A group of Hollywood celebrities recently gathered in Washington D.C. for a mental health roundtable hosted by the White House Office of Public Engagement and Domestic Policy Council. The event aimed to explore ways to incorporate accurate mental health storylines in film and television series, as part of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ ongoing efforts to address the nationwide mental health crisis.
Among the high-profile attendees were Mädchen Amick, Kal Penn, and Katori Hall, who engaged in discussions about proactive mental health narratives. The participants also shared insights gained from previous campaigns focused on positive representation of mental health in entertainment and explored strategies for approaching sensitive portrayals.
Additional celebrities in attendance included Tzi Ma, Freddie Highmore, Bianca Lawson, Lisa Ann Walter, David Shore, Milicent Shelton, Shawn Ryan, and Joely Fisher. These individuals were joined by professionals specializing in psychology and mental health storytelling. The event was organized collaboratively by The Hollywood Committee, On Our Sleeves, JED Foundation, USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, and the Juvenile Welfare Board.
Following the roundtable, Joely Fisher, the half-sister of the late Carrie Fisher and the secretary-treasurer of SAG-AFTRA, took to Instagram to emphasize the significance of mental health for those in the entertainment industry. In a post, Fisher acknowledged the challenges faced by individuals in the industry and reiterated the union’s support for its members.
Fisher also shared a personal anecdote about her own experiences with mental health, highlighting the impact it had on her family. “My brilliant sister Carrie Fisher, who would’ve celebrated her 67th birthday today, wore her mental illness like a crown and scepter,” Fisher wrote. “When she departed, I took up the mantle of supporting humans who otherwise felt alone. What I didn’t know then was that a similar challenge and diagnosis would soon strike one of my children. The struggle is real.”
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