Our hour-long documentary film, OC87 Recovery Diaries, has been featured on PBS.
We share stories of recovery, empowerment, and change, including the following short films, by and for those with mental health challenges.
Ed Kozempel is a hero who understands the power of music and doesn’t let paranoid schizophrenia or bipolar get between him and his flute.
Yarn Bomber Nicole Nikolich creates vibrant works of art for the street that are filled with humor and hope and help her battle anxiety and depression.
The Smith Family of Philadelphia rejects the limitations of the term autism, and instead create “The Autisarians,” people with superhuman abilities.
Artist and Educator Greyson “Haji P.” Davis discusses how art is his superpower, and has been his salvation during quarantine.
Yolonda Johnson-Young has created a film titled Finding Elijah to help her answer the many questions she had after losing her son to suicide.
Claire Eastham is a blogger who lives in London. She writes about her journey with social anxiety disorder.
Pinar Tarhan is a writer from Turkey who lives with Purely Obsessional OCD, also known as Pure O, and shares about her mental health recovery.
by “My whole life became worry,” Florence Mukagenzi, a medical student from Rwanda says about her world. “It all felt so unsafe.” And so begins Florence’s recovery journey from paralyzing anxiety, which she exquisitely...
Liza Brock is an Australian mental health writer who writes about her journey with bipolar disorder.
Sanjukta Chauhan, a self-described “annoyingly optimistic” student from India, uses writing to tackle her depression.
Ian Stoddart, a paramedic for 32 years, advocates practicing empathy for positive mental health.
Ashley Neubauer is a paramedic who loves helping people. The stresses of her job, however, affect her mental health, which she must monitor carefully.
Michelle Monzo is a hero’s hero. Her work is her passion, and her passion is her work. She is trains police and other criminal justice and public safety personnel in mental health crisis intervention techniques. in addition to her crisis intervention education efforts, she creates safe spaces for first responders to be vulnerable when they are feeling they need mental health support.
Craig Tinneny is a 911 dispatcher whose lifetime work of fielding calls from people in crisis made him feel hollow, helpless, and hopeless. He sought help from a group of peers and has since become a crusader for better mental health for first responders.
OC87 Recovery Diaries’ Editor in Chief Gabriel Nathan travels around the east coast in his beloved Herbie the Love Bug replica to raise suicide awareness and meet people whose lives have been changed by suicide.
Hell or High Seas follows veteran Navy rescue swimmer Taylor Greiger and friend Stephen O’Shea on the sailing adventure of a lifetime to prove that Taylor is stronger than his PTSD diagnosis.
“Many police departments are good at continually preparing their officers for the daily physical and report battles they face. But, most of these same departments are inadequate in knowledge, and even unaware, of what is going on beneath the vest – in the heart, mind, and soul of the police officer.” – Ed Pila
by https://youtu.be/7qBobGOF0fs Doctors are the healers and the helpers. But what happens when it’s the doctors who need the healing and the help? An estimated 300 to 400 doctors die by suicide each year, a rate of 28 to 40...
In addition to sharing a first name, they also share a passion for busting stigma about mental illness. Mental health advocacy brought them together, but something deeper created a connection.
Taylor Grieger was diagnosed with complex PTSD several months after his release from the Navy with little-to-no guidance on how to cope with his condition.
A rising number of college students are seeking treatment at campus counseling centers for serious mental health challenges. Our video features the powerful listeners from Cogwell@Penn. Watch (and learn) how they skillfully role-play as active listeners when presented with a variety of stories from friends in need.
A complex PTSD diagnosis became inspiration for a fashion designer’s runway line. In Glenn Holsten’s short film, Lilah James shares recovery and creativity.
A few months ago, I saw a photo on Facebook of a cemetery in Marlboro, New Jersey. The cemetery was on the grounds where the Marlboro State Psychiatric Hospital once stood, and was the place where people who were once residents of the hospital were laid to rest.
This video features Officer Ron Griffith, formerly of the NYPD. After 9/11, Ron’s personality shifted. He became a controlling, angry person. He says he wasn’t aware of this change until his family left him, and all he was left with cumulative PTSD.
