Throughout human history, actors have made their living as entertainers – on stage, the big screen, small screen, even the computer screen. During our journeys, we sometimes encounter roles where the characters exhibit mental issues. Just a quick thought to the most memorable moments in movies and on television over the last century will provide you with many depictions of individuals exhibiting mental illness — almost all encountering seemingly insurmountable barriers.
As artists, what we learn as we become more knowledgeable about mental illness — its symptoms, diagnosis and treatment — is these barriers are not insurmountable and by stigmatizing those with mental illness, we are doing a grave injustice to them, ourselves and all of society.
Our goal is to educate the public about the wonderful possibilities that exist when we break down the societal barriers which hold us all back because we treat those afflicted with mental illness differently — we label them and isolate them. What we passionately want to accomplish is to relieve the weight of millions of people who suffer this isolation.
In our roles as communicators, we have found that by infusing humor into a message — by having a “spoonful of sugar help the medicine go down” — that the message not only grows faster but is retained longer. That is our hope. To use the humor in the name No Kidding, Me Too! to lighten the message, to cause people to remember the name, so when they are ready for the message, they will get it. To pay some recognition to the statistic that one in five adults in this country suffers from a mental illness. To allow people to have a conversation that includes, “…and I’m bipolar.” “No Kidding, Me Too!”
There is an oft-quoted statistic that for every person who is diagnosed with mental illness, eleven loved ones are affected. The immediate short-term result is that the mentally ill person becomes isolated from the outside world because they are deemed unable to “handle”...