Berks

Actor promotes awareness about mental health

Sean Astin talks to Wilson High School students

WYOMISSING, Pa. - An actor known for his roles in The Goonies, Rudy, and Stranger Things visited Wyomissing to raise awareness about mental health.

Sean Astin spoke with students from Wilson High School about the impact his mother’s bipolar disorder — he is the son of actress Patty Duke — had on the family dynamic. 

He talked about what students can do to help classmates who may not be doing well.

Astin said he advocates for mental health awareness in part because of his mother.

"She's a foot soldier in an army of people who really set out to make sure that, if someone has a challenge, it's not made even worse by society looking down on them," he said.

Astin said it's important for everyone to know that mental health conditions can be identified and treated.

Scheduled to assist in the presentation at the high school and a later event was Alyssa Bainbridge, a former Pennsylvania Outstanding Teen and current Miss Appalachian Trail. Bainbridge advocates for understanding and treatment in honor of her brother, who suffered from polar disorder, and died recently from a situation the family blames on the condition.

Kim McConnell, executive director of Family Guidance Center, an important local resource for counseling to help people improve the quality of their lives also was scheduled to talk, as was Mike Kuczala, leading authority on using physical activity as therapy and understanding the brain/body connection.


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