The stars have it

Posted on March 29, 2011 at 3:27 pm

We know, we know. He’s overexposed.

But behind all the tiger blood and warlocks (not to mention the window into his disturbing family life), Charlie Sheen has sparked national attention to behavioral health.

He’s not your typical poster child for public services or pharmaceutical ads aimed at diagnosing mental imbalances. But then, maybe he should be.

People pay attention to things that are wacky. We like to watch accidents. Tickets for his touring show (at which Sheen promises to present a “Violent Torpedo of Truth”) are selling like, um, crazy.

His antics have gotten people talking – not just about his bizarre behavior, but how this reminds them of their schizophrenic brother; or their friend with a crack habit. They discuss how this man is going to crash and burn in the spotlight and how much it hurts to be reminded of the pain they’ve felt seeing people they care about suffer from health issues like these.

So maybe those of us in a position to get people to consider their own behavioral health needs can use this very public platform to initiate a very private conversation.

Maybe we use this celebrity example as a way to get people recognizing symptoms and underscoring the importance of keeping in control — in contrast to some of the more traditional approaches we’ve taken.

And the rest of us? Well, maybe we just need to tap into that star potential and find other famous, influential people who will volunteer to go crazy about health in some very public way.

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  • Robin April 17, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Excellent point! It is just very sad and disturbing to see his issues play out on a national stage and to see him being given such media coverage. But if it can be used for someone’s good, than it just may be worth it.