May is Mental Health Awareness Month and actor Joe Pantoliano wants to talk emotional “Dis-EASE” -- He’s launched a new podcast called No Kidding? Me Too! with his daughter Daniella which serves up candid, empowering and humorous father/daughter conversations about mental illnesses.
Joe, who has been diagnosed with clinical depression, told ABC Audio that tackling these subjects aren’t easy, but surrounding yourself with the right people is key.
"I’ve been an advocate for emotional sobriety for a long time. And as a family we have gotten help over the years," he shared, adding that his family helped him through the "toughest climbs of my spiritual and physical life."
Another thing that's helped Joe, 69, on his own mental health journey and in creating the podcast is humor -- especially after noticing that research on the topic was "so tragic!"
"...Anything with clinical depression was like… showing handguns and people... and I thought, 'Where’s the hope?'" he said. "So I always wanted to convey a sense of humor. In fact, my sense of humor kept the pistol [away from me.]"
The podcast also aims to break down mental barriers attached to mental illness, including in the workplace.
“Wouldn’t it be great, if it just became normal, if you walked into work and your co-worker... just had an awful attitude and you were just like 'Hey. Is something going on?' We need to get to that point," Daniella expressed. "People go into work and they feel like they can’t talk about their personal lives. They have to be professional and it’s all about work."
"... If it’s going to start affecting your work, just talk about it with co-workers, or let people take mental health days. You shouldn’t be punished for that," she added.