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

Introduction

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.

Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness (2022): Part 01

Introduction

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 01)

Focuses on more than twenty young people who provide an intimate look at what it’s like to experience the symptoms of mental illness, from depression to addiction to suicide ideation. The film includes insights from families, providers, and advocates and explores the impact of childhood trauma, stigma, and social media.

Part 02 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.

Raising Bipolar (2010)

Introduction

Raising Bipolar follows four families raising children diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Outline

Follow 4 families raising children diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder:

  • A single mother whose son, 7 year-old Chase, has been hospitalised 6 times for a total of over 150 days;
  • A grandmother raising 4 kids diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder;
  • A little girl, Samantha, who was diagnosed at age 3; and
  • Kelsey, a courageous pre-teen who heroically manages her moods, even as she faces the intensifying social pressures in school.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Ben Howard.
  • Producer(s):
    • Eric Schotz.
    • Ruth Rivin.
  • Writer(s):
  • Music:
  • Cinematography:
  • Editor(s):
  • Production:
    • Janson Media.
    • LMNO Cable Group.
  • Distributor(s):
    • Discovery Health Channel (US).
  • Release Date: 2010.
  • Running Time: 48 minutes (without adverts), 60 minutes with adverts.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

Currently awaiting.

Dr Alex: Our Young Mental Health Crisis (2021)

Introduction

Dr Alex George explores the wide range of mental health issues children and young people are facing, and finds out how projects funded by Children in Need are making a difference.

Outline

Dr Alex George follows the journeys of young people across the UK who are living with mental health issues. He explores the wide range of difficulties they face and finds out how local charities, including projects funded by Children in Need, are making a difference.

As an A&E doctor and the UK Youth Mental Health Ambassador, Alex has seen at first hand the effects of the pandemic on young people’s mental wellbeing, but he never thought they would affect his own family. But in July 2020, Alex’s 19-year-old brother Llyr, who had been struggling with anxiety during lockdown, took his own life. This poignant film is his response.

Production & Filming Details

  • Presenter(s):
    • Alex George.
  • Director(s):
    • Candace Davies.
  • Producer(s):
    • Becky Houlihan … producer.
    • Peter Wallis-Tayler … executive producer.
  • Writer(s):
  • Music:
  • Cinematography:
  • Editor(s):
  • Production:
    • Dragonfly Film and Television.
  • Distributor(s):
    • BBC.
  • Release Date: 14 November 2021.
  • Running Time: 59 minutes.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Country: UK.
  • Language: English.

Stacey Dooley: Back on the Psych Ward (2021)

Introduction

Stacey Dooley returns to Springfield Hospital to work with the team again, looking after patients over six months as they battle through the pandemic.

Refer to Stacey Dooley: On the Psych Ward (2020).

Outline

Mental health across society has worsened since the pandemic began. Stacey Dooley returns to Springfield Hospital, and over six months, including the second nationwide lockdown, works with the team to experience first-hand how the pandemic is impacting patients in crisis. Stacey assists staff as they treat a wide range of mental health conditions and takes part in the tough decisions necessary to keep patients safe.

Stacey meets Coral, who is brought into Springfield by the police one night after attempting to take her life. Coral tells Stacey and the team about her long-running battle with anxiety and depression, which she attempts to self-medicate by drinking alcohol.

The pandemic has seen a rise in suicidal behaviour, especially amongst young people. Stacey meets Oskar, a 20-year-old university student whose struggle with intense suicidal thoughts brings him into the hospital in crisis.

For those with pre-existing mental health conditions, waiting lists and delays to treatment caused by the pandemic are pushing them to breaking point. Suziee is diagnosed with emotionally unstable personality disorder, which causes extreme highs and lows to her moods. But with her therapy now cancelled, she is struggling to cope on her own and turns to the hospital for help.

Stacey also gets to know 21-year-old Ali, an inpatient at Springfield, which is home to the only inpatient unit of its kind in the country for those with severe obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Since childhood, Ali’s OCD rituals have changed from repetitive tapping during stressful exams and blinking to keep her parents safe in the car to extreme bathroom routines. For severe OCD cases like Ali’s, this ward is her last chance at beating this devastating condition, and over the months Stacey sees a dramatic change in Ali’s obsessions.

