Coping with severe OCD as a teenager

Coping with severe OCD as a teenager

Source:  VICE

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder that often involves ritualization, anxiety, and intrusive thoughts.

While millions suffer from OCD, the mental disorder is often misunderstood by the general public and misrepresented in the media and pop culture.

Allison Gurvich is a 14-year-old OCD sufferer who shares her personal struggles with VICE in the hopes of destigmatizing the illness and creating a support community for others affected by OCD.

Watch “My Life with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder” at VICE.


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Netflix releases “Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak” as coronavirus spreads

Netflix releases “Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak” as coronavirus spreads

Source:  Fast Company

Last week, Netflix premiered its new docuseries “Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak”—and the timing couldn’t have been more prescient.

In late December, China alerted the World Health Organization to several cases of pneumonia in the port city of Wuhan.  After ruling out the SARS virus, it was determined on January 7 that the cause of the illnesses was a new coronavirus, which is in the same family as SARS.

By January 22, the day “Pandemic” premiered on Netflix, the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak had risen to 17 with more than 550 infections—and those numbers have been climbing ever since.

To date, there have been more than 100 deaths and 4,515 confirmed cases of the coronavirus virus across 16 countries including the United States, Thailand, Japan, France, Canada, and Germany.

“Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak” is available now on Netflix.

Read the story at Fast Company.


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The Hidden Crisis in Rural America

The Hidden Crisis in Rural America

Source:  The Atlantic

It’s prohibitively difficult to access mental-health services in rural America.  That’s because, relative to urban areas, rural counties have so few mental-health professionals.

The majority of non-metropolitan counties in the U.S. don’t have a psychiatrist, and almost half lack a psychologist.

The paucity has resulted in a public-health crisis—rural Americans suffering from a psychiatric condition are more likely to encounter a police officer than receive treatment.

In the short documentary “Out of Sight, Out of Mind,” directed by James Burns for PBS’ Independent Lens, residents of Cochise County, Arizona speak to the alarming implications of the area’s lack of psychiatric resources.

Read the story at The Atlantic.


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“Oliver Sacks: His Own Life” opens May 2020 in theaters

“Oliver Sacks: His Own Life” opens May 2020 in theaters

Source:  Deadline

Ric Burns’ “Oliver Sacks: His Own Life,” about the famed neurologist and author has been acquired by Zeitgeist Films in association with Kino Lorber.  As part of the U.S. rights deal, the documentary will open theatrically in New York City, followed by a national rollout.

The film, which counts American Masters Pictures among its producers, will have its exclusive U.S. broadcast premiere in 2021 on PBS’ American Masters series.

Burns explores Sacks’ life and work as the renowned doctor shares details of his battles with drug addiction, homophobia, and a medical establishment that accepted his work only decades after the fact.

The film features exclusive interviews with Sacks done just weeks after he received a terminal cancer diagnosis in January 2015 and prior to his death in August 2015.

Read the story at Deadline.


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Veterans heal with the help of dogs in “To Be of Service”

Veterans heal with the help of dogs in “To Be of Service”

Source:  The New York Times

Many of the smiles mask deep sorrows in “To Be of Service.”  But hope still runs throughout much of the documentary.

Directed by Oscar nominee Josh Aronson (“Sound and Fury”), the film looks at veterans of wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Vietnam whose post-traumatic stress has devastated them.

One man mentions the more than 31 pills he takes daily to try to control his illness, while others have turned to alcohol and illegal drugs.

Yet some of the most successful treatments come from programs that provide veterans with specially trained service dogs.

“To Be of Service” is available now on Netflix.

Read the story at The New York Times.


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“Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops” shines a light on the compassionate policing practices of the San Antonio Police Department’s mental health unit

“Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops” shines a light on the compassionate policing practices of the San Antonio Police Department’s mental health unit

Source:  Deadline

In the trailer for “Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops,” a voiceover states: “On average in a police academy in this country, they spend 60 hours or more learning how to shoot a gun, and they spend eight on mental health and communication.  We need to shift that.”

Directed by Jenifer McShane, the HBO documentary gives a different perspective on law enforcement in a time when law enforcement is being scrutinized for unwarranted police violence.

The film, which won the Special Jury Prize for Empathy in Craft at SXSW earlier this year, follows the titular Ernie Stevens and Joe Smarro, two police officers in San Antonio, Texas who are diverting people from jail and into mental health treatment.

The duo, part of the San Antonio Police Department’s ten-person mental health unit, puts compassionate policing practices into action.

The film chronicles Ernie and Joe’s daily encounters with people in crisis, showing how their innovative approach to policing – which takes mental health into account – is having a dramatic effect on the way police respond to these challenges.

“Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops” premieres November 19 on HBO.

Read the story at Deadline.


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