Mariel Hemingway, Oscar-Nominated Actress, Headlines Anti-Stigma Event

Contact: Steve McLean
Communications Director
(206) 302-2261

SEATTLE – Sept. 9, 2013 – Academy Award-nominated actress, mental health advocate and author, Mariel Hemingway, will headline an annual event hosted by Sound Mental Health with ambitions of tackling the crippling stigmas associated with mental illness. The event, Eliminating Mental Health Stigma Through the Arts, takes place Oct. 3, 2013, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the Main Ballroom at the elegant Hyatt at Olive 8 in Seattle.

The nonprofit community mental health organization hopes to promote more awareness about stigma and participation by the actress, granddaughter of famed author Ernest Hemingway, who has lived with her own struggles with depression, should help with the endeavor.

Ms. Hemingway―who joined executive producer Oprah Winfrey and award-winning director Barbara Kopple, to develop Running From Crazy, a documentary about her family’s mental illness―will share her unique perspective on the topic by reading excerpts from her recent book Running With Nature: Stepping Into the Life You Were Meant to Live and discussing the film.

“Mental illness is still taboo in our society so we must speak about it,” Hemingway said of her advocacy work. “Talking, being open and honest about the reality of this epidemic is important in order to dispel fear and get people help.”

Given her own creative family’s history of mental illness, Hemingway brings an uncommon perspective to the evening. According to Gayle Johnson, chief development officer at Sound Mental Health, art and the creative people who create it, bring more to public discourse than simply the artwork itself.

“Most of us accept that the creative process and creative expression offers therapeutic value to people living with mental illness,” she said. “We also believe that art’s ability to engage people and connect them cannot be overlooked. We think it plays a central and vital role in helping people confront differences and recognize our humanity.”

Also joining Ms. Hemingway will be Linea and Cinda Johnson, Seattle-based mental health advocates and nationally sought-after speakers, who will host a very special reading of their memoir, Perfect Chaos, a daughter’s journey to survive bipolar and a mother’s struggle to save her. The reading will offer a touching glimpse into Linea’s struggles with bipolar disorder and her family’s dedication to support her in her recovery.

Prior to these special readings, several artists living with mental illness will display their artwork at an art exhibit, beginning at 5:30 p.m., during a cocktail reception. Event cost will be $55. Registration and RSVP at https://www.sound.health/eliminating-stigma-through-the-arts.

About Sound Mental Health

Sound Mental Health is a private, tax-exempt organization that has provided a comprehensive array of mental health and related services to the King County community since 1966. Our goal is to help individuals and families achieve the highest level of independence and (mental) health possible. Services are tailored to meet the unique needs of different age, disability and cultural/ethnic groups. To learn more, visit www.smh.org.