Actress Glenn Close’s Sister Jessie is scheduled as featured speaker at 2015 Clinical Update

994490_773404696051589_979571116555554694_nFayetteville – 2015 Clinical Update and Psychopharmacology Review, set for Feb. 26 and 27 at NC State University’s McKimmon Conference and Training Center in Raleigh, welcomes Jessie Close as its featured plenary speaker. An ambassador for Bring Change to Mind, a non-for-profit organization founded by her sister, actress Glenn Close, Jessie fights stigma and misunderstanding to create a clearer picture of mental disorders. Her own struggle with bipolar disorder and alcoholism provides the backbone to a courageous story and an enlightened perspective on the state of mental health in America. Her book, Resilience: Two Sisters and a Story of Mental Illness, was released, January 13, 2015 by Grand Central Publishing and is a co-authored by Pete Early. Jessie will be available to sign her book for conference attendees at the Quail Ridge Books booth on Thursday, Feb. 26.

Most of her life, Jessie lived with anxiety, confusion and paranoia. As a teenager, she dropped out of high school and contemplated suicide. Jessie recalls, “I lived many years without medication, then, at age 45, I was put on two medications for bipolar disorder. I drank to calm the mania.” She was an alcoholic and mentally unstable. Then her eldest son, Calen, was diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder, a form a schizophrenia. Jessie asked her sister, Glenn, to help battle the stigma and misunderstanding of mental illness. In 2009, Glenn founded, an outreach and stigma-fighting mental health advocacy group that provides invaluable resources and inspiration to people and families in need. Jessie also blogs about living with mental illness for and has made appearances on Good Morning America, Katie, Erin Burnett, and Piers Morgan.

Additional featured speakers for the conference include, Jeff Swanson, Ph.D. on the topic of Gun Violence and Mental Illness; Lori Raney, M.D. on Evidence Based Approaches to Integrated Care, and Andy Short, Ph.D. and Allan Chrisman, M.D. on Mental Health in Disaster Response.

Continuing the tradition of providing quality content for practitioners of mental health, developmental disability, and substance abuse services, the 2015 Clinical Update and Psychopharmacology Review offers information on a variety of topics related to the treatment of mental illness. In addition to SR-AHEC and Wake AHEC, the conference is jointly sponsored by the Duke Department of Psychiatry, the UNC Department of Psychiatry, the NC Psychiatric Association, the NC Psychological Association and The Governor’s Institute on Substance Abuse.

Click here for more details on the conference or contact Southern Regional AHEC Administrator for Mental Health Continuing Education John Bigger, at 910-678-7207 or by e-amil at


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