Mariel Hemingway comes to the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington for an important community event on suicide, stigma and mental health, featuring the documentary film Running From Crazy.



Stockbridge, MA - February 3, 2015 - The Erikson Institute for Education and Research of the Austen Riggs Center along with the Berkshire International Film Festival are excited to announce an important community event on suicide, stigma and mental health, featuring mental health advocate Mariel Hemingway and the documentary film about the Hemingway family, Running From Crazy, on Saturday, March 28, from 2:00 to 5:00pm at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, MA. 

Every sixteen minutes an American takes their own life, a fact identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  For each victim of a homicide, there are two individuals who take their own life.  For those who die from suicide, more than ninety percent have severe depression or another diagnosable mental illness.  

Kelley Vickery, founder and executive director of the Berkshire International Film Festival, remarked, “Film is a medium that connects and communicates with broad audiences in meaningful ways. Running From Crazy is a beautiful example of the role film can play in opening a necessary dialogue and helping to de-stigmatize mental illness.” 

Though the stigma surrounding mental illness persists, nowhere is it more evident than in its relationship with suicide. This event is a unique opportunity for community members to come together and join in a discussion about the stigma surrounding mental illness and suicide and open up a broad dialogue about what we, as a community, can do to help understand and provide support to those dealing either directly or indirectly with mental health issues. 

Evelyn Stefansson Nef Director of the Erikson Institute, Jane G. Tillman, PhD, stated, “Suicide is now a public health crisis. In addition to the lives lost, the survivors of suicide face particular burdens including the stigma attached to suicide.  The Erikson Institute and the Austen Riggs Center are committed to research and clinical studies addressing suicide risk, prevention, intervention, and postvention. This event is an important opportunity to educate members of our local community about the topic of suicide.”

The event will include a talk by Mariel Hemingway, the screening of Running From Crazy, and a roundtable discussion following the film. “I think that everybody has some part of my story as their story,” stated Mariel Hemingway in a recent HuffPost Live interview. “If I have the courage to open up and talk about mental illness, addiction and suicide, it can open a door for people to have a discussion about this. And the more we talk about it, the less stigma there will be.” 

Tickets can be purchased online at: www.austenriggs.org/RunningFromCrazy and www.biffma.org. For questions or more information, call [413] 931.5274

About Mariel Hemingway

Renaissance woman Mariel Hemingway is not only an iconic Academy Award nominated actor from a celebrated family, she is a prolific author, adventurist, eco activist, healthy lifestyle and mental health advocate, a yoga video star, an entrepreneur and a much sought after speaker focused on mind-body-spirit optimization and purposeful living. For more information, visit: www.marielhemingway.com. 

About Running From Crazy

In 2014, Running From Crazy, a rich and evocative award winning and Emmy-nominated documentary about the Hemingway family, which Mariel co executive produced with Oprah Winfrey, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. It documents her boundless advocacy for mental health awareness, the dignity and rights of people of all circumstance and ability, and her commitment to connecting those of like mind and heart.

The Hemingway family has experienced significant loss due to suicide. Ernest Hemingway, author and Pulitzer and Nobel prize winner for his literature, committed suicide at age 61. His father, brother and sister also committed suicide. His granddaughter and Mariel’s sister, Margaux, committed suicide when she was 42.  As Newsweek stated in the April 25, 2014 issue, Running From Crazy, is a documentary where “the Hemingway DNA looms large.”

About the Austen Riggs Center

Austen Riggs Center, a leading psychiatric hospital and residential treatment program, has been serving adults since 1919.  Within a completely open setting, patients are provided immersion in an intensive treatment milieu that emphasizes respectful engagement.  Individual, four times/weekly, psychodynamic psychotherapy is provided by doctors on staff. For more information, visit: www.austenriggs.org. 

About the Berkshire International Film Festival

The Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFFMA or “The BIFF”) is a world-class festival that is an integral part of the cultural fabric of the Berkshires. BIFF showcases not only the latest in independent feature, documentary, short, and family films but also lively panel discussions and special events focusing on filmmakers and talented artists from both sides of the camera. For more information, visit: www.biffma.org.