First Person Recovery - OC87 Recovery Diaries


What do they get? A camera, a tripod, and a microphone.

What do they give? Perhaps their most precious possession — their life story.

OC87 Recovery Diaries and public television station WHYY have once again teamed up with first-time filmmakers to create a new series of videos that tell inspiring journeys of recovery.

In this eight-week workshop, individuals and health professionals are working with media professionals to create videos for the OC87 Recovery Diaries website. The course is designed to give participants the tools they need to tell their own powerful stories.

In addition to technical support — including camera and editing instruction — there is discussion and advice on interviewing techniques and creative storytelling.

In this case, process is as interesting as product. It’s a creative adventure for everyone. While participants create their videos, they see and share their stories in a new light. The stories are intense, emotional and powerful. And while each recovery journey is unique, they are all based on the same belief — that recovery is possible.

Here are this year’s brave new storytellers:


Richard Canty and Eric Cureton From PeerNet Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania

PeerNet believes that people with serious mental illness can and do recover, and that individuals challenged by mental health conditions are empowered to direct their recovery journeys. They promote groundbreaking ideas and create opportunities for resilience and recovery by applying the knowledge learned from the people they support and employ.

Richard and Eric are working on a video about Eric’s journey from a past filled with darkness, drug abuse and depression to a life filled with self-sufficiency, independence and hope.


Brooke M. Feldman and Tyler Hurst from YPR – Philly!

YPR (Young People in Recovery) is a national advocacy organization that aims to influence public policy, making it easier for youth to find and maintain their recovery from addiction. YPR – Philly! is one of many city and state chapters that wears two hats: advocacy & action.

YPR believes that education, employment, and secure, quality housing provide a strong foundation that allows young people to successfully manage and maintain their recovery. YPR also believes that for an individual to sustain their long-term recovery, they need to find meaning and purpose in their life.

Tyler and Brooke are crafting a story about Tyler’s recovery journey, and his search for meaning and purpose in life.


Linda Rich and Jermaine McCorey from Healing Hurt People

Healing Hurt People works with young people who are seen in the emergency room for intentional injuries (gunshot, stab, or assault wounds). The program is designed to reduce re-injury and retaliation among young people who have been victims of violence.

Healing Hurt People was created by a team of professionals, including an emergency physician, an internist, a psychiatrist, a social worker and a psychologist. They have extensive expertise in violence prevention and trauma. It was designed to address the needs — physical, emotional, and social — that victims of violence face after being released from the emergency department.

The program is affiliated with the emergency department at Hahnemann University Hospital and the Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. Healing Hurt People is the Headquarters for the National Network of Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Programs.

Linda and Jermaine are crafting a story that chronicles Jermaine’s powerful recovery journey from violent injury with the support of a hospital-based violence intervention program.


Ron Thompson and Sharon Taylor from Horizon House

Horizon House serves adults with psychiatric or developmental disabilities, drug and alcohol addictions, and homelessness. The organization provides services, supports, and community resource coordination that create opportunities for people to manage their lives. They emphasize individual strength and choice. Horizon House serves people in Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Ron and Sharon’s video will demonstrate how art has played a significant role in Ron’s recovery.


WHYY & OC87 Recovery Diaries “Behind The Scenes” Team

A special thanks to WHYY’s Craig Santoro, Director of Media Instruction, and Lisa Wilk, Associate Media Instructor at the Dorrance H. Hamilton Public Media Commons at WHYY for their technical and storytelling support; and to WHYY behavioral health reporter Maiken Scott for giving her support and a workshop on interviewing techniques. <a href=”” target=”_blank”><strong><em>OC87</em></strong></a> co-director and documentary filmmaker Glenn Holsten is the project facilitator. Bud Clayman is executive producer of the project.


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