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Bradley Cooper, star of Silver Linings Playbook, a movie about a man with bipolar disorder,  joined Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Former Rhode Island Representative Patrick Kennedy for a press conference at the Center for American Progress to discuss how this recent film is making progress towards removing the stigma of mental illness.

Cooper, Stabenow, and Kennedy joined by Barbara Van Dahlen, President and Founder of Give an Hour, a nonprofit organization providing free mental health services to U.S. military and their families affected by Iraq and Afghanistan, and Topher Spiro, Director of Health Policy at the Center for American Progress.

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Silver Linings Playbook is a film that touches on the serious subject of mental illness in a very real-life, relatable way. At its core, it is an honest and loving portrayal of someone living with a mental illness and what life is like for them and their loved ones. The realness of this film is contributed to by many of the film’s creators  – Matthew Quick, the author of Silver Linings Playbook, struggles with depression, and David O. Russell, the director, has raised a son living with mental illness. As David O. Russell said, because of Silver Linings Playbook, his son now knows that “he is part of this world.”

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After the press conference, I had the opportunity of meeting the talented actor! He was very sweet and thanked me for attending the conference. I learned so much during the press conference for not only the film but Mental Illness as a whole. It’s a growing epidemic for which it can and will go unnoticed if left untreated.  As Rep. Patrick Kennedy stated, “We all have a role to play.”

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The video is worth your time. Worth every minute.

You can also check out Silver Linings Playbook  at a theater near you!

Check out the full video below!

- Christine Shepherd

Info from the Center for American Progress; Photos via CampusProgress.org and by Christine Shepherd.