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  1. #1 film for mentally ill patients 
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    I am tasked to create a film for some mentally ill patients - those with depression, PTSD and bipolar disorder, among others. It should be part of their therapy so I need it to be creative and informative, but I do not want it to be boring. Any suggestions on how to do it - I mean, the concept? Do you think interviewing doctors would make the film boring?
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    If this is for a treatment center , my advice would be to get patients who have been through the program and are living their best lives now.

    Profile their success stories, highlight the results but perhaps show how they might ocassionally run into challenges in their daily lives that would potentially trigger them, but that they now have tools to help them process events.

    It’s not about a “cure” but a continuum of wellness and enabling someone to have care and compassion for themselves.

    Disclaimer : legally not advice, just some creative input for free.
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    I agree. Show a lifestyle free from the burden of PTSD.
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  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by Maira Fravel View Post
    I am tasked to create a film for some mentally ill patients - those with depression, PTSD and bipolar disorder, among others. It should be part of their therapy so I need it to be creative and informative, but I do not want it to be boring. Any suggestions on how to do it - I mean, the concept?
    The problem (illnesses, social analysis, causes)
    Manifestations, examples - stories
    Potential solutions, challenges
    Success stories
    Conclusion & closure with a hope


    Leave drugs out of it, no melancholic music, negative notions balanced with positive ones and hope. Let patients see others a) facing their issues; b) working on them; c) getting better; d) having hope on their faces.
    Do research on the matter in advance and don't do the job if the heart won't participate.


    Quote Originally Posted by Maira Fravel View Post
    Do you think interviewing doctors would make the film boring?
    If they dominate. And you if don't have a healthy storytelling flow.
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  5. #5  
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    [feel free to pm me, i am happy to do everything i can to help you succeed in this]

    let's talk about some specifics like who this is for, what kind of time you have, and how many different videos and situations you are dealing with, etc.

    i do think that an engaging and informational audio-visual presentation can be effective, but you may also be able to create short narratives or present some kind of documentary-style video with a variety of content that is educational and entertaining. personally, i would look into presenting some condensed case studies and experiences by professionals and auto-ethnographies from patients. you might also want to present some narrative content in a way that promotes healthy interventions, perhaps pausing the action as someone explains - this would be a good use of green-screen as it is helpful to see body language and facial expressions most of the time. you will need to carefully consider each person or character building rapport and trust with the viewers. maybe this could be potentially controversial for some people, but i think that some comic relief could be extremely effective if done appropriately. some conditions/treatments can enhance or otherwise alter a sense of humor, and also realize that there can potentially be an extreme range of education level, intelligence, mood, memory, and current ability of patients to accept and retain advanced or even basic understandings. that does not mean one should be patronizing or talk down to them or even dumb down anything because i think a lot of patients would still be in an average range but just experiencing complications that affect them in different ways.

    it really depends a lot on what the viewing/viewers situation is, there is some stuff that generally applies across the mental health spectrum, but i am telling you now that it may be difficult to create a single program targeting the entire range of causes, symptoms, and treatment strategies. it might be worth considering a primary route looking at common symptoms rather than common conditions since there is a lot of overlap and getting into causality is pretty tricky and may not even be an effective use of time. you may be able to use this piece to prompt professionally led discussion or narrative inquiry, especially for group settings, if not healthy introspection and self-psychology.
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    i would recommend you start researching now, because there is a ton of information out there. i think you need multiple consultants/experts on this project, whether they are on screen or not. do a ton of research before you approach/select this team - just because someone has basic credentials does not mean a lot. do not discount outside perspectives and commentary from family and friends of patients. probably these patients are separated from their families and friends to be watching this and this relation could motivate them to listen to those who love them and increase their desire to get and remain healthy. unfortunately, full recovery can be difficult and may be rarely achieved - some patients experience chronic symptoms or neuro-degenerative problems without improvement. there is a lot going on in between. an educational "reality pill" can be helpful.

    on the whole, i think the status quo of the system is woefully inadequate at fully implementing evidence-based treatment besides or beyond prescription drugs. unfortunately, what seem to be some of the best options for some of these symptoms and conditions are either largely undervalued, not widely approved, accepted, recommended, insured, or otherwise ignored for various reasons. there is a strong bias towards (nonexistent) medicinal magic-bullet symptom management while underlying causes and concerns are often ignored. there is currently some use for the pharmaceuticals that generally represent the standard of care today, but there is evidence to suggest they should be prescribed less overall and not generally indefinitely or as the first and/or only option. in addition to plant-based medicines and other natural supplements as alternatives or adjuncts to synthetic pharmaceuticals, there are quite a few things to be focused on generally and specifically for maintaining or improving mental health. all that being said, many professionals are beginning to focus on individualized treatment and there are a lot of good mental health professionals and advocates out there to be found.

