Transcript for Glenn Close Uses Star Power to Urge Passing of Mental Health Bill
This is a special room. Hello I'm Taina Hernandez in New York -- -- ABC news digital special report star power takes. Center stage on Capitol Hill Glenn Close holds a news conference she is there to push. For mental health legislation the -- is a founder of the group that works to end discrimination against mentally ill. And it's an issue close to home her sister and -- suffer from mental health problems let's go live and listening to Glenn Close. My -- He has been. An amazing one. Didn't know what I was getting into my sister came up to me about four years ago and said I. I need your help I can't stop thinking about killing myself. She was finally properly diagnosed with bipolar disorder when she was fifty years old. And she is eloquent speaker she's become an amazing advocate herself as is her son. Keylon. Who suffers from Saskatoon affective disorder. Our family had no vocabulary. For mental illness. Jesse was always the wild one -- irresponsible won the one who is acting now. It never occurred to any of us that she might be suffering from something that basically. She had no control over and she was in desperate need of help. It took that crisis. Point. For us to start waking up and learning about what she had been through. And learning about what Kaelin had been through we're lucky that they're still with us. -- -- incredibly brave they're my heroes and whenever I'm speaking and I always feel that they're standing on either side me. Because. Mental illness is a family affair and whenever I'm in -- -- even like this I think of what. Senator -- said that it's one in four of us are touched in some way by mental illness so here in this room. On the street and grocery store in the airport. In Grand Central station where we made our first PSA. One in four. And it's incredible to me that it's still so so difficult for people to talk about it. And so our passion. Is to make mental illness as easy to talk about as diabetes or cancer. So that. It is it's part of the human condition. And it's something that should unite us Brothers then something that we need to whisper about behind closed doors -- feel. Fearful and ashamed but to choose is the stigma is huge scale. You can change your attitude that you might still say. Yes. I understand about mental illness but no I don't want my son to date somebody who -- -- only to sort. So my my nephew who is now married. And that this girl Megan she went to her parents and says done. I want to date this this for this young man who has schizophrenia. And in an interview Ecstasy interview -- or what happened she said well my parents were horrified. And they supply. What happened after that and she said. He met him. And I think that story needs to be repeated. Across this country in what really excites me. About this bill is that it will speak to us. In our communities because. Change is gonna come on a grass roots level. And there are people who have been working in the trenches in fantastic community organizations. Who will be. Valid validated. And we'll get to support. From the government that they need in order to take care people who are in desperate need of help and support. Speaking across the country. In colleges. Towns. There is a feeling. -- that people would just waiting for permission to start the conversation. And I think if if they understand. That their representatives. In Washington actually hear them and care about. What they're going Q&A -- -- basis and will help their communities. I think that is going to change the climate in the landscape of mental health in this country so I thank you so much. For the and a wonderful. -- -- putting up tonight yeah I hope that it will continue unity and bipartisan bill. I I think you'll. The day. A watershed for for great change in this country and I'm very proud to be here. And had to be with very -- thank you ain't so. -- And thank you for your your work. Education. -- -- and is a New York you've been watching ABC news digital. Special report thanks for joining --
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