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Academy Award- and Emmy-nominated actor Mariel Hemingway will be in the Chicago area this weekend to put a spotlight on mental health issues and help raise money for PCC Community Wellness Center.

Hemingway, granddaughter of Nobel Prize-winning author and OPRF High School graduate Ernest Hemingway, is an advocate for mental health issues. Hemingway co-produced the widely acclaimed documentary, Running from Crazy,in 2013, which explores the Hemingway family’s struggles with mental illness and suicide.

Hemingway will be the keynote speaker at PCC Community Wellness Center’s Fifth Annual Gala at Oak Book Hills Resort this Saturday, Oct. 11. Her talk will focus on the impact behavioral health issues have on under-served communities.

Emi Aprekuma, PCC Community Wellness Center development manager, said in a telephone interview that the center aims to reduce the stigma of seeking help for behavioral health treatment and provide access to affordable, quality care.

Aprekuma said PCC is unique because unlike many other behavioral health programs, PCC is fully integrated with its primary health care treatment services.

“What that means is people who use behavioral health services also have a doctor here,” she said.

She said pairing the services of doctors and mental health-care providers allows the center to offer holistic, behavioral, health-care treatment, so both providers are on the same page.

“We’re excited to have Hemingway support our organization’s effort to educate the public on behavioral health,” Robert Urso, PCC president and CEO, said in a news release. “Mariel’s connection to Oak Park through her grandfather, Ernest Hemingway, will resonate with our service area, which includes Oak Park and surrounding neighborhoods.”

More information about the gala is available on PCC’s website at PCCWellness.org.

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