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From The Fanlight Collection
Are the Kids Alright?
Directed by Karen Bernstein and Ellen Spiro
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This searing documentary examines the crisis in mental health care for children and adolescents at risk. With unprecedented access to families, to the courts, and to psychiatric and correctional institutions, the filmmakers followed several families to document the tragic results of a catastrophic decline in the availability of appropriate mental health services for young people. From everyday family and developmental stresses to severe, clinical mental illness, these families are struggling to get the supports they need, but there is very little help available to them.

• Cesar, a young Hispanic boy is severely depressed and has threatened to kill himself. His mother is afraid to take him home, but there is no treatment bed available for him.

• Raised by her grandmother, Antonia, tried to cut her wrists after her mother failed to appear for a mother's day visit. She has also attempted to overdose on Zoloft.

• Jeremy, a teenager, may also be suicidal. He has threatened his stepmother and injured his younger brother. Unable to afford the cost of a psychiatric placement, his father seeks to relinquish his parental rights, so that the state will be responsible for his care. The judge refuses.

This documentary follows the painful choices confronting families who have a loved one suffering from mental illness, but also the daily struggles of mental health advocates, service providers, and policymakers in trying to help these youths get appropriate treatment.

Dr. James Boynton, a psychiatric counselor for the Texas Youth Commission, deals with children and teens who have been sexually abused, who are psychotic, who have been assaulted or who have assaulted and killed others. His are often the only mental health services these kids will ever have. "I've given up testifying before the legislature," he says. "I found out the legislature doesn't really listen to us. So what can you say?"

"Informs and touches the heart. A comprehensive view combined with the reality of mental health care. A valuable addition for collections in psychiatry, psychology, health sciences, and education. Highly Recommended." —Educational Media Reviews Online

Texas Mental Health Association Award
Best of Austin / Most Pertinent Media
Emmy Award, Outstanding Achievement, Documentary, Lonestar Chapter
United Nations Association Film Festival
Merit Award, Superfest
Western Psychological Association
Picture This... Disability Film Festival

57 minutes / Color
Release: 2005
Copyright: 2004

For individual consumers (home video)

This DVD is sold for private, home use only.

For colleges, universities, government agencies, hospitals and corporations

This DVD is sold with a license for institutional use and Public Performance rights.

Subject areas:
Adolescence, Community & Public Health, Healthcare History & Policy, Mental Illness, Brain Disorders, Psychology, Psychiatry, Social Work

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