Not long after Jessie Close’s son, Calen, was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder – a condition that combines the symptoms of schizophrenia and mood disorders – she called her sister, Hollywood actress Glenn Close with a request.
“I called Glennie and said, ‘Can you please help?’ Because the prejudice against mental illness is overwhelming,'” says Jessie, 67. “And she did.”
Jessie, who herself has bipolar 1 disorder, was worried about the backlash and judgments that Calen, along with many others who suffer from mental illness, would face. Says Jessie: “We’re frightened of things we don’t understand.”
Glenn has since committed to raising awareness and support for those who suffer from mental illness, saying transparency around the subject was the most important thing in doing away with the stigma and reducing the isolation and pain of sufferers.
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