PRODUCER: PJ Moynihan
Healing Voices is a feature-length narrative documentary that tells the deeply moving stories of marginalized men and women who have been diagnosed with severe forms of “mental illness,” but who are nonetheless working together to take personal responsibility for their extreme mental states, often against the explicit recommendations of the medical establishment. Experience referred to as “mental illness” is generally shrouded in fear and misunderstanding, and the contemporary medical model does little to discourage lifelong dependency on drugs, or promote long-term recovery. The human portraits in this film will powerfully and unsparingly point out the shortcomings of mainstream mental health management in America, by championing the spirit of individuals courageous enough to live better and more productive lives by embracing, understanding, and working to overcome their unpredictable mental states.
In a naturally occurring timeline, Healing Voices will document the process of a core group of characters developing and publicly sharing their own personal narratives, as a means towards self-empowerment, community healing, and long-term recovery. Additionally, the film intends to highlight what is an emerging mental health movement across the globe: bottom-up organizations helping individuals live constructively with extreme mental states, in defiance of a top-down medical establishment that tells them they are genetically broken, dysfunctional human beings. The underlying message: the more we as a culture suppress extreme states, the more often they occur. Instead of fearing them, we should attempt to learn from them, and by way of the harrowing but ultimately inspiring stories of men and women learning to negotiate and grow through their madness, Healing Voices will focus its lens sharply on the soul of our culture.