Mariel Hemingway Talks Mental Health and Suicide

    November 17, 2013
    Kimberly Ripley

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


Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.