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Taking A Lead Role: How TV And Film Can Change Kids' Lives Panel Discussion Hosted By The Child Mind Institute As Part Of Annual Speak Up For Kids Campaign


May 09, 2014 --

NEW YORK, May 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --On May 8th, the Child Mind Institute and Academy Award-winning producer Brian Grazer hosted a special Speak Up for Kids panel discussion at the Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles, Taking a Leading Role: How Film and TV Can Change Kids' Lives. Participants included Mr. Grazer, Child Mind Institute president Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz, Emmy Award-winning writer, producer, and playwright Jason Katims, Academy Award-nominated writer and director David O. Russell, and Chief Content Officer of Netflix Ted Sarandos. The panel was moderated by journalist Willow Bay.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 08: (L-R) Jason Katims, Emmy Award-winning writer, producer and director, Harold S. Koplewicz, MD, President, Child Mind Institute, moderator Willow Bay, Senior Editor, The Huffington Post, Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer, Netflix, Brian Grazer, Academy Award-winning producer, and David O. Russell, Academy Award-nominated writer and director, attend A Leading Role: How Film and TV Can Change The Lives of Children hosted by the Child Mind Institute and presented at The Paley Center for Media on May 8, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images for Child Mind Institute)

The lively discussion provided a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges and rewards of accurately depicting mental health in the arts. Throughout the discussion the panelists offered personal anecdotesboth as parents and as creatorsabout the impact of their stories on the public, and themselves. The audience of producers, directors, educators, parents and physicians was challenged to help combat the stigma of children's mental illness.

"Great stories are stories that are driven from understanding of characters and exactly what they're feeling and thinking, and their inner psychology," said Brian Grazer. "A lot of my movies or television shows are driven form that point of view and are often about self-worth. I am excited to partner with the Child Mind Institute to convene both the panel and ignite the discussion in our industry to use our collective platforms to find subjects and memorable characters that can really help destigmatize mental disability and change the face of mental illness in children."

Taking A Lead Role: How TV And Film Can Change Kids' Lives Panel Discussion Hosted By The Child Mind Institute As Part Of Annual Speak Up For Kids Campaign

"Putting yourself out of your comfort zone to help someone else is extremely powerful," said David O. Russell. "There is a tremendous need for parents, educators and friends to Speak Up about living with mental illness. There is a lot of work to be done to help reduce the stigma and the media industry is just beginning to help with this fight."

One in five children have a psychiatric or learning disorder. Yet, our big and small screens rarely tell us these stories. And when they do they paint a picture of mental illness that is either terrifying or laughable. The panel addressed the key role movies and television play in defining mental illness for audiences, and what can be done to communicate authentic, nuanced child mental health storylines.

"Presenting a true picture of the psychiatric issues facing our population, and particularly our children, would make entertainment an ally in facing down a public health crisis," said Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz, president of Child Mind Institute. "Our panelists have, among them, created groundbreaking works that encourage acceptance of mental illness by portraying it accurately and sympathetically. We are honored to have them, and so many representatives from the media and entertainment industries with us today."

The event is part of the Child Mind Institute's Speak Up for Kids campaign, which this year convenes 100 partners to battle the stigma and misinformation that can prevent kids and families from seeking life-changing treatment. Panel discussions throughout May in New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and Chicago include thought-leaders in mental health, media and entertainment, as well as parents and children, all of whom will share their perspectives and seek to advance the dialogue concerning children's mental health.

Parents, friends, educators, kids, and advocates add their voices by sharing who or what they Speak Up for when it comes to children's mental health by taking an #ISpeakUp Selfie ( and sharing it on social media. The #ISpeakUp selfies appearing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram convey powerful messages of hope, health and healing.

Speak Up for Kids Los Angeles is made possible by the generous support of national founding partner Hunter, and RED Interactive Agency. For more information on David O. Russell and his work in mental health issues awareness, visit To see the complete list of Speak Up for Kids events and partners, and to view the #ISpeakUp Gallery, please visit

About the Child Mind Institute
The Child Mind Institute ( is dedicated to transforming mental health care for children everywhere. Founded by Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz and Brooke Garber Neidich, the organization is committed to finding more effective treatments for childhood psychiatric and learning disorders, building the science of healthy brain development, and empowering children and their families with help, hope, and answers. The Child Mind Institute does not accept funding from the pharmaceutical industry.

About Our National Partner

Hunter Boot Ltd
Hunter was established in 1856 as the North British Rubber Company. The British heritage brand's iconic Original green Wellington was first produced in 1955. With offices in London, Edinburgh and New York, Hunter is a holder of two Royal Warrants. Under the creative direction of Alasdhair Willis, who joined Hunter in early 2013, the brand recently announced two new categories: Hunter Original and Hunter Field. Hunter Original launched with a show at London Fashion Week in February 2014. Hunter Field launches in late 2014.

Press Contacts:
Child Mind Institute
Cara Tocci646-625-4341
[email protected]

Edelman for the Child Mind Institute
[email protected]

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SOURCE Child Mind Institute

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