Sean Astin and Patty Duke: An Intimate Look at Mental Health

David Lawrence Centers is Collier County’s leading nonprofit mental health and addiction recovery treatment center. They are pleased to announce actor, director and mental health advocate, Sean Astin, as the keynote speaker of their virtual Sound Minds™ signature fundraiser on March 5, 2021from 12 – 1pm.

Astin, best known for his role as Bob Newboy in the Netflix horror thriller Stranger Things, and his classic and beloved characters – Sam in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the title character of Rudy and Mikey in The Goonies, will shed light on the “Changing Face of Mental Health” discussing his family’s personal journey of living with a loved one with bipolar disorder.

His latemother, Patty Duke, also a famous actress turned mental health advocate, struggled with the ups and downs of bipolar disorder throughout her life.

Growing up, Astin lived through what he described as hell witnessing “physical and mental abuse, suicide attempts, spending sprees, irrational behavior, crying and uncertainty”. But after effective treatment, Duke’s later life improved. So much so, she became determined to help others find their way and end unnecessary suffering.

“Over time I learned how to really see the value in what my mom accomplished, and to see how she improved.” Astin said. “She developed a wellness strategy and was happier and more comfortable. The depression persisted through the end of her life, but she was willing to talk about it.”

Mental illness is a disease that affects the entire family. Learning how to best support a loved one while caring for your own wellbeing is something Astin, a marathon runner and Ironman athlete, knows firsthand. Building on his mother’s legacy and life’s work to change the narrative of how mental illness is discussed and treated, is now too his passion.

One year into the COVID-19 pandemic much has changed in the world. Sadly, mental illness, suicide and addiction – issues that were already at an all-time high – are now more prevalent as a result of these uncertain times.

Asking for help, encouraging others to face these common illnesses in the same way other health conditions are treated, and improving access to recovery services are now more important than ever.

DLC and Astin are hoping to bring awareness, healing and anew dialogue to the life-saving, life-changing treatment needed to help more people suffering in silence and, far too often, living with shame and guilt.

“Mental health issues can feel like a life sentence where you don’t know if it will be like this forever,” Astin said, “Knowing how to ask for help and what to do during the uncertainty, can help.”

Hearing from someone with lived experience who has found hope, help and purpose in helping others find their way, is the proven format for the Sound Minds™ fundraiser, now in its 7th year.

Past speakers have included a Columbine shooting survivor, a mood disorder expert, a political policy maker, as well as national scientists and local mental health advocates – all sharing stories about real recovery and the endless possibilities available when we change the face of mental health.

The cost to participate in the virtual event is $125 per person. Funds raised through the proceeds from Sound Minds™ will provide funding for the new Virtual Care Center that DLC quickly mobilized last year to remove barriers to accessing therapy amid the pandemic. It will also improve access to the full continuum of innovative inpatient, outpatient and community based services available through the non-profit.

For ticket and sponsorship information, visit or contact DLC at 239-354-1445 or

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