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.
Get Weekly Prompts To Guide Your Writing
Bud Clayman is the publisher of 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 principle subject of OC87, which had its theatrical premiere in 2012 and can now be seen on Amazon and YouTube. The film chronicles Bud’s ongoing battle with mental illness. 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.
Editor In Chief
Gabe is an author, editor, actor, playwright, director and a lover of commas. 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 serves on the Board of Directors of the Thornton Wilder Society and is Editor of its newsletter. He lives in a suburb of Philadelphia with his wife, twins and a basset hound named Tennessee.
Read Gabe’s essay on Men’s Mental Health.
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.
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.
PR & Social Media Manager
Anna Hewstan is a marketer with a twist. She landed in marketing after studying BioPsychology at the University of British Columbia aspiring for a career in medicine. Her fascination in human behavior based in science, followed by an interest in understanding how brands influence purchasing decisions, led her to a career in marketing shortly after graduation. Over the years Anna has developed marketing programs for magazine and book publishers, web start-ups, national retailers, financial service giants, and now serves clients of all shapes and sizes at Small Gigs Marketing. Anna is a social media butterfly — you can find her on Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn — just search her name.
Director of Advertising
Kirsten graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in English and Classics. She has spent the last several years working in print and digital advertising while pursuing her passion for writing fiction and children’s literature. In her spare time, Kirsten enjoys hiking and camping with her husband and two dogs, Merlin and Gwen, playing around in Photoshop, and improv comedy.
PR & Social Media Assistant
Amber studied Strategic Communications with a focus on Public Relations at Temple University. Since graduating, Amber has assisted in a wide-range of PR departments, from corporate retail and real estate to medical devices and mental health organizations. Amber enjoys camping trips, gallivanting with her Rottie-German Shepherd, and impromptu dance parties with her family. You are likely to find Amber sipping coffee while planning out her next big trip.
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 and serves on the editorial staff for the literary magazine, Philadelphia Stories, and the academic journal, Occasional Papers on Religion in Eastern Europe. Lena grew up in Philadelphia, where she also resides, and is a 2017 graduate of Rosemont College’s MFA in Creative Writing program. She enjoys reading, writing, and playing computer games. She also looks forward to publishing her first novel (a contemporary young adult book) that she wrote while at Rosemont.