Chris Wood Spearheads Summit in Partnership with Mental Health America Summit, April 22, 2016 in partnership with mental health America
A collaboration with Mental Health Awareness led to the recent meeting of the actors Rainn Wilson and Jewel.
The event, which featured conversations with the leaders in school-based mental health, disability justice, athletics and intersectionality, was spearheaded over the weekend.
Wood, well known for his roles on "Vampire Diaries", "Containment" and "Supergirl", has had a close eye on his mental health.
The pandemic was a bit of obnoxious for our collective mental health. We all struggled at the same time, which actually allowed the conversation to open up, Wood tells Variety. Now we must steer the discussion. Our commitment must be engaged and turned into activism.
After a long journey with mental health, Wood says things began to look up for him when he stopped lying to himself and finally honest about his well-being. It was all that I did. That was everything.
With that self-entry, Wood started IDONTMIND, a campaign to encourage open conversations about mental health.
Whether or not we all have mental health, and it touches us at some point in our lives, mental illness still is stigmatized, Wood says. And the system still fails people. There is still a lot of work to do in order to make life better for people living with mental illnesses. But if people don't speak about it, it's better than asking for help.
The event featured conversations with Wilson, Jewel, Tati Gabrielle, Zelda Williams, Antonia Gentry, Zaaire Franklin and Zaire Barnz. Key points include fighting loneliness, using social media, sports and the planet's influence on one'd mental health journey.
Wilson said on one of the panels that he was very knowledgeable about his experience. I had a terrible experience with anxiety, but had nothing to do with me in my twenties, Wilson confided. I've had terrible depression, he said.
When he spoke about his struggles, Wilson talked about a form of healing. Focusing on gratitude is an incredible superpower, e.g., Gratitude helps us shift the perspective of fear from the fear to the light. Its benefits are incalculable.
The summit was born out of findings from a recent study, Mental Health America, which found that young people want to learn mental health, but don't know where to begin.
The summit was intended to give people the connections, tools and information to jumpstart that process.
The biggest obstacle to advocacy isnt interest. We have plenty of it. Its inaction. Taking action, connecting with organizations, and finding out what you can do to help and then doing it, this is what advocacy means, Wood says. Hopefully we shortened the distance between these two things, so potential advocates can become active champions for mental health.