DAILY LIVING & MOBILITY

Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw

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Mind Game

A documentary film spotlighting a champion's courage in speaking out about mental illness

From challenging beginnings, Chamique Holdsclaw became the most famous women’s basketball player on the planet, touted as the “female Michael Jordan.”  She won three NCAA championships at University of Tennessee under famed coach Pat Summitt, and was drafted #1 into the professional WNBA.  But something was not right.  Depression and near-suicide plagued Holdsclaw's professional career.  She was afraid to disclose her mental health issues, to be labeled as "weak," and her road to recovery was slow and bumpy. But eventually Holdsclaw began to tell her own story publicly, to help others, and, by doing so, herself as well.

Filmmaker Rick Goldsmith Documents Chamique Holdsclaw's Journey

Filmmaker Rick Goldsmith began to document Chamique's journey as an inspiring mental health advocate and recognized leader in reducing the stigma of mental illness—especially in sports, among African-Americans, and among youth: populations that are often uncomfortable, like she was, dealing with mental health issues. Then, in a dramatic reminder of the unpredictability and power of mental illness, months after filming had begun, Holdsclaw suffered a serious setback: "My life changed dramatically-- legally, financially, socially," she said.  Facing legal challenges, media notoriety and a new mental health diagnosis, Holdsclaw re-dedicated herself to therapy.  She also decided to continue with her involvement in the film, which, despite the risk of opening up her on-going challenges to the public, she saw as more potentially impactful and beneficial to others than ever. Indeed, Mind/Game's exploration of Chamique's daily battles in her road towards recovery are poignant, powerful and instructive. The film is narrated by actress and fellow mental health activist, Glenn Close.

The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw: Directed by Rick Goldsmith

Since Mind/Game’s premiere in April 2015, the film has aired nationally on Logo, a nationwide cable channel, and had over a hundred screenings for diverse audiences, including conferences and film festivals focused on different abilities, among them MI-AHEAD in Lansing, MI, SuperFest in Berkeley, CA, and ReelAbilities Film Festival in New York City.  Director Goldsmith and Holdsclaw herself are present at many of the screenings, either alone or together.  The former basketball superstar continues to touch, educate and inspire everywhere she goes. The discussions that follow each screening are moving: the personal stories revealed, the common struggles people express concerning illness, stigma, family and society. As filmmakers, we are proud to join and support those of you who are already educating, advocating and changing the conversation and policy around mental health.

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