I started writing songs about my feelings and sharing them with audiences throughout the country as a touring musician, under the name The Homeless Gospel Choir.
by I host a monologue in my head all day long, as I assume most people do; I run through my to-do lists, organize my tasks at hand, and guide myself through my own emotional reactions. These are the types of...
Joe has wrestled with alcoholism and the stresses of life as a police officer, a sometimes combustible combination.
In this short film, Rob Davis shares his journey as a police officer who lives with trauma and PTSD.
“I was hoping that Herbie The Love Bug would bring us some joy.” — Gabriel Nathan, Editor in Chief of OC87 Recovery Diaries
Tammy is one of about 60 people who sell One Step Away, Philadelphia’s first newspaper produced by those without homes for those with homes.
As we seek to #buststigma around mental illness, this installment of our mental health resources column highlights OCD videos on YouTube that we love.
Reed would love to see a dramatic feature that explores a wide range of experiences of characters who live with autism – not just supporting characters.
how an everyday encounter with a stranger on the street can morph into a paralyzing prison-like mental trap of repetitive, obsessive thoughts.
These five depression TED Talks share our agenda to inspire, build bridges, and bring light to the shadow that enshrouds mental health challenges.
This short video explores the richness of our website and the many ways we share mental health stories of hope and recovery.
I put a lot of thought into how to make the web-series Katie and Shaun responsibly. The portrayal of anxiety and depression is true to my experience.
In 2006 I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder with panic attacks and depersonalization. At the time, I was actively pursuing a career in music.
Four one-minute videos about mental health turning points, those moments when life shifted towards a healthy future living with a mental illness.
Glenn Holsten discusses the making of his mental health documentary film, Hollywood Beauty Salon.
A collection of beautifully told short stories that inspire, empower, and generate discussion and awareness in an effort to #buststigma.
Now, hopefully, hopefully, hopefully, hopefully, hopefully, hopefully, hopefully, hopefully, hopefully, hopefully, the cycle is broken.
This post is a round up of depression videos that have us feeling educated, moved, and empowered to continue sharing mental health recovery stories.
This is the third in a series of videos of men who have participated in the Philadelphia’s Engaging Males of Color BEyond Expectations storytelling project.
A veteran of the United States Army, Russell lives with PTSD, something that affects his daily life. Watch these videos about veteran’s mental health.
This video post features the stories of Christian A’Xavier Lovehall, a transgender man who talks about his mental health journey.
Sheri Heller is a powerful survivor who now helps others who have experienced trauma. This short film shares her journey with a mom who had schizophrenia.
I don’t know if my depression, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive disorder will ever go away.
It’s hard to know how a play can change your life, but, just two years later, I found out.
“I’d really love to interview my depression,” Mike said. And we were off. Watch Mike Veny do the (near) impossible: interview his depression.
Mike Veny is an advocate who speaks boldly about his journey with mental health. Mike Veny is also a lifesaver. The first life he saved was his own.
Danielle Hark created Broken Light Collective, a website for photographers from all over the world who are living with or who are affected by mental illness.
Shireda was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. That solved some of the confusion. Support at The Attic, an LGBTQ youth center, and Horizon House helped next.
Voices of young black men are often misunderstood. This video with 15-year-old Jaywan explores forgiveness and mental health recovery with mentor Levi Lee.
“Real depression isn’t being sad when something in your life goes wrong. Real depression is being sad when everything in your life is going right.” – Kevin Breel
Darryl Armour was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at an early age. His story includes residential treatment programs, incarceration, and recovery at COMHAR.
Brenda Lewis is now a Certified Peer Specialist who helps other people find resources along this journey so they won’t have such a difficult time.
“Crazy Cozmo” is a Marine Corps. veteran who lives with PTSD and bipolar disorder. He also wrestles with the abuse he experienced as a child.
Hyacinth wrestled with the toxic combination of schizophrenia, drug abuse, and homelessness. 18 years ago she discovered Project HOME, changing her life.
