Actress Glenn Close talks stigma surrounding mental illness in visit to central Ohio

Glenn Close (WBNS)
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Golden Globe award-winning actress Glenn Close came to central Ohio to talk about mental illness — an issue within her family that they hope to help break the stigma on.

Close told a sold-out crowd for The Jefferson Series lecture in New Albany about her family’s exposure to mental illness as detailed in her younger sister's book, "Resilience: Two Sisters and a Story of Mental Illness."

Jessie Close is living with bipolar depression which went undiagnosed for decades. One of her children, a son named Calen, has schizophrenia and spent two years in a mental hospital.

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Glenn Close said her family did not have what she described as the "vocabulary" for what was happening.

“You have to examine yourself to see whether you have any kind of stigma that's just been inadvertently fed into you and then realize your family member can lead a viable life," she said. "You can have a life, but you have to get help. And the sooner you get help, the better your life will be.”

Close is one of the founders of "Bring Change to Mind," which is a non-profit aimed at ending discrimination and stigma surrounding mental illness.

The actress, who just won a Golden Globe for her work on "The Wife," is earning a lot of Oscar buzz. She said over the course of her 45-year career, she’s learned to keep it all in perspective: “One of the ways I protect myself is to not let myself believe something's going to happen until it actually happens, and I just didn't that was going to happen.”