at a recent event in the US, heather skye asked patrick stewart a poignant question: "Besides acting, what are you most proud of that you have done in your life?"
without hesitation, he talked about how his personal childhood experiences have influenced the (non-acting) work he has pursued in his adulthood.
for his mother, he works with an organization called refuge which provides safe houses for women and children trapped as victims of domestic violence. it's frightening how quickly a domestic situation can get out of control. just a few months ago i read a disturbing story in time magazine - photographer as witness: a portrait of domestic violence. it is not clear what causes domestic violence to occur, from individual socioeconomic and psychological factors like substance abuse, mental illness and unemployment, to patriarchal cultural values. but what matters is that those affected need to be able to find a safe escape and those responsible need to be held accountable and offered assistance to recover.
for his father, patrick stewart works with the organization combat stress which helps war veterans deal with the intense psychological wounds that result from being in the armed forces. post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is anxiety that can affect anyone who has been through or witnessed a dangerous event - natural disasters, road accidents, active combat, etc. as a society, it's time we began talking about the mental health of those around us: friends, family, coworkers, everyone.
it's worth listening to patrick's full response. a touching video...