The Let’s Erase the Stigma (LETS) Club hosted a free PG-13 screening of the film “No Kidding? Me 2!”, starring Emmy Award-winning actor, best-selling author, director and mental health advocate Joe Pantoliano on Wednesday, March 12, in the Eagle Theatre at 7 p.m. A question and answer session hosted by the Family & Children Services (FCS) of Silicon Valley followed the film showing. Pantoliano’s documentary was produced with the intention of erasing the stigma and shame that currently surround those with mental health struggles and creating a supportive culture in which those with mental health issues can thrive.
Donations were accepted at the showing, which will go towards not only benefitting the FCS, but also towards giving students from the LETS Club the financial means to attend the FCS’s Circle of Support Breakfast with Joe Pantoliano on Thursday, May 8 at the Crowne Plaza Cabana Hotel in Palo Alto. At the Circle of Support Breakfast, members will be able to hear about Pantoliano’s personal struggles with mental health and how he learned to overcome his feelings of being stigmatized.
The film screening is in partnership with Los Altos High School’s LETS Club and the FCS of Silicon Valley. LAHS’s LETS club was started three years ago by a group of students keen on addressing the growing issue of mental illnesses, and is a high school extension of the larger LETS organization, a non-profit national organization dedicated to erasing the stigma of mental illnesses by funding and developing educational programs, mentoring and research opportunities and other activities to raise awareness. The FCS of Silicon Valley is a non-profit organization based in the Bay Area that has provided residents of local communities with emotional and mental health services since 1948.
“It requires less effort to judge others, than educate ourselves on the matter,” CEO of Family & Children Services of Silicon Valley Diana Neiman said. “As a result, we often marginalize those people who most need our acceptance. This documentary screening gathers the broader community for an unashamed conversation, one with great opportunity for more understanding.”