Department of Health & Human Services

Posted on: July 17, 2014

Documentary focuses on ending stigma of mental illness

A screening of the documentary “A New State of Mind: Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness” will take place on Thursday, July 24, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Winema Theater in Scotia.

The event is being hosted by the Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) program.

The documentary, which is narrated by award-winning actress Glenn Close, tells the stories of everyday Californians who have lived with mental illness, focusing on their hope, resilience and recovery in an effort to shatter myths and end stigma.

At the end of the hour-long film, a panel of Humboldt County residents from the Seeds of Understanding Speakers Collective will share their stories and those in attendance will have a chance to ask questions. Food will be provided for those in attendance.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. Many don’t seek help because of fear of judgment, isolation and discrimination.

“Through the stories in ‘A New State of Mind,’ viewers will see that mental health challenges are more common than they think, that they can be managed and that recovery is possible,” said Michael Weiss, DHHS program services coordinator.

The documentary was produced 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 associated with mental illness. Stigma and discrimination reduction is one of three PEI initiatives spearheaded by the California Mental Health Services Authority, an organization of county governments working together to improve mental health outcomes for individuals, families and communities.

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

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