Guest Blog: President’s Groundbreaking Statement – “Everyone Matters!”


“Everybody Matters”

By Ray and Connie Maternick

We were watching the President’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday night. As the speech droned on we were getting tired and almost ready to call it a night.  We looked at each other and simultaneously said, almost sighing, he missed a very important opportunity. At that point we were just half listening, and about ready to hit the off button on the TV, when out of the blue, four words caught our attention.

“….Americans with Mental Illness….”

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New TV Spot Focuses on Men and Mental Illness — Courtesy BringChange2Mind

Bring Change 2 Mind, the stigma fighting non-profit that actress Glenn Close created, released a new public service announcement yesterday.  This is its third PSA and it features four men from professional sports, television and the music industry, including one of my favorite comedians and actors, Wayne Brady.

“We want to erase the stereotypes, and to create a new narrative by raising awareness of the mental health concerns that men face,” Pamela Harrington, executive director of Bring Change 2 Mind, wrote in an email.

Bravo!  Congratulations to Bring Change 2 Mind for its continued efforts to fight stigma and educate the public.

Thanks for the Mention: CNN Names 9 Warriors for Mental Wellness

I am honored to be named a Mental Wellness Warrior by CNN, especially after reading the names of my fellow warriors. It’s nice to be noticed, but everyone who has a mental illness and is quietly going about their lives — are warriors. And everyone who loves someone with a mental illness and is fighting to reform our system is a true warrior too!

Thanks to Wayne Drash for reminding  the public that there are many faces to mental illness.

From CNN    Mental wellness warriors: Fighting for those who need it most

Hollywood star Demi Lovato has become an advocate for the mentally ill after coming forward about her own struggles. "Doing better with bipolar disorder takes work, and it doesn't always happen at once."

Hollywood star Demi Lovato has become an advocate for the mentally ill after coming forward about her own struggles. “Doing better with bipolar disorder takes work, and it doesn’t always happen at once.”

(CNN)   Too often the nation only hears about mental illness when tragedy strikes. But there are warriors for mental wellness in many fields, fighting for better treatment and working to defy stigma. CNN highlights nine fighters, from the famous to the everyman, who are making a difference.

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Zac Pogliano Dies In Sleep: Mother and Son Spoke Frankly About Struggles

Zac Pogliano

Zac Pogliano

It is with much sadness that I am noting the death of Zac Pogliano, whose mother, Laura, has been a tireless advocate for mental health care and reforms. Mother and son told their stories eloquently to USA TODAY for its wonderful series: Mental Illness: The Cost of Not Caring. In August 2013, Laura wrote a blog post for me entitled: A Police Officer Who Did the Right Thing: Helped My Son When I Couldn’t. According to friends, Zac died during his sleep. No cause has yet been reported.

I have admired Laura for some time and am tremendously sorry for her loss and the loss of her wonderful son as an advocate. Many of their friends have commented about Zac’s death at Treatment Before Tragedy on Facebook.  For those of you who didn’t know Laura or Zac, here is the USA TODAY series about them.

USA TODAY: The Fortunate Mother: Caring for a son with schizophrenia

November 16, 2014


By Rick Hampson

TOWSON, Md. — She says she’s lucky, even though her son’s mental illness has driven her to bankruptcy, sidetracked her career and left her clinically depressed.

She’s lucky, even though his illness cost her the time to plan her daughter’s wedding and the money to pay for it. Even though her only friends now are ones who accept last-minute cancellations of long-made plans. Even though she can’t recall the last time she went out on a date.

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Feeling Another’s Pain: Father Pens Poem About Stranger Who Froze To Death


No one knew why he pulled away

And curled up in a ball in his room where he stayed

What’s wrong, his father and mother said

I’m hearing strange voices inside of my head

Ronald Hunter Jr. froze to death last week in Buffalo, New York.

As reported by Buffalo News reporter Lou Michel, the 21-year-old Hunter was homeless and mentally ill when he died from hypothermia alone and disoriented in two-degree weather with a wind chill that hit 20 degrees below zero. A surveillance video camera on a nearby building captured his final moments in a desolate section of a business park. He had removed his jacket and was trying to take off his shirt.

His father told the newspaper that Hunter first began acting strange shortly after he turned eighteen. “I found him curled up in a ball in the corner of a bedroom, and I said, “What’s wrong, baby?”

“I’m hearing voices telling me to kill myself,” he replied. His parents called crisis services and they diagnosed him with schizophrenia and behavioral disorders. “But because he was eighteen, it was up to him if he wanted help.”

When Chester Ray Maternick read the Buffalo newspaper account of Hunter’s death, he began to weep.

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Jessie and Glenn Continue Talking About Mental Illness



The release of RESILIENCE, the memoir that I helped Jessie Close write, gave Glenn and Jessie Close the opportunity to appear together on the Dr. Oz show to discuss mental illness. Here is a a transcript of that show as reported and posted on RECAPO.

I’m thrilled that Jessie is using the release of the book to show the public a different face in the media than the one they usually see associated with mental illness.

Dr Oz: Glenn Close & Her Sister Jessie      FROM RECAPO

As Dr Oz so kindly put, Glenn Close is one of the finest actresses of her generation. But it’s what happened off screen that truly inspired Dr Oz and those that know more about Glenn Close than the characters she played. She was born into a privileged family with a lineage of wealth. Glenn’s mother and surgeon father frequently moved Glenn and her three siblings to serve as missionaries in a cult-like religious movement. It was Glenn’s sister Jessie who seemed to have the hardest time with her family’s unconventional lifestyle.

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