October 25, 2022

USC MISC (Media Institute for Social Change) Discusses Mental Health Storytelling

By Desa Philadelphia

Mental health issues are currently among our most pressing societal concerns, largely because mental health was minimized as a public health issue for so long. Now that we are talking about mental health, how do we use one of the most impactful forms of storytelling — Cinema — to spur discussions about awareness and redress.

On Thursday, November 17th the USC Media Institute for Social Change will host an evening dedicated to mental health storytelling.  The evening will include an excerpt from the Ken Burns produced series Hiding In Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness, which follows twenty young Americans who are struggling with overwhelming thoughts and feelings. Three SCA student-made films will also screen, and the evening will conclude with a panel discussion about how to effectively incorporate mental health storylines in films. The event will begin at 6:30 PM in the School of Cinematic Arts’ Ray Stark Screening Room (SCA 108) and is open to the public.
The panelists will include filmmakers Doug Blush and Lisa Klein of MadPix Films, whose work on the issue includes the films Of Two Minds about bipolar disorder, and The S Word, about suicide; as well as professionals working in the field of mental health.  The program promises to be an interesting and informative conversation about one of the most crucial social issues of our time. The intention is to shine a light on the issues, and how to destigmatize talking about them in creating compelling media that confirms that none of us are alone in experiencing our feelings. 
With this event, MISC continues to support filmmakers who incorporate issues of social change into their filmmaking.