James Donaldson notes: I am turning more and more of my time and efforts towards mental health issues, especially pertaining to our young people and student-athletes.
Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.
Having gone through a recent bout of depression and suicidal thoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space. http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle
Jon Hamm sees a therapist and doesn’t care who knows. Sitting down with InStyle, the actor, known best for his role in “Mad Men,” told the magazine how therapy has helped him through a number of mental health issues including depression, alcohol addiction, and grief.
“Medical attention is medical attention whether it’s for your elbow or for your teeth or for your brain,” Hamm said. “And it’s important. We live in a world where to admit anything negative about yourself is seen as a weakness when it’s actually a strength.”
This isn’t the first time Hamm has spoken openly about his experience getting treatment for mental illness. In 2015, Hamm went to rehab for alcohol addiction.
“[Rehab] has all these connotations, but it’s just an extended period of talking about yourself,” Hamm told Mr. Porter’s The Journal in 2016. “People go for all sorts of reasons, not all of which are chemically related. But there’s something to be said for pulling yourself out of the grind for a period of time and concentrating on recalibrating the system. And it works. It’s great.”
Hamm has since moved on from rehab but told InStyle he still attends therapy, sharing with the publication how therapy has helped him process the grief he experienced after losing both of his parents at a young age. “I’m certainly damaged—there’s no denying it,” he said. “I was talking to my therapist yesterday, and she was newly flabbergasted at something I told her. I think she’d just forgotten it. I was like, ‘We’ve already gone through this!’ But if you look at the history of my life, it’s not great.”
Hamm isn’t the only celebrity looking to defeat the stigma surrounding living with a mental illness. In April, BBC3’s #1in4 campaign featured a variety of public figures and stars holding up four fingers on social media as a way of raising awareness of the “one in four of us will experience some kind of mental health problem over the course of a year.” Of those experiencing issues, only 41 percent of adults living with a mental illness will receive the mental health services they need each year, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports
“It’s not a weak move to say, ‘I need help,’” Hamm added. “In the long run, it’s way better, because you have to fix it.”