Actress Glenn Close visits IU campus to end mental illness stigma
Editor's note: This story from The Bloomington Herald-Times is being published here as a courtesy for readers of IU in the News.
By Jonathan Streetman
The wheels on the bus are likely the only thing that won’t catch your eye with the newest addition to the Indiana University Campus Bus Service fleet.
Wrapped in lime green vinyl and set to circulate from the stadium and through campus along the A route, the U Bring Change 2 Mind bus will be sure to give IU students an eyeful.
Actress Glenn Close was on campus Tuesday morning to help christen the vehicle, which is intended to help raise awareness of mental illnesses and the stigma often attached to them.
Close began Bring Change 2 Mind, a nonprofit organization that offers programs and support, after her family was affected by the stigma associated with mental illness.
Now the College Toolbox Project, a first-of-its-kind project initiated by Close’s organization, and Bernice Pescosolido, director of the Indiana Consortium for Mental Health Services Research and a distinguished professor in sociology at IU, are reaching out to the IU campus with U Bring Change 2 Mind.
“Stigma is the one problem that often prevents people from getting the help that they need,” Close said. “Stigma promotes shame and isolation. It’s incredibly toxic.”
To combat that problem, U Bring Change 2 Mind will give students the tools they need to understand mental illness better; inform others so that the stigma is lessened; and be better able to recognize signs of mental illness, such as depression or severe anxiety, among their friends.
Close said it is crucial to get programs like this to college-aged individuals, because early adulthood is when mental illness typically sets in.
“It would change the landscape of mental illness in this country,” she said. “And that’s what’s so exciting about this — it’s students creating this for other students.”
More information about the program and about mental illness can be found at https://ubc2m.iu.edu.