Lifetime is premiering a new film this Saturday at 8 PM:
Call Me Crazy – and I can’t wait to see it. I hope you will watch it too.
Here is the description from Lifetime:
Through the five shorts named after each title character — Lucy, Eddie, Allison, Grace and Maggie – powerful relationships built on hope and triumph raise a new understanding of what happens when a loved one struggles with mental illness. “Call Me Crazy: A Five Film” stars Academy Award® and Golden Globe® winners Jennifer Hudson, Melissa Leo and Octavia Spencer, Sarah Hyland, Sofia Vassilieva, Brittany Snow, Ernie Hudson, Jason Ritter, three-time Emmy Award®-winner Jean Smart, Lea Thompson, Oscar®-nominee Melanie Griffith and Chelsea Handler. Laura Dern, Bryce Dallas Howard, Bonnie Hunt, Ashley Judd and Sharon Maguire direct the anthology
NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness) is a partner in this broadcast. They have a launched a new stigma-busting initiative as part of the campaign, encouraging us all to share our stories as part of You Are Not Alone in This Fight.
As I myself prepare to visit Ohio, New York, Louisiana, Michigan, Connecticut and Tennessee in the next few weeks to share our story for Mental Health Awareness Month, I am thrilled that the messages will reach way beyond personal travels and speeches to reach the wide viewing public.
Here is the story I shared on the NAMI site:
My son has experienced what I later learned is a fairly typical gradual-onset pattern toward full-blown, and heartbreaking, schizophrenia. After years of chaos, we have gone through the stages of family emotional acceptance (NAMI Family-to-Family saved us, which is why I now teach and train others to teach it) and have hope once again – but that hope is always guarded, affected by stigma, caution and some sense of loss.
One saving grace comes in realizing we are not alone. Speaking out about family experience brings mental illness into the light, where it belongs. My book Ben Behind His Voices: One Family’s Journey from the Chaos of Schizophrenia to Hope was created in part to open eyes, ears and hearts to the family experience – and get schizophrenia out of the closet so we can work on paths toward mental and emotional recovery.
Bravo to Lifetime – I hope this movie can help us take another step away from stigma and toward empathy, acceptance and solutions.