Arizona PBS will premiere a new two-part documentary film about the current youth mental health crisis in the country on Monday, June 27 and Tuesday, June 28 at 8 p.m. Hosted by Ken Burns and created by filmmakers Erik Ewers and Christopher Loren Ewers, the two-four-hour film, titled “Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness,” is part of Well Beings, a national public media campaign aimed at to demystify and destigmatize our physical and mental health through storytelling.
Premiering on PBS stations nationwide next week, the project features first-person accounts from more than 20 young people, ages 11 to 27, who are living with mental health issues, 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 issues, ranging 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, contributes to changing the public perception of mental health issues today.
“We interviewed a diverse group of brave young people from across the country with a range of diagnoses who spoke openly to us and shared intimate and often painful details of their mental health journeys,” said directors and co-producers Erik Ewers and Ewers. Christopher Loren. “We hope that by bringing these experiences to broadcast and online audiences, our film will help shed light on the mundane – how universal mental health issues truly are.”
“We hope this film will save lives,” said executive producer Ken Burns. “As a society, we continue to test the resilience of young people without really understanding how today’s stress affects them.”
“Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness” is a central component of Well Beings, the multi-year, multi-platform health campaign featuring other feature-length documentaries, abridged original digital content, user-generated stories, digital media and social campaign, community events and educational program created by the Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications Association (WETA) with the support of a broad coalition of national and local partners.
This spring, Arizona PBS received a grant from WETA to support future community engagement activities related to the youth mental health crisis. More information on these efforts will be announced in the coming months.
“We have all seen how the pressures and uncertainties of our world continue to impact young people in our communities,” said Adrienne R. Fairwell, executive director of Arizona PBS. “I am grateful that WETA, Ken Burns and Well Beings have collaborated to amplify such an important conversation nationally, and I am happy that we can do the same here in Arizona next week with the premiere of the film and more. beyond with upcoming community engagement efforts.
Those wishing to join the online conversation about youth mental health can do so by tagging @ArizonaPBS and @WellBeingsOrg and using #PlainSightPBS and #WellBeings on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. “Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness” will be available to stream simultaneously with the broadcast on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video app, available on iOS, Android, devices Roku streaming, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO. Arizona PBS members can watch many series, documentaries and specials through PBS Passport.
For more information on “Hiding in Plain Sight” and related resources, click here.
About Arizona PBS
Arizona PBS is one of the nation’s leading public media outlets, with four broadcast channels and a growing range of digital platforms. A trusted community resource for 60 years, Arizona PBS fosters lifelong learning through quality programming, in-depth news coverage and essential educational outreach services. It is one of the largest public television stations in the country, reaching 80% of Arizona homes and 1.9 million homes each week. Arizona PBS has been part of ASU since the station launched in 1961. Learn more at https://azpbs.org.
Well Beings was launched in July 2020 with the Youth Mental Health Project, engaging the voices of young people to create a national conversation, raise awareness, challenge stigma and discrimination, and encourage compassion. Well Beings was created by WETA Washington, DC, the nation’s capital’s flagship public media station, and brings together partners from across the country, including people with lived experience of health issues, families, caregivers, educators, medical and mental health professionals, social service agencies, private foundations, filmmakers, corporate and media sponsors, to create awareness and resources for better health and well-being. Other featured wellness projects address rural health care, caregiving, childhood cancer survivorship and more.
WETA is the nation’s capital’s premier public broadcaster, serving Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia with educational initiatives and high-quality programming on television, radio and digital. WETA Washington, DC is the second largest station producing new content for public television in the United States, with productions and co-productions including works by filmmaker Ken Burns and Florentine Films, such as the upcoming BENJAMIN FRANKLIN; and by researcher Henry Louis Gates, Jr., including the FINDING YOUR ROOTS series; as well as PBS NEWSHOUR, WASHINGTON WEEK, THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESSION’S GERSHWIN AWARD FOR POPULAR SONG, THE KENNEDY CENTER’S MARK TWAIN AWARD, and IN PERFORMANCE AT THE WHITE HOUSE. Sharon Percy Rockefeller is President and CEO. More information about WETA and its programs and services is available at www.weta.org.
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