Didi Hirsch made history in 1997 when it launched its Erasing the Stigma Awards and made erasing the stigma around mental illness, substance use and suicide part of its mission.
Because a mental health crisis can affect anyone, at any time, and because treatment is often complicated by prejudices and stereotypes, Didi Hirsch created a short video funded by East West Bank Foundation in May 2017 to address the problem of stigma. The video features a diverse cross-section of Didi Hirsch clients, staffers, board members and celebrities who share their or a family member’s experience with mental illness.
Didi Hirsch then launched a nationwide digital campaign, also funded by East West Bank Foundation, that included 10 short videos dedicated to ending the stigma of mental illness. The lead video focused on “Fashion Police” Co-Producer Melissa Rivers, who lost her father to suicide and received an Erasing the Stigma Leadership Award in 2016.
Her story, and those of others in the campaign such as actress Eva LaRue, legal scholar Elyn R. Saks, director Maya Forbes and Didi Hirsch President/CEO Dr. Kita S. Curry, raise awareness and inspire hope in others who struggle with similar experiences.