Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness (2022): Part 02


A documentary about the mental health crisis among youth in America.

Outline (General)

Mental illness is one of the most significant health crises in the world – as pervasive as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease – but it often exists in secret and is endured in isolation. It is the place where sadness leaves off, and depression begins; where nervousness becomes anxiety; excitement becomes mania, and habit becomes addiction. It’s the place where simply living becomes painful.

It affects all ages, in families both rich and poor, healthy and dysfunctional. Trauma can be the trigger – from personal crises such as divorce and neglect to environmental disasters, racial injustice, and pandemics. Over time, the symptoms can progress, and lead to increasingly extreme behaviours – like eating disorders, self-harm, and thoughts of suicide.

The issues surrounding mental illness are extraordinarily complex. The risk factors are daunting, the economics bewildering, and the politics contentious. But the most important step – and often the most difficult one – is to start talking about it. Hiding in Plain Sight will bring that conversation into homes, schools, the workplace, and community organisations across the country.

The two-part, four-hour film follows the journeys of more than 20 young Americans from all over the country and all walks of life, who have struggled with thoughts and feelings that have troubled – and, at times – overwhelmed them. They share what they have learned about themselves, their families, and the world in which they live. Through first-person accounts, the film presents an unstinting look at both the seemingly insurmountable obstacles faced by those who live with mental disorders and the hope that many have found after that storm. In the process, they will directly confront the issues of stigma, discrimination, awareness, and silence, and, in doing so, support the ongoing shift in the public perception of mental illness today.

Outline (Part 02)

Our “heroes” speak about finding help and inpatient and/or outpatient treatment. It also explores the criminalization of mental illness, tragedy of youth suicide, and “double stigma” that occurs when mental illness is combined with racial or gender discrimination. Throughout, the interviewees demonstrate the power of resiliency and hope.

Part 01 here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Christopher Loren Ewers.
    • Erik Ewers.
  • Producer(s):
    • Ken Burns … executive producer.
    • Julie Coffman … producer.
    • Christopher Loren Ewers … co-producer.
    • Susan Shumaker … co-producer.
    • Erik Ewers … co-producer.
    • Christopher Loren Ewers … co-producer.
    • David Blistein … co-producer.
    • John F. Wilson … executive producer: WETA.
    • Tom Chiodo … executive producer: WETA.
  • Writer(s):
    • David Blistein.
  • Music:
    • David Cieri.
  • Cinematography:
    • Christopher Loren Ewers … director of photography.
  • Editor(s):
  • Production:
    • Florentine Films.
    • Ewers Brothers Productions.
    • WETA Washington D.C.
  • Distributor(s):
  • Release Date: 27 June 2022 to 29 June 2022.
  • Running Time: 60 minutes.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

One thought on “Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness (2022): Part 02

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