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ENVISION THIS: Reevaluating how our society defines and treats severe mental distress
Phil Borges, photographer and filmmaker, is creating Crazywise, a feature documentary that questions the stigmatized, misunderstood world of mental health treatment and individual recovery. The goal of the film is to inspire greater understanding about the severity of our current mental health crisis, spark conversation on solutions and re-evaluate how our society defines and treats severe mental distress.
Living with and documenting indigenous cultures for more than two decades led Phil to question how Western cultures define and treat severe mental disorders. He says, “In the more than 20 years I spent with these indigenous cultures, what I observed often challenged my reality… In many cultures a young person’s ‘psychotic break’ often identified him or her as having shamanic potential.”
Back home, Phil is struck by how dramatically different these ‘first psychotic episodes’ are defined and treated. He meets and films Adam Gentry, a sensitive and bright American in his twenties who has refused traditional medical treatment for his psychosis after experiencing devastating side effects from a variety of medications.
Crazywise features Adam’s story, Phil’s insights from indigenous cultures, and more than 35 exclusive expert interviews with mental health professional. Phil has spoken at multiple TED talks and hosted television documentaries for Discovery and National Geographic. He and his co-director, Kevin Tomlinson, are currently running a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for Crazywise.
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