Melissa Rivers and Maya Forbes to Be Recognized by Didi Hirsch

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:

Rona Menashe
Executive Vice President
Guttman Associates
310-246-4600
Rona@Guttmanpr.com

MELISSA RIVERS TO RECEIVE BEATRICE STERN MEDIA AWARD
AT 20TH ANNIVERSARY ERASING THE STIGMA LEADERSHIP AWARDS

Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services Confers Award
To Recognize Her Work in Youth Suicide Prevention 

Culver City, Calif. (March 1, 2016) – “Fashion Police” producer and co-host Melissa Rivers, who was a college student when her father, television producer Edgar Rosenberg, died by suicide, will receive the 2016 Beatrice Stern Media Award for her passionate efforts to raise awareness about suicide among youth and college students. 

Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services will confer the honor at its 20th Anniversary Erasing the Stigma Leadership Awards on Thursday, April 28, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.  Actress Eva LaRue will emcee the event, which is expected to raise over a half million dollars for Didi Hirsch, a leading community mental health agency that is also home to the nation’s first Suicide Prevention Center.

"Stigma around mental health illness manifests in so many ways, but the common thread is that it prevents people from seeking help,” says Rivers, whose late mother Joan Rivers often spoke in her act about the pain her husband's suicide caused the family. “By raising awareness and speaking aloud about our pain, we can help to prevent the shame that stigma causes.”

Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services presented its first Leadership Award to Tipper Gore two decades ago and has since honored such advocates as Quincy Jones, Patrick J. Kennedy, Terry Bradshaw, Carrie Fisher, Larry King, Ronda Rousey and Howie Mandel. Other participants in the event have included Dustin Hoffman, Annette Bening, Ed Harris, Liza Minnelli, Julia Ormond, Tracey Ullman and Joe Pantoliano.

“Melissa has been a brave and eloquent spokesperson for suicide prevention for many years,” says Didi Hirsch President/CEO Dr. Kita S. Curry, PhD. “We are proud to honor her for all she’s done to erase stigma, inspire hope and increase support for mental health care.”

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About Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services

With more than 70 years of experience, Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services transforms lives by providing quality mental health and substance abuse services in communities where stigma or poverty limits access. From 11 locations throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties and about 100 schools, Didi Hirsch helps more than 90,000 children, families and adults each year. 

Didi Hirsch’s Suicide Prevention Center was the nation’s first, and is now an international leader in helping people who have thought about, attempted or lost loved ones to suicide. A founding member of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Didi Hirsch’s Suicide Prevention Center provides back up services for all of California and is one of three that has English- and Spanish-speaking crisis counselors around the clock. It is also one of three centers in the United States selected to take calls on the National Disaster Distress Helpline, the nation’s safety net during times of disaster. Learn more at www.didihirsch.org.

 

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Writer/Director MAYA FORBES to Receive LEADERSHIP AWARD at
20TH ANNIVERSARY ERASING THE STIGMA LEADERSHIP AWARDS
Held by Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services

Culver City, Calif. (March 23, 2016) – Writer/Director Maya Forbes, whose film “Infinitely Polar Bear” garnered national attention for its poignant portrayal of a man struggling with bipolar disorder and the impact his illness has on his wife and young daughters, will be honored at the 20th Anniversary Erasing the Stigma Leadership Awards held by Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services.   

“Infinitely Polar Bear,” which earned Mark Ruffalo a 2016 Golden Globe nomination, and Zoe Saldana an Image Award nomination, was written by Maya Forbes about her father, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the 1960’s.  The critically acclaimed film explores the impact of mental illness on families in a loving and humane way.

 “When we were growing up, we couldn’t explain why our father didn’t have a good job, why we lived in a really messy apartment, or why our father didn’t seem to always understand social norms. When we thought we couldn’t talk about our dad and his behavior, we felt very ashamed. But when he told us his mental illness was a part of who he was and that we were allowed to talk about it, it changed the way we went through our lives,” said Maya Forbes.  “It is thrilling to be honored by Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services because I wrote ‘Infinitely Polar Bear’ hoping that people would connect with this film because they or someone they loved was struggling with mental illness and they wanted to see an honest but loving portrait of what that’s like.  Erasing the stigma of mental illness was exactly what I was looking to accomplish with this film.” 

Didi Hirsch President/CEO Dr. Kita S. Curry said, “Didi Hirsch is thrilled to honor Maya for her honest and compassionate portrayal of a family struggling with bipolar disorder.”  Dr. Curry added, “Many of us are touched by a family member’s mental illness but stigma stops most of us from talking about it. Maya’s film gives millions of people the courage to step out of the shadows where they find they’re not alone.”

Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services will confer the honor at its 20th Anniversary Erasing the Stigma Leadership Awards on Thursday, April 28, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.  Earlier this month, the organization announced that it will honor Melissa Rivers with the Beatrice Stern Media Award for her passionate efforts to raise awareness about suicide among youth and college students.

Emmy Award winning actress, Eva LaRue will emcee the event, which is expected to raise over a half million dollars for Didi Hirsch, a leading community mental health agency that is also home to the nation’s first Suicide Prevention Center.

Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services presented its first Leadership Award to Tipper Gore two decades ago and has since honored such advocates as Quincy Jones, Patrick J. Kennedy, Terry Bradshaw, Carrie Fisher, Larry King, Ronda Rousey and Howie Mandel. Other participants in the event have included Dustin Hoffman, Annette Bening, Ed Harris, Liza Minnelli, Julia Ormond, Tracey Ullman and Joe Pantoliano.

 

About Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services

With more than 70 years of experience, Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services transforms lives by providing quality mental health care and substance abuse treatment in communities where stigma or poverty limit access. From 11 locations throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties and about 100 schools, Didi Hirsch helps more than 90,000 children, families and adults each year. 

 

Founded in 1958, Didi Hirsch’s Suicide Prevention Center is a national leader in providing research, training and services for people at risk of suicide and those concerned about them.  The first in the nation to establish a 24-hour hotline, the Suicide Prevention Center answered more than 70,000 calls, chats and texts in 2015.  It offers support groups for suicide attempters and bereavement groups for those who have been affected by suicide. In December 2013, the Center became one of five in the nation that began taking calls for the national Disaster Distress Helpline. Learn more at www.didihirsch.org.

 

Media Contact:

Rona Menashe
Executive Vice President
Guttman Associates
310-246-4600
Rona@Guttmanpr.com