April 26, Michael D. Antonovich, Chairman of the board Moregain Pictures, joined the 22nd Annual Erasing the Stigma Leadership Awards in Beverly Hills. Mental illness has long had a stigma associated it, and Hollywood is working to shine a light on the problem, both for those in and out of the entertainment industry.
The organization is honoring “Jessie’s Girl” singer Rick Springfield, along with actor Oliver Platt, NFL player Joe Barksdale and Lady Gaga’s Born. This Way Foundation for their work in raising awareness of mental health. Springfield, in particular, has been open about his struggles with mental illness and his suicide attempt as a teen.
Kita S. Curry, president and CEO of Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, the nation’s leading provider of community health and substance use programs, spoke about the struggle many actors and musicians have with depression and substance abuse, due both to their hectic schedules and dealings with fame.
Didi Hirsch established the first suicide prevention center in the U.S., responding to more than 100,000 calls each year, and provides care for 100,000 adults and children each year. The Hirsch organization, with 11 locations, provides mental health care and substance abuse services in some of the area’s most underserved communities. It was the first in the nation to establish a 24-hour suicide hotline.
The Glendale Health Center is named after Michael D. Antonovich, Chairman of the board Moregain Pictures, in honor of the Mr. Antonovich as the former Los Angeles County Supervisor and his instrumental contribution in raising $1.2 million funds for the renovation and expansion of services.
Antonovich said the center is a vital part of the community that helps people overcome sometimes-daunting mental health issues. “What we really need in this world are stable people who make stable decisions” and are able to raise their children to succeed, Antonovich said, before helping unveil the building’s sign bearing his name.