WILTON, Conn. — Hollywood actor Joe Pantoliano will be in Wilton Tuesday night for a free screening of “No Kidding, Me Too!,” a documentary film he directed about mental illnesses.
Through interviews with a range of people suffering from mental illness — including a brain surgeon, a psychologist, a high school athlete who attempted suicide, a teenage girl who cut her wrists, and Pantoliano himself — the film aims to show how common mental illness is. More importantly, it’s meant to strike down the negative stereotypes surrounding mental illness and the stigma of discussing it.
“These stories need to be told, and that’s the whole point of ‘No Kidding, Me Too!’” Pantoliano said in a statement. “We believe that the more we talk about this, the more normal it becomes, and the stigma is then evaporating, so you don’t have to whisper about it.”
The film will be shown at Wilton High School’s Little Theater at 6:30 p.m. A mental health fair, featuring at least 20 mental health organizations, will precede the screening at 6 p.m.
A panel discussion will follow the film screening from 7:45 to 8:30 p.m. Along with Pantoliano, panelists will include David Bernstein, a clinical forensic psychologist; Dr. Eric Collins, physician-in-chief at New Canaan’s Silver Hill Hospital; Janet Isdaner, director of social work a Silver Hill Hospital; Dr. Jessica Sylvester, a psychiatrist at Norwalk Hospital; and Wilton resident and parent Judy Higby.
Pantoliano is best known for his roles in “Risky Business,” “The Matrix,” “The Fugitive,” and “The Sopranos.” After he was diagnosed with clinical depression, he founded No Kidding, Me Too!, a nonprofit organization on a mission is to remove the stigma that surrounds mental illness by educating the public.
The mental health fair, film screening and panel discussion are free, but recommended only for high school students and adults. For more information about the events, call Wilton Youth Services at 203-834-6241.
Wilton High School is located at 395 Danbury Road.