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Saving Minds

Two people attempt to reclaim their lives after long struggles with mental illness, while a group of leading professionals rethinks the current drug-based model of psychiatric care.

A printer-friendly version of this page 89 minutes
SDH Captioned>>

Directed by Catherine Mullins
Produced by Catherine Mullins
Director of Photography: Michael Wees
Editor: Vidal Béïque
Original Music: Eric LeMoyne
Animation: Astroplastique
Writer/Researcher: Catherine Mullins
Narrator: Jennifer Seguin
Produced by Green Lion Productions Inc.

"Absolutely a must-see. It raises public awareness of mental health problems and endeavors to eradicate prejudice and social stigma." Somayeh Hezavehi, Film Today
Myriam Anouk and Alo have spent years seeking effective treatment within a mental health system that has medicated them but failed to address the roots of their suffering. SAVING MINDS captures their intimate stories as they navigate their way to recovery.

With added insights from experts in the field, and the candid testimony of author Joanne Greenberg (I Never Promised You a Rose Garden), the film gives viewers a ringside seat as a new approach to mental health care begins to take shape; one that moves beyond the biological-medical model towards a more therapeutic and empathetic approach that puts the patient first and uses medication cautiously.

Grade Level: 10 - 12, Colleges, Adults
US Release Date: 2024     Copyright Date: 2020
DVD ISBN: 1-961192-13-6

"Remarkable...A powerful, moving documentary about the suffering that accompanies severe mental illness, Saving Minds takes us through the promises and pitfalls of several treatment approaches, including antipsychotics and their adverse effects. As elsewhere in our culture, it finds that community support, social integration, and self-affirmation without judgment are more effective and longer-lasting than is the forced, involuntary 'care' of the psychiatric hospital."
Christopher Lane, Psychology Today

"This moving film helps viewers see the complex, human stories behind 'psychosis' and 'serious mental illness.' It does this by blending personal stories with interviews with a range of clinical and research experts to make the case for psychosocial approaches and greater caution in the use of psychotropic medications. College students learning about mental health conditions, clinicians in training, general community members, and people diagnosed with mental health conditions themselves would all benefit from viewing Saving Minds."
Philip Yanos, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice - CUNY, Author, Written Off: Mental Health Stigma and the Loss of Human Potential

"[Saving Minds] stands out by emphasizing a therapeutic approach capable of looking suffering in the face. In doing so, Catherine Mullins recalls the primacy of the bonds that humans weave among themselves; benevolence and listening appeared here as cardinal virtues capable of alleviating suffering which cries out in distress even when we do everything to muzzle expression of their symptoms."
Louise-Maude Rioux Soucy, Le Devoir

"Saving Minds is absolutely a must-see. It raises public awareness of mental health problems, and endeavors to eradicate prejudice and social stigma on the subject by engaging viewers deeply and taking them on the journey with the characters. The theme, the atmosphere, and the people will stay with you long after watching it."
Somayeh Hezavehi, Film Today

"This film follows the experiences of patients with severe and persistent mental illness. They discover that their recovery is not granted through medications alone but rather by incorporating connection and psychotherapy."
Shannon Kinnan, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Creighton University

"Captivating...powerful...Saving Minds will inform student-trainees who are interested in working as clinicians, and will also offer practitioners, advanced psychotherapists and educators with a lens of how to re-conceptualize the framing of severe mental illness from a psychological and social lens. The film focuses on resilience, hope, remission, and recovery using powerful metaphors about the perils of psychiatric disorders generally thought to be difficult to treat using psychotherapy. The paradigmatic shift from a medical model to a psychological model in the treatment of severe mental illnesses is presented from a critical psychiatry perspective, as well as from the lens of noted researchers and clinicians who work with and understand the plight of individuals with these very stigmatized conditions. The main theme of the film is that recovery from severe mental illness is very possible."
Dr. Babatunde O. Adekson, Assistant Professor, Clinical Mental HealthCounseling, The Chicago School

"Saving Minds provides a voice of sanity and balance in a world where psychiatry has been hijacked by the belief that drugs are the only solution. The current tendency to view patients as broken machines does them a terrible disservice. Mental health issues reflect breakdowns in interpersonal relationships. Psychiatric drugs can have an important role to play in healing, however psycho-social interventions are more effective for achieving long-term health."
Anthony Ian Jack, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Psychology, Neurology, Neuroscience and Organizational Behavior, Case Western Reserve University

"Saving Minds offers a critique of mainstream psychiatry without being shrill. It beautifully demonstrates the healing effect of making meaning of terrifying experiences. Essential viewing for both trainees and experienced clinicians."
Dr. Jon Jureidini, Head of Critical and Ethical Mental Health (CEMH), University of Adelaide, Co-author, The Illusion of Evidence-Based Medicine: Exposing the Crisis of Credibility in Clinical Research

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DVDs include public performance rights.

DVD Features
SDH captions for the deaf and hard-of-hearing and scene selection.

Awards and Festivals
Best Human Rights Films, New York Tri-State International Film Festival
Best Educational Documentary, Liber Films International Festival
Best Educational Film, Lion International Film Festival
Best Educational Documentary, Star International Film Festival
Best Educational Documentary, Sofia International Film Festival
Nominee, Best Feature Documentary, Madrid International Film Festival
Semi-Finalist, Best Educational Documentary, Monte Carlo Movie Awards
Semi-Finalist, Feature Documentary, Seattle Movie Awards
Certificate of Achievement, Zagreb International Film Festival
United Nations Association Film Festival
Snow Leopard International Film Festival
Arrow International Film Festival
Japan International Film Festival

Carl Jung
Human Rights
Mental Health
Social Work

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War In The Mind
Gives voice to soldiers living with PTSD to help erase the stigma, examines the growing number of military suicides, and shows a successful group therapy program.

... more Reviews

"Saving Minds offers a searing and eye-opening exploration of the lives of persons with severe mental illness. Old and young, rich and poor, male and female, the movie reveals how no community is untouched by mental illness. It also offers a clear-eyed and critical assessment of the obstacles to receiving adequate care, and challenges the notion that biomedical interventions are an easy cure-all. The film is ultimately uplifting and inspiring, showing how humane person-centered therapeutic care provides support, help, and hope for those managing mental illness."
Deborah Carr, Professor of Sociology, Director of the Center for Innovation in Social Science, Boston University, Author, Worried Sick: How Stress Hurts Us and How to Bounce Back

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