Hollywood’s Mental Health Reckoning Has Arrived

Hollywood's Mental Health Reckoning Has Arrived

Illustration by Rune Fisker Illustrations by Rune Fisker As a seeming epidemic of suicides pummel the entertainment world, leaders and companies are responding with innovative answers to help erase the stigma around mental illness and provide help: “I’ve seen the pain and devastation it causes.” In January 2017, 51-year-old U.K.-based locations manager Michael Harm —whose credits included the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise — took his own life in a London hotel room. Shortly before, Harm sent a note to a friend in the industry describing his work as “one of the loneliest jobs on a film,” one that came with “no HR,” and urged more care on film sets. In the three years since, a tragic procession of suicides have shaken the film, television and music industries, including those of host and chef Anthony Bourdain, manager Jill Messick, comic Brody Stevens, Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell, Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington, The Prodigy frontman Keith Flint and DJ Avicii. This year opened with news that Ugly Betty creator Silvio Horta, 45, had taken his own life. Suicides — often precipitated by mental health struggles — are rising. In 2017, the U.S. rate was 14 per 100,000 people, up 33 percent from […]

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