“If there’s anybody that’s having a mental challenge, I hope that they’d be brave enough to speak out. I want to let them know that they are not the only one on the earth or in society or in a community that’s going through that.” — Arah Cooper
OC87 Recovery Diaries and Philadelphia public television station WHYY teamed up with groups from four area mental health providers to create original short films that detail journeys of recovery and transformation.
The first time filmmakers were in charge of shooting, editing and structuring the video. We are pleased to present the final of the four projects We’re to be Heard: Arah’s Story, by Arah Cooper and Robert Cleveland.
Next up is the OC87 Recovery Diaries behind the scenes interview with Arah Cooper and Robert Cleveland, the creators of the above video.
Arah and Robert are from Philadelphia’s Horizon House, where Robert is a peer support specialist. Horizon House advocates and provides comprehensive, community-based services in partnership with individuals with disabilities and their families.
“There’s somebody else that is going through the same thing . . . It’s just that we’re scattered out so far from each other.” — Arah Cooper
“I like Arah very much. . . She is a survivor. She is a survivor of trauma, and her story will inform, and hopefully inspire a lot of other people.” — Robert Cleveland
Robert helped Arah tell her story of recovery. A key idea in Arah’s transformation from victim to survivor is forgiveness. In addition to other support systems, Arah plays piano to help her cope with her past in trauma.
“Oh, I love piano playing, I think it’s exciting, I think it’s an instrument that sounds so pretty. . . It relaxes me, it makes me confident. It makes me see brighter days.” — Arah Cooper
“I expected to come down here to really find out who I really am. And from doing that it showed me that I’m educated more than I thought. I underestimated myself.” — Arah Cooper
Please leave a comment and watch the other I AM A VOICE HERE videos.