OC87 Recovery Diaries is an interactive website that features stories of mental health, empowerment and change, created by and for those whose journeys of recovery speak to audiences from all walks of life. This project hopes to touch as many lives as possible and bring light to the lived experiences of recovery from mental illness: what matters, what helps, what’s hard, what might be next?
OC87 Recovery Diaries exists to tell stories about how people with mental health challenges have created paths to meaningful lives. We feature stories that inspire and empower, stories that generate discussion and awareness. OC87 Recovery Diaries presents a range of experiences—personal perspectives, recovery innovations, examples of empowerment, strengths and gaps in the mental health system, and efforts to dismantle stigma—all told by people moving through their own recovery journeys.
Original content is being developed by the OC87 Recovery Diaries production team. In addition, the producing team will act as curators, selecting and hosting content created and shared by fans and friends of the website. One exciting pilot project will see OC87 Recovery Diaries collaborating with the Learning Center at WHYY, the PBS affiliate in Philadelphia, as a training place for storytellers — literally teaching documentary production to people from the field of mental health (a combination of clients and mental health service providers) to create stories for the site. Classes include planning, filming and editing at the WHYY Public Media Commons.
Bud Clayman was the creative driving force behind OC87 Recovery Diaries. The website is an outgrowth of the autobiographical documentary film, OC87: The Obsessive Compulsive, Major Depression, Bipolar, Asperger’s Movie. Bud created, co-directed (along with Glenn Holsten and Scott Johnston) and was the principal subject of OC87, which had its theatrical premiere in 2012. The film chronicles Bud’s ongoing battle with mental illness and can be seen on Amazon and Sproutflix. OC87 Recovery Diaries expands on that story by allowing others to share their own stories of empowerment. His vision is simple yet challenging: to have a world free of mental illness stigma.
Gabe is an author, editor, actor, playwright, director, and a mental health and suicide awareness advocate. For five years, he worked at Montgomery County Emergency Service, Inc. (MCES), a non-profit crisis psychiatric hospital in the capacity of Allied Therapist and, later, as Development Specialist. At MCES, he created innovative programs such as a psychiatric visiting nurse program, a suicide prevention collaboration with SEPTA, and an Inpatient Concert Series that brought professional performing artists to entertain the patients and enrich their inpatient experience. While at MCES, Gabe also produced and directed a full-scale production of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town with the staff of the hospital, as an exercise in teamwork, empathy-building, and creative expression. Gabe writes extensively on mental health and suicide awareness matters on Medium and other platforms, and he spreads his own brand of suicide awareness with his 1963 Volkswagen Beetle, Herbie the Love Bug replica, its rear window emblazoned with the Suicide/Crisis Lifeline number, 988. Gabe lives in a suburb of Philadelphia.
Read Gabe’s essay on Men’s Mental Health.
Timed for 2020 – 2022, the narratives and resulting programs necessarily focused on restorative and healing experiences in nature. Witnessing the power and possibilities for recovery through storytelling sparked a desire for Teresa to use her love of narrative and her professional experience to support mental health initiatives like OC87 Recovery Diaries.
Also an artist, Teresa creates installations and artist books based on research in libraries and special collections.
Leah Alexandra Goldstein
Designer & Website Manager
Leah is an artist who has fully embraced the Internet. She is a designer of web sites for art centered experiences, diverse teachers, and has shared her story on OC87 Recovery Diaries. Leah has worked on documentary films that have screened on Ovation TV, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and on Netflix. You can see her work and sign up for her mailing list at withleahmoon.com. Leah is a graduate of Smith College with a dual degree in the Study of Women and Gender and Studio Art with a concentration in Electronic Media. Leah is also trained as a Reiki Master.
Producer / Director
Glenn is an award-winning director who loves to create compelling documentary story experiences of all lengths for screens of all sizes. He is an avid reader, studied literature in college, and his passion for stories with strong characters and interesting narratives stems from those years. His career as a visual storyteller began at WHYY (the public television station in Philadelphia) where he worked for 15 years before becoming an independent filmmaker. In addition to his PBS documentaries about arts and culture, he has directed films about justice and human rights, and now, mental health. He was emboldened to undertake his current documentary project, Hollywood Beauty Salon, a colorful feature-length documentary about surviving mental illness and finding the courage for recovery, after his transformative experience directing OC87: The Obsessive Compulsive, Major Depression, Bipolar, Asperger’s Movie, along with Bud Clayman and Scott Johnston.
Social Media Manager
Isaly is a seasoned Social Media Manager with a knack for growing social media accounts across various platforms. With a background in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Art & Visual Media, Isaly has honed their skills in wanting to help OC87 Recovery Diaries gain the best presence on social media. Isaly’s expertise extends to creating mental health communities, engaging with audiences, and conducting marketing campaigns. She also excels at writing copy, researching, and analyzing social media. For Isaly, social media management is not just a job, but a passion for helping OC87 Recovery Diaries gain visibility.
Laura Farrell is a New School graduate who studied creative writing. She grew up outside of Philadelphia and first became interested in the recovery process while working with PTSD patients. Her passion grew as she struggled with her own mental health challenges and was so happy to become a part of OC87 Recovery Diaries. Laura loves making all types of creative work: writing, visual, singing, dancing among other things.
Jon Hershfield, MFT
Jon Hershfield, MFT, is a psychotherapist who specializes in mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and related disorders and is licensed in the states of Maryland and California. He is founder of The OCD and Anxiety Center of Greater Baltimore in Hunt Valley, MD. Previous to entering fulltime private practice, Jon was associate director of the UCLA Pediatric OCD Intensive Outpatient Program at Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital. Jon is coauthor of The Mindfulness Workbook for OCD and author of When a Family Member Has OCD. Jon is a professional member of the International OCD Foundation, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, and the Association for Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies. In addition to his clinical work, he is a professional contributor to multiple online OCD support groups and blogs regularly about OCD and its treatment.
Website / Editorial Assistant
In addition to her current role at OC87 Recovery Diaries, Lena works an office job, reads manuscripts for a literary agent, and serves on the editorial staff for the literary magazine, Philadelphia Stories, and the academic journal, Occasional Papers on Religion in Eastern Europe. Lena holds a bachelor’s in English from Temple University, as well as master’s degrees in both creative writing and publishing from Rosemont College. She hails from the City of Philadelphia and enjoys reading, writing, and playing computer games.