Glenn Close thinks there are too many destructive misconceptions surrounding mental illness.
The 68-year-old actress, who co-founded the non-profit Bring Change 2 Mind after her sister Jessie and nephew were diagnosed with bipolar disorder, has blasted the stigma that many people who are mentally ill are also dangerous.
Speaking at the WebMD Health Hero Awards, the 'Fatal Attraction' star said one of the biggest misconceptions surrounding the issue "is that people with mental illness are dangerous."
She added: "There are so many headlines and so many tragedies that have happened because there is no system in our country that will help those people from falling through the net, from becoming isolated. But [the number of mentally ill people who commit crimes] is a very, very small percentage, but unfortunately it leads to other people getting hurt and it makes our job a little bit more difficult because it can build up the stigma."
But Glenn hopes attitudes are beginning to change.
She told PEOPLE.com: "The fact is you are not your illness. You can get help, there is medication, there is a huge revolution in genetic research that will help actually pinpoint genes that are causing these illnesses.
"Just like cancer, diabetes, or Alzheimer's we have to embrace the fact that [mental illness] is part of the human condition and not condemn people."