In the United States, there is a stigma surrounding mental illness that prevents people from getting help, finding the right treatment, and living out their lives according to their dreams and desires. Now, a film team has traveled the world in search of answers, so that we can better understand what it means to live with mental illness. Instead of incarcerating people who have psychotic breaks, or improperly medicating those afflicted with mental illness, it’s imperative to find the answers, many of which have been sitting right under our noses.
On Tuesday, October 30, the community is invited to attend the screening of Crazywise – a documentary film that broaches the topic of mental illness, and breaks it down by examining various cultures throughout the world. By doing this, the intention is to contrast those findings with our Western treatments and views of mental illness, to see how people that would typically be diagnosed as mentally ill are often times viewed as gifted in other cultures. For many, this will be a real eye opener. It will definitely change the way that people perceive mental illness moving forward.
During the production of CRAZYWISE and since its release we have interviewed many individuals who have spoken of a profound feeling of connection to everyone and everything during their psychological crisis. Several who have successfully navigated their crisis have awakened to a deeper sense of compassion and empathy and found more meaning, purpose and direction in their lives.
“Crazywise inverts the current mental health paradigm which helps us understand deeply that the signs of mental health (i.e., psychosis, bipolar conditions, most general mental health distress) if nurtured with social support, understanding, and compassion, can be a transformative experience for both the individual and our community,” said Joel Lesses, who is Program Manager for an agency that fosters recovery from mental health distress and substance use issues. “The documentary speaks to me because for 5 years I had maybe 12 hospitalizations. The root of my symptoms was trauma – doctors told my family I would never work or have the conventional things we all work toward, which was a completely irresponsible and completely incorrect prognosis. I work and live, moving toward all conventional markers. I love being a Program Manager, now helping others. The events of long ago serve to teach me how to best handle difficult situations in others once seen in myself.”
The Mental Health Advocates of WNY (i.e., formerly the Mental Health Association of Erie County) is sponsoring the documentary at the North Park Theatre on October 30, 2018 at 11am with a Panel Discussion following (topic – mental health distress as a potential transformative experience). The President and CEO of Mental Health Advocates of WNY, Ken Houseknecht, has been deeply supportive by sponsoring Crazywise at the North Park.
Hosted by Ground and Sky Rochester Poetry Series. Also hosted by Mental Health Advocates of WNY.
Tickets are $10 | See this Facebook event for additional details
Learn more about Crazywise by visiting this website.