Production & Filming Details

  • Presenter(s):
    • Stacey Dooley.
  • Director(s):
    • Erica Jenkin.
    • Katie Rice.
  • Producer(s):
    • Gabi Adams … assistant producer.
    • Carla Grande … producer.
    • Erica Jenkin … producer.
    • Katie Rice … producer.
    • Brian Woods … producer.
  • Writer(s):
  • Music:
    • Alexander Parsons.
  • Cinematography:
  • Editor(s):
    • Paddy Garrick.
  • Production:
    • True Vision.
  • Distributor(s):
    • BBC Three (2021) (UK) (video).
  • Release Date: 13 April 2021 (Internet).
  • Running Time: 59 minutes.
  • Rating: TV-MA.
  • Country: UK.
  • Language: English.

Bipolarised: Rethinking Mental Illness (2014)

Introduction

Bipolarised: Rethinking Mental Illness is a 2014 documentary by director Rita Kotzia.

Challenges conventional wisdom about mental illness and drug therapy through the raw personal journey of a man diagnosed as bipolar.

Outline

This documentary is about one man’s personal journey to heal. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Ross’ psychiatrist told him he would live with the disorder for the rest of his life and that he would have to take lithium to control symptoms. To Ross, taking the drug daily felt like a chemical lobotomy, leaving him in a foggy, drug-induced haze. Ross ultimately decided to resolve his symptoms outside of conventional medicine. He progressively reduced his use of the psychotropic drug lithium, at an experimental clinic in Costa Rica. What ensued was a self-exploration into alternative treatments to treat his condition and a journey delving into the root cause of his mental breakdown. The film uses Ross’ personal experiences to tell a larger story about medication. It will reveal how we are labelling more and more people with mental illnesses and how, in tandem, we are prescribing more and more toxic psychotropic drugs to treat these illnesses. It weaves together a series of interviews with activists, psychiatrists and other psychiatric survivors who have challenged the status quo as well as recounts some of the alternative therapies Ross uses to maintain his mental, emotional and physical health.

Cast

  • Ross McKenzie … Self.
  • David Goldbloom … Self / Professor of Psychiatry.
  • Peter Levine … Self / Writer.
  • Gwen Olsen … Self / Pharmaceutical rep.
  • Charles Whitfield … Self / Psychotherapist.
  • Robert Whittaker … Self / Journalist.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Rita Kotzia.
  • Producer(s):
    • Noelle Kim Chalifoux … producer.
    • Gordon Henderson … producer.
    • Rita Kotzia … producer.
  • Writer(s):
    • Gordon Henderson … (writer).
    • Rita Kotzia … (writer).
  • Music:
  • Cinematography:
  • Editor(s):
  • Production:
  • Distributor(s):
  • Release Date: April 2014.
  • Running Time: 77 minutes.
  • Rating: TV-MA.
  • Country: Canada.
  • Language: English.

32 Pills: My Sister’s Suicide (2017)

Introduction

She’s beautiful, artistic, loved and can’t stand to be alive. 32 PILLS traces the fascinating life and mental illness of my sister, New York artist and photographer Ruth Litoff, and my struggle to come to terms with her tragic suicide.

Outline

After struggling with mental illness for most of her life, New York artist Ruth Litoff committed suicide at age 42 in 2008 by overdosing on prescription pills. Six years later, her younger sister, Hope Litoff, decides to film herself while she empties a packed-to-the-brim storage unit filled with Ruth’s belongings, driven by the need to understand Ruth’s illness and desire to end her life – but as she pores through the items her sister left behind, she must exorcise the demons that threaten her sobriety.

Read the rest of the HBO synopsis here.

Cast

  • Ruth Litoff as self.
  • Hope Litoff as Self.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Hope Litoff.
  • Producer(s):
    • Dan Cogan … executive producer.
    • Steven H. Cohen … co-executive producer.
    • Paula M. Froehle … co-executive producer.
    • Lise King … social impact producer.
    • Beth Levison … producer.
    • Sheila Nevins … executive producer.
    • Regina K. Scully … executive producer (as Regina Kulik Scully).
  • Writer(s):
  • Music:
    • Todd Griffin.
  • Cinematography:
    • Daniel B. Gold.
  • Editor(s):
    • Toby Shimin.
  • Production:
    • HBO Documentary Films.
  • Distributor(s):
    • Home Box Office (HBO) (2016) (USA) (TV).
  • Release Date: 01 May 2017 (Canada, Hot Docs International Documentary Festival).
  • Running Time: 89 minutes.
  • Rating: TV-MA.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

P.O.V. Neurotypical (2013)

Introduction

P.O.V. Neurotypical is a 2013 documentary film directed by Adam Larsen.

The film shows perspectives on life from the viewpoint of individuals on the autism spectrum. Neurotypical was shot mostly in North Carolina and Virginia.