    i firmly believe that all health and wellness needs start with diet and exercise. to me, this concept can include everything necessary for a healthy body and brain, and going beyond what is necessary to what is helpful for improvements. this is not just for those who are at risk or already suffering, but everyone. finding the right nutrition in your food and beverage selections with regard to a healthy variety of options, sustainable cultivation, cost-effectiveness, and perseverance. maintaining a healthy weight and staying hydrated. getting enough sleep and waking time. moving around in nature and sunlight. socializing. meditating. learning. working. having fun. you get the idea, but might be surprised how difficult some of these simple things can become for someone that is impaired.

    if someone is symptomatic, some kind of intervention is likely necessary. i think the starting point even during an assessment is to begin some form of talk therapy. a psychologist is not always the only mental health professional for patients to see, but should be a staple before going to psychiatrics. neuropsychology and neuro-imaging can be a very important early step as well to eliminate imminently dangerous causes like brain-tumors that may manifest as strange behavior or significant personality/mood changes, etc. there are a lot of approaches to psychology and generally i would recommend looking into cognitive-behavioral, analytical, gestalt, and integrative/holistic wellness approaches. talk therapy is pretty essential, but there is so much more potential to add to it like art-therapy, support groups, activities, guided meditation, electrical stimulations to activate important regions of the brain... things like that. part of these interventions should in some way be encouraging healthy thoughts and actions, like basically improving what i would call an expanded view on the 'diet and exercise' staple. although it may co-occur in other forms of therapy, stress management is really important and could be one of the most overlooked factors out there. if just knowing something is going wrong isn't stressful enough, many mental health conditions heighten your stress to unusually extreme levels, even engaging a potentially sustained kind of fight/flight response or leading to complications beyond the initial condition. these can be compounding and degrade your ability to execute self-management, so it is an important theme to focus on. hospitals and other institutions are not always the most relaxing or best environment for healing, which i find inherently problematic. it is also surprising to me how often someone is put - say - on a powerful, potentially addictive or dangerous anti-depressant without much of anything that could be considered thorough psychological analysis, even when there is not an immediate risk of harm that needs to be addressed. beyond that, there is a lot of internal discussion and debate between psychological schools/strategies and figuring out when and how to implement harm reduction and other treatment methods. while i really appreciate the diversity of thought, i really like the simplicity of thinking about cognitive-behavioral therapy as a starting point because it is all about the relationship between thought and action and is relatively easy to grasp. a major factor is success for many conditions is related to education. learning and accepting the realities of dealing with a condition (or even accepting/re-entering reality) and being able to implement effective self-management strategies is extremely important. chronic or even temporary cognitive impairments often create great difficulties in making or maintaining progress. therapy is not only for the patient - group and family counseling can be critical as a powerful social support structure is so helpful. so beyond imbalances and impairments, some of this stuff is way out of the patients' control and unfortunately access to quality care, insurance, and financial resources makes for significantly variable outcomes in our current system.

    finally, you get to things like vitamins and minerals and extracts/supplements and medicines/drugs, which to me are essentially a more serious interventional aspect of improving diet & exercise. sometimes it can be necessary and effective to use some of these options very early in treatment to help the patient to a place where these other long-term strategies become possible and effective. it is not uncommon for patients to receive a whole lot of different medicines at once and while all of these medicines alone can and do have different and sometimes rare or novel effects on individuals, medicinal interactions can be even more extremely complex. some medicines and interactions can worsen outcomes in various ways in the short-term, long-term, or even do permanent damage. lots of common mental health medications can singly lead to otherwise non-present suicidal ideation and attempts or other drastic changes in personality, mood, aggression, depression, etc. etc. etc. some of these can be habit-forming and/or carry withdrawal symptoms, many can possibly lead to overdose/death, and quite a few can cause strokes and other serious side effects even before the entourage of multiple strange chemical combinations in the complex and dynamic system that is your body and central nervous system. plus, there are lots of less serious side-effects, some of which can be managed with even more medicines and further potential complications. all of this plus a whole host of other factors leads to very low rates of compliance. absent other forms of therapeutic treatment being offered or management techniques being taught, this leads to high levels of relapse, recidivism, and just generally poor outcomes. extreme measures and caution must be taken in extreme situations. for the most part, when someone is brought in or comes to a mental health facility, they are having significant problems of some kind for the first time or are otherwise in bad shape and need help. while it is not necessarily the norm, some patients may be harmful or threatening to themselves or others and may have to be physically and/or chemically restrained at least temporarily.
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  7. #7  
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    i heard a story once about a guy who was picked up by police and instead of charging him with something minor they brought him to a hospital where he legitimately thought they were about to lethally inject him. as you can imagine, he fought like hell for his life and some of the healers were significantly injured. they decided not to file charges, and the man was able to receive treatment and begin recovery. basically same situation happened to a man picked up with a minor infraction who was instead stuck in a small solitary confinement cell that he never left. there are routine checks that have to be done of these spaces that require a prisoner to be briefly somewhere else. he refused to come out as he thought an execution was imminent and they were forced to perform an 'extraction'. as you can imagine, he fought like hell for his life, although no one was injured. however, assaulting an officer is a significant potential offense, especially as compared to whatever the initial minor charge was and he has slim chances of ever making a full recovery. in this way, many mentally ill patients get wrapped up in the system with compounding violations and are stuck in an environment where they are not able to get the treatment they need, which usually has a compounding effect on neuro-degeneration and disease progression. this is all on top of systemic-level discriminatory outcomes involving minorities and low-income individuals that sometimes occurs in criminal justice. there are 10x more mentally ill individuals incarcerated than there are in hospitals and mental health facilities.



