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Mental-health Awareness Advocates to Speak at Springfield College on Oct. 11

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield College will host mental-health awareness advocates Jessie Close and Calen Pick on Thursday, Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Field House. This year marks the fifth year of the college’s newly endowed Arts and Humanities Speaker Series, made possible through the generosity of Carlton and Lucille Sedgeley. This event is free and open to the public.

Inspired by Close and Pick’s stories in 2010, actress Glenn Close (Jessie’s sister) co-founded Bring Change to Mind, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness.

Jessie Close’s own struggle with bipolar disorder and alcoholism provides the backbone to a courageous story and an enlightened perspective on the state of mental health in the U.S. She is the author of Resilience: Two Sisters and a Story of Mental Illness, published in 2016, and a speaker who shares her own journey toward the larger goal of greater understanding of the complexities and challenges of living with a diagnosed mental illness.

Pick, diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder as a young man, has been active in outreach programs for youth living with mental illness, resources that weren’t always available to him at a young age. A Montana-based artist, Pick has been developing his craft for more than 14 years. He views his artwork as an expression of the creative gifts commonly found among people living with mental illness and an important therapeutic tool for his own pursuit of a healthy and productive life.

If you have a disability and require a reasonable accommodation to fully participate in this event, contact (413) 748-5287 to discuss your accessibility needs. Springfield College is a smoke- and tobacco-free campus.

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