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Hirsch kudos honor helmers, Masada

Org lauds media portrayals of people with mental illness.

Filmmakers Logan and Noah Miller and Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada were among the honorees Friday at the 15th annual Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services Erasing the Stigma Leadership awards luncheon.

The kudos recognize individuals whose work has helped raise awareness of the effect that mental illness and substance abuse have on not only the individuals who suffer from the diseases but also on the entire family, the Didi Hirsch foundation.

Masada was presented one of two leadership awards. The other went to U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy. Twin brothers Logan and Noah Miller, who wrote and directed the film “Touching Home,” a story based on the life of their homeless father, received the org’s Beatrice Stern award.

“It puts a human face and helps bring compassion,” Noah Miller said about media portrayals of those with mental illnesses.

Stern, a board member of the foundation established the award in order to honor those in the media who have brought light to mental illnesses in America.

“There’s a lot more awareness than there was 10 years ago and there’s hopefully going to be more awareness 10 years from now,” Noah said.

Thesp Ed Harris, who starred as the Millers’ father in the film, presented the award to the twins at the luncheon. Though he believes that the media is helping to address the misperception that many have about people who suffer from mental illnesses, he believes there is still a lot of work to be done.

“I think erasing the stigma of anyone with a mental illness is an ongoing proposition,” Harris said.

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