusion and vice versa, and it's just this big net in your mind that sometimes it's difficult to make sense of. ...
"I'm lucky because I haven't been treatment resistant, so I've progressively gotten better, and I've been able to produce artwork on a regular basis."