Hearts and Minds: Teens and Mental Illness

Idaho Public Television, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

As part of a larger public service effort, the documentary Hearts and Minds sympathetically follows the lives of four teens with the diagnosis of mental illness thus encouraging other young people to seek help. Commissioned by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and produced by Idaho Public Television under the guidance of executive producer Bruce Reichert and health and welfare project manager Ann Kirkwood, the program shows how people with a diagnosis of mental illness can and do lead productive lives and helps erase the stigma of this disorder. Producer and writer Marcia Franklin, associate producer Lori Joyce, editor Al Hagenlock, and photographers Jay Krajic and Jeff Tucker work with teenagers Amy, Brandon, Holly and Jennifer to show how anyone can be affected. Through their stories, the program explains the biological causes of mental illness, teaches the signs and symptoms of major mental illnesses, and encourages young people to get help for themselves or others in need. Following the broadcast Marcia Franklin hosted a discussion on the topic, and hundreds of videotape copies of the program with a study guide were distributed to high school counselors, health teachers, nurses, and psychologists. The brochure lists questions to ask before and after viewing as well as websites and suggested activities for studying mental illness and its symptoms. For a comprehensive educational effort that dispels the common myths of mental illness and offers hope to its teenage victims, a Peabody goes to Hearts and Minds: Teens and Mental Illness.