November 4, 2013

Ending Stigma, Changing Minds, and Saving Lives through Mental Health Advocacy

Professor Bernice Pescosolido (Sociology), discusses the upcoming Glenn Close lecture, "Ending Stigma, Changing Minds, and Saving Lives through Mental Health Advocacy." Pescosolido served as both as an organizer of the lecture and as Chair of the Themester 2013 committee. She is also the Director of the Indiana Consortium for Mental Health Services Research.

How will Close's lecture engage themes of networks and connectedness?

There are two unique aspects of Bring Change 2 Mind that make it uniquely connected to what we do here at Indiana University. First, BC2M is one of the few advocacy organizations closely tied to science and research in all of its efforts. This makes our mission of Themester and the work of BC2M tied not only in terms of building connectedness between IU and the national advocacy efforts, but also in terms of Glenn Close's message and direction. She is focusing on ending the stigma, isolation, and lack of connectedness that people with mental illness often experience. Stigma hinders the search for treatment and the societal resources that go to mental health care because it results in prejudice and discrimination.

What is Bring Change 2 Mind doing to curb the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness? Where can people find the "Public Education Materials" that the organization distributes?

There are so many things that they are doing. It is hard to list them all. People share their stories on the website, which for many people is the first place they disclose their illness publicly. BC2M partners with organizations such as NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) to bring visibility to the issue of stigma and discrimination through organized walks. They raise money for research to make their efforts are based on data that supports effectiveness. Glenn has been able to bring her star power to bear in terms of hundreds of hours donated by producers, directors, and other creative people to create messages and media.

To learn more about the organization, visit the Bring Change 2 Mind website.

For information about the lecture, click here to see our calendar.

Amber Hendricks
Themester 2013 Intern

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