Change A Mind About Mental Illness

Director Ron Howard lent his vision to this PSA, made possible by over 100 volunteers coming together with one simple goal, to change minds about mental illness.

October 21, 2009

Close & Personal: Dual Diagnosis

She was standing in the middle of Dixie’s living room when Molly and I walked in. She was holding a bottle of wine and made busy to get us some. “No, thank you,” I told her. She pushed. “No, thank you,” I told her again. She didn’t give up. Usually, just saying ‘no thank you’ gets the point across. But not this time. She tried to hand me a wine glass.

This was book club night, an evening with friends that, because I live quite a solitary life, I look forward to all month. I read the book for this month over a year ago and was sure I’d remember everything about it once the discussion began; I couldn’t have been more wrong. I couldn’t remember anything.

However, it isn’t the group I want to focus on, it isn’t the book or the eating or the yakking. It was this one woman, this pushy-with-alcohol woman, and myself. She is a summer person and neighbor of Dixie’s who threw the festivities this time and is someone none of us knew. In short, she isn’t from around here. She used the dreaded ‘C’ word to explain where she was from: California. Her nails were [...] continue the story

Nelson Bardon, Stand Up For Mental Health Comic

Nelson Bardon doing stand-up comedy about his experiences with schizophrenia.

Jan. 28, 2009

Cracking Up

People say laughter is the best medicine, but can it be used to treat severe mental illness? Exploring the therapy of laughter, Cracking Up provides a compelling view of how comedy can change the mind of an individual and the thoughts of a society.

Cracking Up follows the story of 11 courageous people who stand up for their mental health—literally! Using laughter as a form of therapy, counselor, comedian and author of The Happy Neurotic: How Fear and Angst Can Lead to Happiness and Success David Granirer trains these individuals who suffer from mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and manic depression, to confront their problems through stand-up comedy. While learning to laugh at themselves, they get to share their stories and address public stigma with an audience that has a lot to learn about mental disorders.

Giving a face to mental illness, this documentary introduces audiences to inspiring individuals, such as Michael Warren who has both bi-polar disorder and attention deficit hyperactive disorder. Michael couldn’t speak properly until he was a teenager, but it hasnt deterred him from his dream to become a stand-up comedian. Likewise, Paul Decarie suffered traumatic injury to his brain and spine after falling off a [...] continue the story