Since 2016, my filmmaking company, Lipp Studios, has been making short documentary films presenting the successful recoveries of several young people from their mental health challenges.
Through these films, we hope to encourage more of our youth to seek help in improving their mental health.
I have a strong interest in mental health because I went through mental health challenges myself. When I was 18, I experienced psychosis and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. I believe it’s this experience that gives me an insider perspective and allows me to empathize with our youth as they face mental challenges at their age.
I launched the NYC Youth Psychosis Program with the vision that I wanted to capture as many stories as possible about mental health. These videos would be essential in raising awareness for mental health, and how we present that in our films can influence different people – we can inspire programs and services to help the cause, we can support the youth by showing them it’s normal to have mental health concerns and encourage them by showing them successful recoveries.
One of the NYC Youth Psychosis Program’s goals is to promote OnTrackNY, an innovative treatment program that uses a different approach in caring for the mental health of adolescents and young adults. OnTrackNY aims to help these people achieve their goals for school, work, and relationships while significantly improving their mental health.
One of our participants, D, shares in the film how she experienced psychosis in college. She explains how she found a home in OnTrackNY and how the community has helped her get better. “If I could go back in time and give myself advice, I would say to myself your mental health should be a priority always,” D says.
D wants viewers to understand how important it is to care for your mental health. She wants viewers to avoid the mistakes she made, such as ignoring her symptoms and taking her mental health for granted.
Andrew Casey, the team nurse at OnTrackNY, is proud of how they use a shared decision-making approach with their participants. Unlike in traditional health institutions, Casey says “there are no top-down directed choices or top-down you have to take this medication, everything is participant-driven.”
To this day, we are still making movies of how people have successfully recovered and bounced back in life after a bout with mental health. We want these films to be able to inform the world about the reality of mental health challenges and how we should approach it. We want these films to engage the audience and make them feel how much support and assistance we are willing to give them because they are important and they deserve better mental health.
We want to thank our program partners – the New York Psychiatric Institute, the New York Office of Mental Health, the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University, the ICRS, and the Center for Practice Innovations for their support and guidance as we move forward with our goals.