In honor of this theme, Twin Cities PBS (tpt) has partnered with HealthPartners to create Make It OK, a four-part documentary series to tackle the stigma associated with mental illness.
Talking about mental illness with someone can make for an uncomfortable situation; I know, I’ve certainly struggled with finding ways to talk about mental illness with friends that suffer from it (learn what’s considered a mental illness here). That’s why I think this documentary series is particularly powerful for both people with mental illness and their loved ones– it presents profiles of people with mental illness in a way that resonates with us all. Your friend, mother, father, sister, brother, colleague, anyone could suffer from a mental illness.
One person in particular, Minnesota comedian Maria Bamford, has the perfect conversation starter, humor. You might recognize Maria from local stand-up performances at the ACME Comedy Club, or maybe through her ‘Target Lady’ Black Friday commercials, or perhaps you’d be surprised to hear that she does voiceover work for cartoons, including the PBS kids series, WordGirl – of course, she’s also appeared nationally on Comedy Central and has her own web series, too.
TPT had the opportunity to work with Maria for the Make It OK series. Her story will appear in the series finale, Reframing Mental Illness, which premieres Tuesday, May 27 at 9:30 PM on tpt2. Above, in her own words, is a special two-minute clip of Maria explaining the importance of talking about mental illness.
Do you or someone you know need help finding ways to Make It OK to talk about mental illness? Visit http://www.tpt.org/makeitok where you’ll find links to watch the full-length documentaries online, a variety of resources about mental illness and several video profiles that highlight different forms of mental illness. Maybe one of these resources will help get a conversation started with someone you know.
We’d also recommend this piece in which Adam Levy (of The Honeydogs fame) talks about his son’s mental health struggles and subsequent suicide. It’s really powerful stuff.