I have learned what works for me in helping diminish the severity of my symptoms. Getting help with medication and therapy has been part of my treatment.
Lauren Dicair recounts her experience dealing with depression and anxiety in college after growing up in the suburbs with parents who were junkies.
We were a white, middle-class, Jewish family. Born into addiction with junkie parents, I came out of the womb and began having withdrawal seizures.
Rachel has been on her own since high school. She has fought to overcome depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety.
Eric’s story begins with sadness and isolation. Today, Eric has uncovered a strong sense of self, created supportive relationships, and learned coping skills.
Ron Thompson is a fascinating guy — an artist with a pen, a poet with words. His video, Drawn to Forgiveness, incorporates both of these strengths.
Healing Hurt People works with young people in Philadelphia who are seen in the emergency room for violent injuries (gunshot, stab, or assault wounds).
Tyler and Brooke are active in YPR, an advocacy organization that aims to make it easier for youth to find and maintain their recovery from addiction.
The staff at Montgomery County Emergency Service (MCES), a private, not-for-profit, psychiatric hospital put on a production of the play Our Town.
OC87 Recovery Diaries & public television station WHYY have teamed up with first-time filmmakers to create videos that tell inspiring first person recovery journeys.
Lost to paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, Ed was in limbo for 30 years before finding the right medication and community to heal and play music.
Interview with Clyde Petersen about Torrey Pines, a stop-motion animated adventure film about coming of age with an undiagnosed schizophrenic single mother.
A short video with a simple question: What is your message to the world? It’s a big question, but very few people appeared at a loss for words.
Video from the Hollywood Beauty Salon documentary: Remembering neglect in foster care, alcoholism, and mental illness, Darlene talks to her inner child.
Monica, a young transwoman, talks about her experience with mental health challenges, homelessness, and finding her chosen family at The Attic Youth Center.
“I would not want to change my life, even all the negative and bad stuff, because it actually made me who I am.” —Rachel “Hollywood” Carr
Interview with Delaney Ruston about her documentary Hidden Pictures, where she visits India, China, South Africa, France & the USA looking at mental health.
“The Reel Mind films have a message of hope and recovery. People come in feeling alone and isolated and leave feeling very differently” –Dr Larry Guttmacher
Anthony Di Salvo talks about Sprout Film Festival, vacations for people with developmental disabilities, and Sproutflix, a new movies on demand platform.
A roadmap of festivals for filmmakers and film lovers alike that encourage film submissions surrounding ideas of mental health and recovery,
“If there’s anybody having a mental challenge, I hope they’d be brave enough to speak out. They are not the only one going through that.” – Arah Cooper
“I’m recovering from addiction, major depression, ADHD, and HIV. If I can come out of 28 years of addiction and prison, you can do it too.” – John Rocco
“I have this overwhelming need to help people understand where mental illness is coming from in a way that a lot of people aren’t able to do.” – Evan Kaplan
Tim Connors shares his recovery with hearing voices. Through the support of family and groups, Tim leads a happier and healthier life.
In OF TWO MINDS, Liz recounts her lost years of extreme mania and depressions as well as the effects of electroshock treatments.
OC87 Recovery Diaries and WHYY teamed up with mental health providers to create original short films that detail journeys of recovery and transformation.
In this excerpt from the documentary Hollywood Beauty Salon, Sanetta “Butterfly” Watkins shares her metamorphosis recovery journey with schizophrenia.
“If someone ever asks me, I will be the first one to tell them that I have a mental illness and that I am in recovery from it.” —Jennifer Agnew
Michael Solomon is married, assumes responsibilities, and helps others in their own recovery journeys. He has a lot of empathy for people, too.
Stephanie has amazingly coped with her disorder through her love of equine therapy for mental health. Her trust in horses has allowed her to trust people.
Performing under the name Geppetta, Adelaide Windsome describes her recovery with depression as a verb rather than a noun.
Behind the scenes of Bud Clayman’s documentary OC87: The Obsessive Compulsive, Major Depression, Bipolar, Asperger’s Movie.