Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Introducing “Hidden Pictures”: A Film About People with Mental Illness Globally

Introducing “Hidden Pictures”
By Dan Frey
A Film About People with Mental Illness Globally
Filmmaker Delaney Ruston's father was lost to schizophrenia and he, along with the 450 million people globally who have a mental health condition, inspired this documentary entitled, “Hidden Pictures.”
What is great about this film is that on Ruston's journey to India, South Africa, China, France and the United States, she spends a lot of time speaking to mental health recipients, sharing their much-valued perspectives with viewers.
We learn through Ruston's travels that human rights violations against the mentally ill are common, mental health services are lacking and stigma is everywhere. Services are best in France where recipients are well provided for in the community and family members receive counseling. However, the stigma of mental illness has not changed, whereas families avoid discussing their ill loved ones even with members of the extended family.
Still, there is a message of hope. Good deeds do exist in the world, as seen when a caring U.S. citizen adopts a homeless person with mental illness after the system fails to provide shelter and care. Ruston discovers a school in the U.S., perhaps a high school, where the students learn about mental illness through books and games and learn to empathize with recipients. Actress Glenn Close has an anti-stigma campaign, “Bring Change to Mind,” that is battling stigma today. Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy came out as a mental health recipient to help fight stigma.
Ruston speculates that if a fraction of all those who experience mental illness in themselves, or in their families, started coming out globally and mobilizing for change, global policies and local attitudes would have to change. The result would be that individuals and families would have more support, more resources and feel less shame.
The film is only an hour long and pretty fast-paced. It is artistically done and well worth the viewing. You should see it.

To learn more, visit www.hiddenpicturesfilm.com.

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