A Film By Sheila Ganz
The documentary-in-progress Piece of Mind amplifies the struggles of family caregivers and persons living with untreated serious mental illness, challenging the viewer to look beyond the headlines to the urgent need for a comprehensive continuum of care.
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“Piece of Mind points out so poignantly the stigma and social rejection that persons with serious mental illness suffer and the barriers they encounter every day, so that more people can advocate for this ostracized group.”
-Paul Lam, PsyD, Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Piece of Mind sheds light on the complex issue of untreated neurological brain illness from three viewpoints — A mother, who spent years trying to keep her son, 38, with schizophrenia safe and get him hospitalized on medication. Two Japanese American sisters, whose sister diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, was shot by police seven times at age 56, and survived. A man living with bipolar disorder, who was laid off from the job he loved at 53, couldn’t find work and attempted suicide. His second attempt becomes a life-changing moment.
These stories are told against the backdrop of the neglected struggle of family caregivers for equity in treatment in a failed mental healthcare system. How can society help individuals who don’t know they are ill? Can unnecessary tragedies of homelessness, incarceration and police shootings be averted? What are the humane solutions?
This timely film by Sheila Ganz, Emmy-nominated Director, Producer, Editor, has a sister living with schizophrenia and felt this story was “staring me in the face.”