Actor, producer, director and mental health advocate Sean Astin speaks in a free event
Thursday, Oct. 6 in Ferris State University’s Williams Auditorium. Astin’s presentation
comes during National Mental Health Awareness Week.
An opportunity to experience a heartfelt talk on mental health issues comes to Ferris State University students and the greater community Thursday, Oct. 6. Actor, producer and director Sean Astin will speak on that topic at 7 p.m. in Williams Auditorium.
The free event, hosted by Entertainment Unlimited, is open to the public. Student Life Student Outreach Coordinator Ben Avery said Astin’s visit is significant and timely.
“Oct. 2-8 is Mental Health Awareness Week,” Avery said. “Sean’s message highlights the importance of advocacy, representation and empowerment for those dealing with mental illness, as he continues the legacy of his mother, actress Patty Duke, by being a voice of concern, inclusion and support.”
Duke was diagnosed with bipolar disorder during her son’s adolescence, and Sean was 16 when she made her condition known in a bestselling autobiography. Astin began his acting career several years prior with his mother, in a role as an abused eight-year-old in the television movie, “Please Don’t Hit Me, Mom!” However, he is perhaps best known for portraying Samwise Gamgee in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and having the title role in the 1993 film “Rudy.”
“We are excited to hear Sean’s plea to end the societal stigma related to mental health, as well as having this chance to get to know someone with such stature who has that kind of concern and compassion,” Avery said. “There will be a 30-minute question-and-answer session to conclude the program, so we welcome all interested to share in this intimate presentation.”
Anyone requiring accommodations to attend this seminar is encouraged to contact the Center for Student Involvement by email or by calling (231) 591-2606.