Tom Hanks, Glenn Close, Sally Field, and Gena Rowlands lent their star-power to the One Mind for Research “Circle of Hope” Gala at the Beverly Hills Hotel on September 19, 2012, to benefit ONE MIND’s goal of curing diseases of the brain and eliminating the stigma of mental illness within a decade.
The gala capped off a successful week of fundraising by One Mind and the International Mental Health Research Organization (IMHRO), who held their annual Music Festival for Mental Health on the previous weekend. The organizations have raised over $6.4 million dollars combined in 2012. One Mind is a division of IMHRO.
Two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks hosted the evening, entertaining and impressing the crowd with his brilliant commentary and in-depth knowledge of mental health issues in America. About the four most prominent conditions: bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, severe depression, and post-traumatic stress, Hanks announced: "We're going to take the Big Four of brain disease on, and we're going to get it done. It's our national duty!"
Double Oscar recipient Sally Field gave a heartfelt presentation about her Emmy-winning performance in “Sybil,” emphasizing the dearth of information available at the time to help her understand her remarkable dramatic portrayal of a woman with multiple personality disorder.
Four-time Emmy winner Gena Rowlands discussed the breadth of emotion, compassion and desperation required to portray her characters in “The Notebook” and her Oscar-nominated turn in “Women Under the Influence.”
Glenn Close, a mental health advocate and one of the most lauded actresses of her generation – winner of multiple Emmy, Tony, and Golden Globe Awards and a six-time Academy Award nominee – performed a stirring monologue on a topic close to her heart: communication about mental illness and the stigma associated with it.
Close is also the co-founder of Bring Change 2 Mind, which is dedicated to eliminating the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness. "I want to help eradicate those illnesses and the stigma that goes with them. The stigma can be worse than the illness at times."
Also attending were a large contingent of decorated service men and women from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, led by Sergeant First Class Victor Medina, who spoke eloquently about his own struggles with traumatic brain injury, moving many in the audience to tears.
"It's a test of us as a society, to know if we have the national will to give our veterans a chance to recover, to come back and to heal," Hanks said.
Co-hosts for the evening include ONE MIND CEO General (Ret.) Peter Chiarelli; Dr. David Feinberg; Dustin Hoffman; former US Congressman and ONE MIND Co-Founder Patrick Kennedy; Lori and Michael Milken; Stewart Resnick; and ONE MIND Co-Founders Shari and Garen Staglin.
"ONE MIND is a revolutionary approach to a problem that has been avoided for too long - the illnesses of the brain and the stigma that is so often a part of it. We are grateful and honored that these icons of the entertainment world have chosen to add their voices and efforts to ONE MIND's mission," said ONE MIND CEO Pete Chiarelli.