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Family Guidance Center Invites Actor, Director, Sean Astin to Berks County

Mar 02, 2018 • by Family Guidance Center
Sean Astin, shot in St. Louis

Astin, a Mental Health Advocate, Offers Insight for Families Living with Mental Illness

Wyomissing, PA – Sean Astin is an American film actor, director and producer, best known for his film roles as Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Mikey Walsh in The Goonies and the title character of Rudy. He also appeared in Season 2 of one of the year’s most talked about shows, Stranger Things.

On March 21, he will come to The Crowne Plaza, Wyomissing, to tell the story of his mother, Patty Duke Astin, who suffered from bipolar disorder and the manner in which he and his family coped with her mental illness. His successful navigation is noteworthy given the added challenge of living in the spotlight.

“We are so fortunate to have Sean agree to tell his story,” said Kimberly McConnell, director of Family Guidance Center (FGC). “Families with a member suffering from mental illness want skills to understand and manage their situation. Sean drew on strengths that may help other people who see themselves in his story. Our hope is that the audience is both enlightened and encouraged by the fact that there are resources such as FGC to help. We are particularly fortunate in light of the fact that Sean’s busy career makes this type of engagement difficult to fit into his schedule. His appearance with us took two years to arrange.”

One of Astin’s resources was his commitment to run marathons, which inspired the event committee to select the night’s theme, Life: It’s not a Sprint—Its a Marathon. Astin, upon hearing the theme said, “They (FGC) clearly have a perfect grasp of who I am.”

Astin will be introduced by Mike Kuczala, a leading national authority on using physical activity to understand the brain/body connection. Kuczala’s opening comments will include a demonstration of the dynamics of mind and body interconnectedness.

Those wishing to attend the presentation may register and purchase tickets at or call Linda Ramich, 610-374-4963, ext. 3488. General admission, student, and meet & greet options available.

About Family Guidance Center:

A private, non-profit, United Way member-agency that has been in existence for over 115 years, staffed by licensed psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, professional counselors and master’s level clinicians.

FGC’s professional staff specializes in areas such as children’s needs, marital and family therapy, adult, geriatric and women’s issues, and individual counseling for issues such as depression, anxiety, mental, physical and sexual abuse and grief and loss. Board certified child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrists provide psychiatric services. FGCs goal is to provide affordable, accessible, quality, counseling services. They provide therapy for people without insurance on a sliding-fee scale based on income and family size. Bilingual capabilities are available in all programs.

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