Mariel Hemingway: Breaking the stigma of mental illness

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Mariel Hemingway Oscar-nominated actress Mariel Hemingway talks about mental health awareness and suicide prevention.

Mariel Hemingway is not only an iconic Oscar-nominated actor from a celebrated American family; she is a prolific author and a tireless mental health awareness and suicide prevention advocate.

Her family has a history of suffering from both alcoholism and mental illness. Seven of her family members, including her sister, fashion model and actress Margaux Hemingway and her grandfather, famed novelist Ernest Hemingway, have committed suicide.

“In my family, that link of addiction to depression, to bi-polar, to suicide, is very strong,” explains Mariel.

Mariel Hemingway: Breaking the stigma of mental illness

Mariel Hemingway: Breaking the stigma of mental illness

Oscar-nominated actress Mariel Hemingway talks about mental health awareness and suicide prevention.


She says she often talks with her two daughters about their own mental health and she has taken the message on the road, giving many public talks on topics related to mental illness and suicide; two subjects, she believes, are not talked about enough. This year, she released two new books that deal with the issue of mental illness in an effort to bring attention to this important health and social issue.

“It affects so many people, it doesn’t matter where you come from, and I wanted to say ‘Hey, this is my story’ I want people to have the courage to tell theirs,” says Mariel.

Mariel joined Mike Walter in our Los Angeles studio to talk about her own inner struggles and her efforts to reconcile with her family’s tragic legacy.

  • HaroldAMaio

    —Breaking the stigma of mental illness
    Does not begin by supporting it, lending it credence, as Ms. Hemingway does. When she no longer lends it credence, she will have begun.
    khmaio@earthlink.net