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Glenn Close, Alma Powell, and Quincy Jones to Be Honored at AARP The Magazine's 2009 Inspire Awards
Date:11/24/2008

a href="http://www.aarpmagazine.org/" target="_new">www.aarpmagazine.org.

THE 2009 INSPIRE AWARD WINNERS

Glenn Close - Mental Health Advocate

Perhaps best known for her portrayal of the deeply troubled Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction, Glenn Close, 61, is no stranger to the affects of mental illness off-screen as well. The Emmy Award winner has a more personal connection with this issue, which strikes five percent of the U.S. population and affects one in four families. In a rare public statement, Close reveals to AARP The Magazine that she has two family members who suffer from serious psychiatric disorders. "I've seen mental illness firsthand," she says. "I know there are millions of people affected, and it's not just the patient who is suffering. It's everyone around them." Two years ago the actress began working with Fountain House (www.fountainhouse.org), a nonprofit organization that she discovered while searching for help for her relatives. Fountain House offers its members assistance with jobs, education, and housing and also provides a supportive community. In 2009, Close will take her involvement a step further, headlining a national advertising campaign intended to diminish the stigma of mental illness. "When I first thought about doing this, I wondered if people would think that I was mentally ill," says Close. "Then I thought, 'What's the alternative? Not to do it?'" Close acknowledges that continued research into better treatments is important. But erasing the stigma, she says, is the first step.

Richard M. Cohen - Voice for the Chronically Ill

Richard M. Cohen didn't plan on becoming an advocate for the chronically ill. In fact, for most of his life, Cohen hid and sometimes lied about his own diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, even as he covered wars and national poli
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SOURCE AARP
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