Third Annual “Journey of Hope” Brings Jessie Close and BringChange2Mind to Central Coast

Sister of Glenn Close to Keynote Mental Wellness Event with Resource Fair Open to the Public

One of the greatest barriers to recovery from a mental illness isn’t something an individual can control. It’s the social and cultural stigma they face. The BringChange2Mind campaign, created by Glenn Close, is devoted to removing that stigma and encouraging mental wellness. This year, the third annual “Journey of Hope” event proudly features Glenn’s sister, Jessie Close, and Jessie’s son, Calen Pick, and BringChange2Mind.

“Journey of Hope,” an inspiring and educational mental wellness forum, will be held from 6-9 p.m. on Wednesday, February 1, at New Life Church in Pismo Beach, CA. This is a free event, open to the public.

Jessie lived with bipolar disorder for most of her life, but wasn’t properly diagnosed until 2004. Her son, Calen, was 18 when he lost the life he knew and was plunged into psychosis. He was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder in 1999. At “Journey of Hope,” Jessie and Calen will share their personal struggles with mental illness, as well as their compelling and inspirational journey to accept and adapt as individuals who are living with a mental illness.

BringChange2Mind began when Jessie asked Glenn to help fight the stigma of mental illness. Glenn and director Ron Howard teamed up to film the first BringChange2Mind public service announcement in Grand Central Station in 2009. BringChange2Mind has continued to raise awareness about mental illness and provides support and information to people who have been diagnosed with a mental illness and their families.

Jessie Close will be available for interviews before and after the event. Please contact Shannon McOuat at (805) 550-7692 for more information.

The forum will include a local resources and mental health services fair. Attendees seeking services for themselves or someone else are welcome to visit with representatives from over 30 local agencies and county departments.

Continuing education units (CEUs) will be offered through San Luis Obispo County Behavioral Health Services and Central Coast Psychological Association.

“Journey of Hope” is hosted by Transitions-Mental Health Association’s Family Services and Peer Advisory & Advocacy Teams. This event is co-sponsored by the Community Counseling Center of SLO County and is funded by the Mental Health Services Act though San Luis Obispo County Behavioral Health Services. For more information about this event, visit www.t-mha.org.

ABOUT TMHA

Transitions-Mental Health Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating stigma and promoting recovery and wellness for people with mental illness through work, housing, community and family support services. TMHA operates 27 programs at over 35 locations that reach over 2,000 people and 1,500 families in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. The emphasis of TMHA’s many services is to teach vital independent living skills, and build a framework for community re-entry through personal empowerment and hands on experience. For over 30 years, TMHA has been dedicated to providing housing, employment, case management and life-skills support to teens and adults with mental illness; and support, resources and education for their loved ones. For more information, visit www.t-mha.org.

ABOUT PAAT

Peer Advisory & Advocacy Team is a committee of peers that work with our community and county mental health departments to advocate for those served by the mental health system, educate about mental illness, promote wellness and recovery, reduce or eliminate stigma, and provide support for those living with a mental illness. For more information, visit www.t-mha.org.

ABOUT TMHA FAMILY SERVICES

Mental illness can have an enormous impact on families, friends and caregivers. That’s why our experienced staff offers direct, immediate support with the goal of providing relief and hope. TMHA Family Services provides compassionate, informed assistance for families, friends and loved ones of individuals with mental illness. For more information, visit www.t-mha.org.

ABOUT CCC

Community Counseling Center is a non-profit, community- based organization staffed by qualified, state-licensed, volunteer therapists or graduate level, supervised interns that has been serving San Luis Obispo County since 1968. The primary purpose is to assist individuals and families to develop the ability to find solutions, makes choices, learn healthy coping skills and initiate changes when life becomes difficult during times of transition, depression, anxiety, trauma, and uncertainty. Their program provides short-term psychological counseling services and psycho-educational information to San Luis Obispo County residents who are uninsured or cannot afford private services. Fees are based on a sliding scale according to each client’s ability to pay. Persons who are financially able, through income or insurance coverage, to use private services are offered referrals. For more information, visit www.cccslo.com.

About Bring Change 2 Mind
Bring Change 2 Mind is a national anti-stigma campaign founded by Glenn Close, The Balanced Mind Foundation, Fountain House, and Garen & Shari Staglin of the International Mental Health Research Organization (IMHRO), aimed at removing misconceptions about mental illness. The idea was born out of a partnership between Glenn Close and Fountain House, where Glenn volunteered in order to learn more about mental illness, which both her sister, Jessie Close, and nephew, Calen Pick, live with. Bring Change 2 Mind has two core goals: Provide people who have misconceptions about mental illness quick and easy access to information that combats stigma. Provide people who have mental illness, and those who know them, quick and easy access to information and support. For more information, visit www.BringChange2Mind.org.