2 Parts Air on Monday and Tuesday, June 27-28 on WETA PBS (Check local listings)
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’s 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 behaviors—like eating disorders, self-harm, and thoughts of suicide.
A Ken Burns documentary, HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT: YOUTH MENTAL ILLNESS, features first-person accounts from more than 20 young people, ranging in age from 11 to 27, who live with mental health conditions, as well as parents, teachers, friends, healthcare providers in their lives, and independent mental health experts. The film presents an unvarnished window into daily life with mental health challenges, from seemingly insurmountable obstacles to stories of hope and resilience. Through the experiences of these young people, the film confronts the issues of stigma, discrimination, awareness, and silence, and, in doing so, help advance a shift in the public perception of mental health issues today.