Glenn Close's short piece entitled 'In My Own Words' is available to read in full over on Mashable.
'In My Own Words' talks about Glenn's personal struggles with mental health and the societal stigma attached to it, what lead her into activism for promoting awareness of such an issue, and the importance of compassion to its sufferers.
The Guardians Of The Galaxy 68-year-old spoke about how she was in the dark for so long about her own mental health (and those of her family members in both directions of the family tree; affecting both her sister and nephew).
Back when Glenn was growing up, 'mental health' wasn't really a term that people possessed in their cognitive tool kits. She illuminates an instance in her childhood where her sister, Jennie, would rub her forefinger and thumb together so persistently and ferociously, that other family members would simply pass it off as being symptomatic of her anxious and nervous disposition.
That kind of behavior, Glenn implies, is indicative of something much more serious.
"1 in 4 people in the U.S. experiences a mental illness" - National Alliance on mental illnesses
Regarding her own health, Glenn now realizes that she was probably mildly depressed for a large portion of her life. Her inability to accomplish even the simplest of tasks, as well as having feelings of isolation would be put down to Attention Deficit Disorder, when it was most likely a more serious case of depression.
It was when her sister Jennie had come to her saying that she couldn't stop thinking about killing herself, did Glenn finally get involved in mental health activism.
Those who are suffering with mental health issues rely even more so on the care and support of close friends and family members. Glenn sums this up eloquently:
“Starting within each family, we need to be vigilant and to err on the side of sensitive and compassionate intervention if we notice someone isolating themselves, being marginalised and made to feel ashamed. [...] Those suffering […] are worthy of our compassion, empathy and respect.”
In 2010, Glenn founded the 'Bring Change 2 Mind' nonprofit organisation, that has the aim of getting us to start talking about mental health and remove the taboo status of it.
It is really good to see celebrities do their part in breaking down the outdated stigma of mental health issues and set up fantastic organizations such as 'Bring Change 2 Mind'.
Keep going, Glenn!