Trinitas Health Foundation

Peace of Mind Event: Easing the Behavioral Health Stigma

Trinitas Peace of Mind Event Chairs, Sue Head, Jill Sawers and De Snook, cordially invite you to an enlightening and candid discussion on “Easing the Behavioral Health Stigma” with Mental Health Advocate Jessie Close and Journalist Jack Ford. The evening will feature a cocktail reception, a VIP Meet and Greet with Ms. Close and Mr. Ford and dessert. It will take place on Tuesday evening, October 26, 2021 at the Park Savoy, Florham Park, NJ. Event proceeds will help Trinitas expand our inpatient unit for patients who are dually diagnosed with intellectual/developmental disabilities and severe mental illness. Trinitas operates the only inpatient facility in NJ for these very special patients.

Mental Health advocate Jessie Close wants to change how people talk and think about mental illness. An ambassador for Bring Change to Mind, a not-for-profit organization founded by Jessie’s sister, actress Glenn Close, Jessie fights stigma and misunderstanding to create a clearer picture of mental disorders. Her own struggle with bipolar disorder and alcoholism provides the backbone to a courageous story and an enlightened perspective on the state of mental health in America.

Life has been a whirlwind for Jessie, who lived with anxiety, confusion, and paranoia. As a teenager, she dropped out of high school and contemplated suicide. Jessie recalls, I lived many years without medication, then, at age 45, I was put on two medications for bipolar disorder. One medication caused me to develop Steven-Johnson’s Syndrome. I stopped that medication and took only an anti-depressant which caused a manic state. I drank to calm the mania.” She was an alcoholic and mentally unstable. Then her eldest son, Calen, was diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder, a form of schizophrenia.

Jessie asked her sister, Glenn, to help battle the stigma and misunderstanding of mental illness. “It’s one thing to be aware of stigma in your own life but when Calen lost all his friends I couldn’t bare it.” In 2009 Glenn founded BringChangetoMind.org, an outreach and stigma-fighting mental health advocacy group that provides invaluable resources and inspiration to people and families in need. BringChangetoMind aims to continue the larger conversation and challenge discrimination against mental illness. Glenn says, “It was about connecting us to our family and presenting stigma in an authentic way. Jessie and Calen [a BCtM ambassador also] are my heroes.”

Award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard directed the organization’s first national anti-stigma campaign commercial, which highlighted how mental illness affects entire families. The second ad, 2013’s Schizo, challenged the Hollywood clichés that demonize people with mental illness. Both 60-second commercials star Jessie, Glenn, and Calen to illustrate that no one struggles alone.

Jessie’s memoir, Resilience: Two Sisters and a Story of Mental Illness, was released in 2015. She blogs about living with mental illness for BringChange2Mind.org and has made appearances on Good Morning America, Katie, Erin Burnett, and Piers Morgan.

Date: Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Location: Virtual Event
Time: 6:00-7:00PM Virtual VIP Reception
7:00-8:00PM – Virtual Discussion with Jessie Close & Jack Ford

To purchase tickets and/or show your support with a sponsorship, click here.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact Katy Cruz at kcruz@trinitas.org or 908-994-8249.

Trinitas’ Behavioral Health Facilities
Trinitas operates one of the most highly respected and comprehensive departments of Behavioral Health & Psychiatry in New Jersey. Services are offered along a full continuum of care, with specialized services available for adults, children, adolescents and their families, as well as services for those with various substance use disorders. In addition to operating a 98-bed inpatient facility, the medical center provides almost 200,000 outpatient behavioral health visits annually.

The Trinitas Adult Dually Diagnosed Unit provides specialized inpatient care for people who suffer from intellectual/developmental disabilities and major psychiatric illnesses. As New Jersey’s only inpatient facility that cares for these special patients, we always have a wait list. When a crisis hits, patients and their families should not have to wait for critically needed care. YOUR support is urgently needed to expand our facilities so we can provide timely care to every patient who needs our expert assistance.

Jessie Close