    teaching patients about their rights and how to deal with the authorities and properly respect the law is vital and learning to navigate our complex system of care is critical, but a major paradigm shift is past due to address the egregious shortcomings in our system. it must reach the level of improving education, standards of care, and public policy if we are to truly love and help those unable to help themselves. good luck.
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  8. #8  
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    Amazing commentary and insight Paul.
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  9. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maira Fravel View Post
    I am tasked to create a film for some mentally ill patients - those with depression, PTSD and bipolar disorder, among others. It should be part of their therapy so I need it to be creative and informative, but I do not want it to be boring. Any suggestions on how to do it - I mean, the concept? Do you think interviewing doctors would make the film boring?
    I thought the request to begin with was kinda funny (in tone)...

    "I am tasked to create a film for some mentally ill patients"...

    (You know just a bunch of random mental disorders of this type or that type amongst a few other things... You know random "mental conditions"... ).

    But in spite of being a general "Bucket" of randomly cobbled together mental disorders "I" am tasked to produce (with immense care and sensitivity) an actual "Film" that is an intrinsic part of the "Therapy"... BUT it seems the most important criterion is to not be "Boring"...

    And I am soliciting the core concept/script outline from an online forum?

    But don't forget the "Film" I make will indeed have an impact on their mental health as it is going to be used as an intrinsic part of "Their" treatment...

    [Probably someone might have to hire a lawyer to create some serious indemnity clauses here... (Just saying); hard not to think about 'Clockwork Orange"... (In this context).].

    What could possibly go wrong?

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________________


    @Maira Fravel Without a true context of your role and relationship to the client and clear and focused objectives for the project it comes across as being a little "Out there"?

    So are you part of an AV department in a University or teaching hospital or larger institution or faculty, or is this a notional student project or are you guys loosely being tasked to submit a "Pitch" for commercial work etc. etc. To a particular client.

    No disrespect but there is a lot missing there in terms of project rationale and who the clients are.

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _____________________

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  10. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Lange View Post
    I thought the request to begin with was kinda funny (in tone)...

    "I am tasked to create a film for some mentally ill patients"...

    (You know just a bunch of random mental disorders of this type or that type amongst a few other things... You know random "mental conditions"... ).

    But in spite of being a general "Bucket" of randomly cobbled together mental disorders "I" am tasked to produce (with immense care and sensitivity) an actual "Film" that is an intrinsic part of the "Therapy"... BUT it seems the most important criterion is to not be "Boring"...

    And I am soliciting the core concept/script outline from an online forum?

    But don't forget the "Film" I make will indeed have an impact on their mental health as it is going to be used as an intrinsic part of "Their" treatment...

    [Probably someone might have to hire a lawyer to create some serious indemnity clauses here... (Just saying); hard not to think about 'Clockwork Orange"... (In this context).].

    What could possibly go wrong?

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________________


    @Maira Fravel Without a true context of your role and relationship to the client and clear and focused objectives for the project it comes across as being a little "Out there"?

    So are you part of an AV department in a University or teaching hospital or larger institution or faculty, or is this a notional student project or are you guys loosely being tasked to submit a "Pitch" for commercial work etc. etc. To a particular client.

    No disrespect but there is a lot missing there in terms of project rationale and who the clients are.

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _____________________

    @Paul nice to see you floating about Reduser...
    Eric, maybe you are correct but judgemental?
    Or in other words: "how did you help?"
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