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‘Under The Skin’ marks a turn in Brand’s career


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Russell Brand, known for his raunchy comedy and as the subject of Katy Perry’s revenge songs, has quietly turned his life around. In his new podcast, “Under The Skin,” Episode 32 dives into the issue of stigmatized mental health and the First Lady of New York, Chirlane McCray’s program, Thrive NYC.

Thrive NYC is a program that not only focuses on mental health but also provides accessibility for people who need resources all in one place. There is even a hotline of counselors open to anyone who needs someone to talk to. Brand focuses on McCray’s advocacy of mental health and the urgency of treating those who are suffering from it.

McCray briefly turns the focus to Brand who has lived with addiction and depression in a very public way. Today, Brand is focused on his recovery; he has written a book titled, “Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions,” and has embarked on a religion and global studies major at the University of London.

Brand claims that his mission is to educate himself and basis of the podcast. On top of that, Brand has discussed his goal to be healthier for his daughter and his wife Laura Gallacher.

While Brand is still a comedian, he shows his new state of mind and focus on greater ideas, such as mental health and addiction. Brand compares addiction to an epidemic, referencing current crisis from the opioid epidemic to gambling addiction and eating disorders. He calls it an “invisible malady” that it is a “social and cultural sickness.”

Brand and McCray agree that addiction stems from mental health. Interestingly enough, Thrive is opening diversion centers, a location where those who have not done harm to others, but are facing arrest by police can be taken to get help rather than being incarcerated. McCreary is right on the money in discussing that people who need help should be taken to get help rather than be put in jail. This further exacerbates the problem instead of starting the healing process.

Her facts definitely check out, as the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse reports, “65 percent of inmates meet medical criteria for addiction while only 11 percent seek treatment.” Hopefully programs like Thrive NYC will take hold across the nation as NYC First Lady McCreary plans to keep moving it forward.  

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‘Under The Skin’ marks a turn in Brand’s career