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Depicting Mental Health
Suicide Prevention

Brian NEW HeadshotA Message from EIC's President, CEO & Co-Founder, Brian Dyak

Most everyone has experienced a mental health challenge, either personally or through a family member, and although these challenges can seem daunting, difficult to understand, and hard to explain there is still hope. The first step to finding that hope is to seek out help from mental health professionals in order to start on the road to recovery.

Utilizing the services and supports available for mental health challenges provides individuals with the skills they need to cope with the symptoms of a mental health challenge. Recovery from diagnosed mental illness is defined by the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) as a process, beginning with diagnosis and eventually moving into successful management of your illness. Successful recovery involves learning about your illness and the treatments available, empowering yourself through the support of peers and family members, and finally moving to a point where you take action to manage your own illness by helping others. []

Characters and storylines that focus on hope and recovery are both engaging and inspiring to your audiences. Consider ways that you can incorporate an individual learning about their diagnosis, seeking out help, and finding hope in recovery. Stories like this can also dispel myths and stigma that is often associated with mental illness by showing your audience that it is not the end but instead a new beginning.

 In this issue...
  • A Message from Brian Dyak
  • Depiction Suggestions for Treatment and Recovery
  • Did You Know?
  • Profile on…Glenn & Jessie Close Bring Change 2 Mind
  • Dr’s Note from Dr. Mark Ragins

Did you know?

• The definition of health, according to the World Health Organization since 1948, is “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
• One in 5 American adults aged 18 or older, or 45.6 million people, had mental illness in the past year, according to a report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
• About 9.2 million adults struggle with both mental illness and substance addiction.

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If you or someone you know is battling depression or thoughts of suicide
Call THE NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE at 1 800 273 TALK (8255) to speak with a counselor today!
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Click here for more information!
Looking for More?

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Check out EIC's Publication Picture This: Depression & Suicide Prevention

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For additional resources on this topic visit the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention website.

   Dr's Note from Dr. Mark Ragins         
The difference between treatment and recovery is that treatment is something we do to patients, while recovery is something the patients do, which we may or may not support them with. Sometimes people recover their lives while retaining a lot of symptoms. Not all emotional healing is accomplished with professional psychotherapy. “Rain man” is a great example of this. Recovery statistics are actually much better than you would think- better than in other more valued medical specialties. There is also missing data from people who do well (and poorly) but we don’t see again. Today’s stories of treatment trauma are no longer the stories of institutions and “snake pits”; they are far more often stories of misdiagnosis after rapid assessments, over medication, medication problems, lack of adequate support, overly rapid and early discharge from hospitals, diversion to jail instead of hospitals, inadequate benefits to escape severe poverty, and warehousing in run down group homes. Understanding the process people go through to recover is important. There are many different types, such as 12 step recovery, motivational interviewing stages, or my own, (hope, empowerment, self-responsibility, and attaining meaningful roles.) Remembering that patients going through treatment may go through ups and downs, and sometimes it takes a few times for the biological part of their body to get up to speed with the behavioral changes they are making.
Treatment and
Recovery Depiction Suggestions

• Consider showing a character living with a mental health challenge who utilizes services like talk therapy, social workers, or community groups and medication, if needed. There is no ‘ magical pill’ to cure mental health challenges, instead a combination of services is most successful.
• Think about ways to spotlight the personal and emotional struggles that may accompany a mental health challenge, not just the clinical implications. 
• Try to create characters that are successfully managing symptoms of their mental health challenges who can serve as mentors to someone who is newly diagnosed or reaching out for help for the first time.

 Profile On...
Glenn Close is both an award-winning actress and a leading advocate for the reduction of stigma and discrimination against mental health. She founded Bring Change 2 Mind in 2009 to reduce misconceptions about mental illness. She also narrated a documentary that was released on May 30, 2013, titled “A New State of Mind: Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness,” which was produced by a Sacramento station and PBS, and is a program of CalMHSA, the California Mental Health Services Authority.

Glenn Close has personal experience with the affects of mental illness on a family. Both her sister, Jessie Close, and her nephew, Calen Pick, live with mental illnesses. Jessie Close has worked with her sister on this project, and is featured in the documentary and in short videos on the organization’s website,

Entertainment Industries Council worked closely with the production team of the documentary and was instrumental in bringing Glenn Close on board as the film’s narrator. The documentary is available at Portions of the documentary will also be showcased at an industry event in August. 

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EIC's FREE Technical Assistance Resource 
to the Creative Community!

To set up your own FREE First Draft Consultation with one of our experts contact Ashley Jupin:
or 818-861-7782.

Check out EIC's Online Mental Health Resources at
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