Actor Sean Astin talks to Lincoln about mental health

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – Actor Sean Astin is known for his major roles in movies like ‘Rudy,’ the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy and ‘The Goonies.’ But, he is also a mental health advocate. Sean was invited by Bryan Health Thursday night to share his personal connection during a presentation at St. Mark’s Church in Lincoln.

Her mother, the famous Patty Duke, starred in many TV shows and movies, but she also suffered from bipolar disorder and depression.

Sean describes his childhood as growing up in the spotlight, but things were also unstable. In 1982, Patty was finally diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Sean says it answered a lot of questions and helped his family understand his behavior. After the diagnosis, Sean and his mother became mental health advocates. Since his death six years ago, he has continued to raise awareness. On Thursday night, he spoke to the large crowd about the importance of communication and how it helped him work through these tough topics.

“Anyone who knew my mom knew her struggles. She knew her ups and downs, she was telling the story, she was having a panic, she was in a car accident, she would do something terrible,” Astin said. It was awful, then we were at dinner and she was embarrassed, but managed her embarrassment by telling people the story. So in a really weird way, I was designed as a human being to communicate about this stuff.

Sean also said that when he is able to open up to people and talk about these difficult topics, it demystifies mental health.

Bryan Health says if you or someone you know is having difficulty, visit their website here. They have a free screening on their website that anyone can follow to find the best course of action.

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