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The Alarming Truth: Hollywood's Mental Health Crisis


As an industry insider with over 20 years of experience, I, Christian Frazier, have witnessed the hidden tragedies of Hollywood. I remember the first television show I worked on and it was called "The Burn Notice" and "The Glades" filmed in Florida. I remember a young and gorgeous model-type background artist asked if she could sit with me for lunch because she felt so weird being sexually harassed by almost the entire crew all day long. Another friend of mine in NYC informed me about a famous actor who was into her so much that she ended up getting fired because he couldn't concentrate on his lines while she was there.


This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to sexual harassment. When you work in a toxic environment for so long it takes a toll on your mental health. This glamorous world is often overshadowed by immense pressures, mental health crises, and the devastating impact they have on artists. The untold story includes sexual harassment, non-livable wages, and harsh criticism from superiors, such as Debra Messing's experience with a director who criticized her appearance, saying "'Her and her big nose is ruining the project", underlining the industry's brutal nature. The Industry and Hollywood executives have a low opinion of its artists and it appears that they don't care. They think of actors as commodities as the Sony leaks revealed to us back of what they said about talent such as Angelina Jolie and Kevin Hart.

You can read more about the Sony leaks and the comments on Kevin Hart and Angelina Jolie on TheWrap and The Daily Dot, which provide detailed accounts of the incident:

The Alarming Truth: A List of Tragedies

A lot of really talented people in our entertainment world have been hurt by the tough parts of being famous. Here are some names we remember, who had a hard time with these challenges.


- Robin Williams

- Heath Ledger

- Philip Seymour Hoffman

- Chris Cornell

- Chester Bennington

- Avicii

- Amy Winehouse

- Kurt Cobain

- Marilyn Monroe

- Whitney Houston

- Michael Jackson

- Sawyer Sweeten

- Lee Thompson Young

- Lucy Gordon

- Jonathan Brandis

- Dana Plato

- Brad Renfro

- Brittany Murphy

- Cory Monteith

- River Phoenix


Beyond the Spotlight: The Need for Solidarity

The industry often thrives on and creates rivalries, as seen in cases like Patty LaBelle vs. Aretha Franklin or the feuds portrayed in "Bette and Joan." Such conflicts, while seemingly entertaining, distract from real issues and contribute to a culture of division. It's time for unity among artists to demand better conditions and support.



Urgent Steps for Change


1. Implement Robust Mental Health Support: Accessible mental health resources are vital for the well-being of industry professionals.


2. Reform Union Health Benefits: The current system needs to be more inclusive and supportive.


3. Cultivate a Respectful Work Environment: The industry must foster a culture where all artists feel safe and valued.


In 2019, I took a break to prioritize my mental health, recognizing the industry's toll on personal well-being. Hollywood must prioritize the mental health of its artists.  Implementing mandatory Mental Health First Aid and Suicide Prevention Training for assistant directors, second ADs, background coordinators, and the on-set medical staff such as EMTs and nurses can be crucial. These trained individuals can act as first responders to mental health crises, ensuring immediate and appropriate support.


Here are some resources available to actors for mental health support:


1. The Actors Fund – Offers a wide range of services to all professionals in performing arts and entertainment, including counseling and addiction recovery support.

[The Actors Fund Mental Health Resources](https://actorsfund.org/services-and-programs/mental-health)

2. SAG-AFTRA – The union provides a variety of mental health resources, including the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s assistance programs.

[SAG-AFTRA Mental Health](https://www.sagaftra.org/mental-health)

3. Behind the Scenes – A charity that provides support to entertainment technology professionals who are seriously ill or injured. They offer mental health and suicide prevention initiatives.

[Behind the Scenes Mental Health and Suicide Prevention](https://wp.behindthescenescharity.org/mental-health-and-suicide-prevention-initiative/)

4. Mental Health First Aid – This is a national program that teaches the skills to respond to the signs of mental illness and substance use. It can be a valuable resource for crew members to support colleagues in distress.

[Mental Health First Aid Training](https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/)

5. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, as well as prevention and crisis resources.

[National Suicide Prevention Lifeline](https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/)

Additional Resources and Training Suggestion:

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About the Author

Christian Frazier is a seasoned actor with a diverse portfolio in the entertainment industry. His experience highlights his resilience and dedication to his craft. He has been praised by Entertainment Weekly as the villain who stood out the most. Check him out on Gotham on MAX Season Two Episode 16.


Rev. Dr. Christian Frazier 

  • Former Chair of the BIPOC Committee Zero Suicide Alliance 

  • Member National Council of Wellbeing 

  • Former Board Member NAMI Hillsborough 

  • Board Member LifeLine University 

  • Mental Health First Aid Instructor St. Petersburg College

  • Motivational / Keynote Speaker

  • Certified Life Coach

  • Certified Health & Nutrition Coach

  • Mindfulness Meditation Instructor

  • Executive Coach

  • Ordained Minister 


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