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Mariel Hemingway, an internationally known actress, author, athlete, health and wellness expert and co-founder of The WillingWay Ranch, LLC, will help McLean Hospital celebrate its 200th birthday during a gala event this weekend. Hemingway, the granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway, will also receive the McLean Award—the hospital’s highest honor—for her commitment to serving as a champion of mental health causes including depression, eating disorders and suicide prevention.
“A compassionate voice for mental health, Mariel has publicly challenged the stigma associated with mental illness,” said McLean Hospital President and Psychiatrist in Chief Scott L. Rauch, MD. “We applaud Mariel for all of her efforts and thank her for her tireless commitment toward raising public awareness of the mental health issues that affect so many Americans.”
Hemingway, who has teamed up with Academy Award-winning producer and director Barbara Kopple, Cabin Creek Films and the Oprah Winfrey Network to create a documentary offering a rare perspective into the lives of the Hemingway family, will spend time at McLean filming and will capture the award presentation for the documentary.
“The Hemingway family has fascinated America and the world for generations,” said Kopple. “We are telling the story of finding light through dark periods, with Mariel confronting her family’s history of mental illness as she explores the path she has taken to manage her own issues.”
In addition to honoring Hemingway, McLean will celebrate its 200th bicentennial. Founded in 1811 by the Massachusetts Legislature, McLean is the first and oldest psychiatric hospital in New England. The gala event, which is expected to draw an audience of several hundred, will honor the last two centuries, but will also focus on the future.
“While many things have changed since our founding, our commitment to our community—our patients and their families—remains the focal point of our mission today,” said Rauch. “Our bicentennial is as much about our future as it is about our history; we eagerly look ahead to drive progress in the field, as we celebrate our legacy. We look forward to our third century of continuing to set standards in psychiatric care, research and education and most importantly, serving as a beacon of hope for those who need our care the most.”
As part of its celebration, McLean will have rarely seen artifacts from its archives on display at the InterContinental, as well as a video celebrating the hospital’s past, present, and future.
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