WH Holds Star Studded Event to Reduce Mental Health Stigma

Bradley Cooper and Glenn Close will be visiting the White House on Monday for a conference on mental health. The effort was organized as part of President Obama’s response to last year’s Sandy Hook shooting.

Although the one-day conference was a response to gun violence, its agenda is much broader and includes discussion of insurance coverage for mental health care and substance abuse, recognizing the signs of mental illness in young people and improved access to services for veterans. The overall goal is reducing the stigma of mental health problems and encouraging those who are struggling to get help.

150 invitees include patients, healthcare providers, educators, faith leaders, and local government officials. Obama will deliver the opening remarks and VP Joe Biden will close the event.  

Stars Cooper and Close bring “their advocacy and a celebrity buzz to the event.” Cooper played a character with bi-polar disorder in a movie. Close, on the other hand, is much closer to mental health issues, as her sister and and nephew both battle mental health issues. Close started a non-profit call Bring Change 2 Mind which helps fight the social stigma associated with mental illness.