Glenn Close: Let’s End the Stigma Around Mental Illness Now

In 1987, when Glenn Close was cast as Alex Forrest — the iconic lead character in Fatal Attraction — Close met with several psychiatrists. She was hoping to learn more about the obviously troubled lead character. Little did she know, she was also about to learn something more troubling about the status of mentally ill people in our society.
Glenn says those visits provided insight towards the stigma around mental illness: “Not only did I not have a vocabulary for it, I realized, startlingly, that [the psychiatrists] didn’t either.” She realized that even mental health professionals still struggled to speak openly about mental illness. That experience, along with the experiences in her own family, is part of what made her into the mental health advocate she is today.
I recently had the privilege of attending the annual meeting of One Mind for Research at UCLA. With the ambitious title “Curing Brain Disease,” the conference was filled to capacity with neuroscientists and policymakers with a powerful vision: that all mankind experiences a lifetime free of brain disease.
A highlight of the conference was “The Science of Stigma,” a panel led by Glenn Close. I was fortunate enough to sit in, and to interview Glenn and the panelists afterward.
 To read more, click here.