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.
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.
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.
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.