NAMI Man Film Sneak Peek! - OC87 Recovery Diaries

NAMI Man Film Sneak Peek!


NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is a US -based advocacy group originally founded as a grassroots group by family members of people diagnosed with mental illness. NAMI Bucks County, PA is a small but mighty chapter of that national organization.

It is also home to NAMI Man.

Nicholas Emeigh is the mild-mannered Director of Outreach & Development for NAMI Bucks County, PA. His alter ego, NAMI Man, is a colorful and awe-inspiring superhero who roams the world, fighting stigma and promoting mental health awareness.

But how did this new superhero come to be? What’s his “origin story,” as they say in the world of superheroes?

“We were planning a NAMI walk and we were looking for a superhero, and I thought, ‘You know, we need our own superhero.’ So I just took a costume and took our grassroots symbol and just made it our own,” says Debbie Moritz, Executive Director of NAMI Bucks County.  

But a costume is nothing without a person to wear it. 

At first, Nick was not to anxious to become a superhero. “NAMI Man was just a costume in a closet, and I thought ‘There is no way I’m gonna put that on!’ But I did. And all of a sudden NAMI Man had a voice and a personality.”

“I gave him me.”

Nick infuses NAMI Man with empathy, compassion and humor. He uses his lived experience with mental illness to inspire everyone around him, encouraging all he meets to live their best lives, all the while acknowledging the significant challenges that anyone might be facing on any day. Superpowers for sure.

His charm is infectious, and his message of understanding and tolerance is much needed.

“It’s amazing. People open up, they want to talk to him, they want to take their picture with him. They line up,” says his colleague Debbie. “They just feel hope when they see him.”

I’ve wanted to make a film about Nick since I first saw him in action a couple of years ago, pre-pandemic. I’m happy to say that we’re in the process of doing just that. Until it’s ready, though, we at OC87 Recovery Diaries are thrilled to share a sneak peek of our work in progress. Enjoy!

EDITOR IN CHIEF: Gabriel Nathan | EDITOR: Glenn Holsten | DESIGN: Leah Alexandra Goldstein | PUBLISHER: Bud Clayman

See Related Recovery Stories: Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Mental Health Short Films

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.