Edited from Neurotypical in 2011.

Outline

Neurotypical is an unprecedented exploration of autism from the point of view of autistic people themselves. Four-year-old Violet, teenaged Nicholas and adult Paula occupy different positions on the autism spectrum, but they are all at pivotal moments in their lives. How they and the people around them work out their perceptual and behavioural differences becomes a remarkable reflection of the “neurotypical” world – the world of the non-autistic – revealing inventive adaptations on each side and an emerging critique of both what it means to be normal and what it means to be human.

Cast

  • Wolf Dunaway as himself.
  • Violet as herself.
  • Nicholas as himself.
  • Paula as herself.
  • Maddi as herself.
  • John as himself.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Adam Larsen.
  • Producer(s):
  • Writer(s):
  • Music:
    • Darren Morze.
    • Michael Wall.
  • Cinematography:
    • Adam Larsen.
  • Editor(s):
    • Adam Larsen.
  • Production:
  • Distributor(s):
    • Janson Media (2013) (USA) (video).
    • Janson Media (2015) (USA) (video).
  • Release Date: 29 July 2013.
  • Running Time: 52 or 57 minutes.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

Neurotypical (2011)

Introduction

Neurotypical is a 2011 documentary film directed by Adam Larsen.

The film shows perspectives on life from the viewpoint of individuals on the autism spectrum. Neurotypical was shot mostly in North Carolina and Virginia.

Edited into P.O.V. Neurotypical in 2013.

Outline

Neurotypical is an unprecedented exploration of autism from the point of view of autistic people themselves. Four-year-old Violet, teenaged Nicholas and adult Paula occupy different positions on the autism spectrum, but they are all at pivotal moments in their lives. How they and the people around them work out their perceptual and behavioural differences becomes a remarkable reflection of the “neurotypical” world – the world of the non-autistic – revealing inventive adaptations on each side and an emerging critique of both what it means to be normal and what it means to be human.

Cast

  • Wolf Dunaway as himself.
  • Violet as herself.
  • Nicholas as himself.
  • Paula as herself.
  • Maddi as herself.
  • John as himself.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Adam Larsen.
  • Producer(s):
  • Writer(s):
  • Music:
    • Darren Morze.
    • Michael Wall.
  • Cinematography:
    • Adam Larsen.
  • Editor(s):
    • Adam Larsen.
  • Production:
  • Distributor(s):
    • Janson Media (2013) (USA) (video).
    • Janson Media (2015) (USA) (video).
  • Release Date: March 2011 (Thessaloniki Documentary Festival).
  • Running Time: 52 minutes.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

Voices Magnified: Youth Digital Crisis (2021)

Introduction

Showcases honest stories of Americans from across the country highlighting the critical issue of mental health in America.

Hosted by OZY’s Carlos Watson, the special includes insights with mental health experts and focuses on actionable steps we can take as a country.

Also see Voices Magnified: Mental Health Crisis (2021).

Outline

This show examines how the digital world is impacting the mental health of America’s youth. Hosted by OZY’s Carlos Watson, this special will tell first-person stories of teens and young adults grappling with the obsessive use of social media, computers, mobile devices, and video games, and ask the question: how do these digital technologies impact their stress levels, social interactions, self-esteem, and overall mental health? This special will pinpoint how addiction to the digital world is impacting the brains of our youth and will shed light on things we as a society can do to help.

Magnified Voices

A&E Network has premiered two new specials under the Voices Magnified banner focusing on mental health in America in partnership with OZY. Voices Magnified is a cross-platform campaign spotlighting and amplifying the voices of those making changes in their communities for the greater good. Representing the collective voice of the A+E Networks portfolio, the initiative creates thought-provoking specials and a robust series of short-form videos that give a national spotlight to timely and important conversations on equality and social reform which are occurring across America today.

The full collection of short-form videos can be found @ https://www.aetv.com/voicesmagnified.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
  • Producer(s):
    • Chris Rantamaki … executive producer (OZY).
    • Samir Rao … executive producer (OZY).
    • Sharon Scott … executive producer (Category 6).
    • Kristy Sabat … executive producer (Category 6).
    • Annie Allen executive producer (Category 6).
    • Brad Holcman … executive producer (A&E).
  • Writer(s):
  • Music:
  • Cinematography:
  • Editor(s):
  • Production:
    • Category 6 Media(TM) group.
    • OZY.
  • Distributor(s):
    • A&E Network.
  • Release Date: 27 September 2021.
  • Running Time: 42 minutes.
  • Rating: TV-PG.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

Video Link