Mariel Hemingway Talks Mental Health and Suicide

    November 17, 2013
    Kimberly Ripley
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Mariel Hemingway talked about both mental health and suicide–her family’s troubled heritage–during an interview on Key West this weekend. She spoke from a desk that once belonged to her famous grandfather, Ernest Hemingway. In Key West headlining the Key West Film Festival, Hemingway screened a documentary about her own life. Called Running from Crazy, it highlights the issues that have plagued her family for generations.

Running from Crazy is directed by Barbara Kopple. It explores Mariel Hemingway’s attempts at outrunning her family’s troubles.

“Whenever it’s shown, there’s always one person in the audience, or maybe two or three, who so resonate with the story as their own,” Hemingway says. “And that’s what this film is about — to bring this out of the darkness, to shed light where people don’t want to look in the dark corners of everybody’s lives, and make it not so scary.”

She hopes to see the film used for educational purposes in high schools, colleges and rehab facilities to help bring people out of the dark. She believes if it can spark conversations, it can spark healing, too.

Mariel Hemingway suffers from depression. Sister Margaux Hemingway took her own life, as did her famous grandfather, Ernest Hemingway. She is no stranger to the demons that those with mental health fight.

At a book signing on Key West–sitting at her late grandfather, Ernest Hemingway’s, desk, she recognized his creativity despite his illness. The Nobel Prize Winner was only 61 years old when he committed suicide back in 1961.

“There’s such a history with my grandfather and Key West, so sharing the film here, in a place where he’s so beloved, is wonderful,” Mariel Hemingway said.

Hopefully Running from Crazy will fulfill Mariel Hemingway’s need to help others who battle some of the demons she has fought. If her wish to help even a handful of people who suffer from mental illness or thoughts of suicide is granted, then she will have accomplished a huge goal. If in the meantime Running from Crazy wins an award or two–then that’s a definite bonus, too.

Image via Wikimedia

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPDGnAlh2mg barry

    I follow Mariel Hemingway in regard to her lifestyle (yoga and her contribution to mental health issues.)
    Life can be turned around by council and biological medications that help a person feel engaged to the world around them . By feeling balanced a person can begin to participate and share with the world in a productive and creative way. Thank you Mariel Hemingway and those who work in the field of supportive assistance.

  • edierose

    People do not have to come from a family who committed suicide to be crazy. I am suicidal and I am not from a suicidal family.

  • Barry

    No you don’t have to come from a family with mental health problems to have mental health issues of your own, including suicidal ideations. However, mental health issues do run in families, which thereby increases the likelihood of that being passed along generations. My own family is rife with mental illness. I have always suffered from depression as well. I keep it under control with medications.

    • Elizabeth Bloodgood

      Out of seven children in my family, five have been on medication for a metal illness. Two have died already (one from suicide and the other from bad health from his illness). I have bi-polar disorder and have been on meds for 30 years (I am 58). We have lost our father and his brother and a grandfather and cousin to suicide also. My twin sister, not on meds, has a son who also suffers and has attempted suicide twice. I also have other cousins with mental illnesses also. Family illness, but we cope.

  • Audrey

    Mental Illness, like alcoholism and drug addiction, I believe is a behavior pattern. Drug addiction and alcoholism can pass from a parent to a child causing a chemical imbalance. Behavior patterns can be inherited. Some call them “demons” from the past, I call them generational curses that can be broken. Life was given to man as a gift. It’s heartbreaking to see people who are struggling mentally and have difficulty overcoming. We are made of water. The universe is mostly moisture. We have been endowed with cosmic energy that causes us to respond to the atmosphere. We have superhuman power that many of us know little to nothing about. With a little faith and replacing negativity with positive affirmations, we can literally speak our way out of misery!