MCLEAN HOSPITAL PATIENT STORIES
Patient stories for the annual McLean Hospital gala.
When Erin Collins-Moore called from McLean Hospital, a prestigious psychiatric hospital in the Boston area, and asked us to make films for their annual Gala, we were excited and concerned. This seemed like a rare opportunity to make films on sensitive subjects with both patient and hospital collaboration. Our worry was, could we make honest films and protect patient privacy?
The answers came from the subjects themselves. We've now had the opportunity to work with several different patients from McLean and each has been eager to share their story for the sake of others who might also benefit from help and treatment.
Two young sisters, Abby and Mary, told us about their experiences with depression, anxiety and self harm while attending high school. Abby and Mary received treatment from doctors and therapists at a special program for teens at McLean Hospital Southeast in Middleborough.
Despite the alarming news about increased opioid use, alcohol addiction remains the more prevalent problem in this country. Chris, a successful businessman who survived the attack on the World Trade Center, talked about his alcohol addiction and how the doctors at Fernside, a McLean residential facility in Princeton, Massachusetts, helped him.
Sadie has been dealing with issues of anxiety and OCD since she was very young. As she entered high school, these problems manifested themselves into a need to be the "perfect" student. She would often spend 7 to 8 hours a night on homework assignments, generating hundreds of pages of notes on short readings. Her parents sought out help from McLean when they realized that Sadie was heading for a crash. Sadie went to the McLean Anxiety Mastery Program, a 4-week program for young people with issues like hers. She fully embraced the therapy and graduated with many tools that allow her to manage her anxiety wherever it occurs in her life.
Wayne received treatment for severe alcohol addiction, a problem that troubled him in early life but was made more severe by the working hours at his job as a corrections officer. Along with his therapy at McLean in the LEADER program, Wayne took his training in martial arts and exercise and applied it to recovering from his addiction, throwing himself fully into pulling his life and his health back together.
Jessica was being treated at McLean for schizoaffective disorder, a condition that is difficult to diagnose and treat. Although she initially had concerns about talking on film, she decided to participate because of her interest in finding ways to lessen the stigma that surrounds mental illness. Jessica made suggestions about what and where we might film and how best to tell her story.
Allen had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. At McLean he was receiving an experimental drug that had slowed down his memory loss. Once diagnosed, Allen began speaking publicly about his illness and encouraging others to seek early treatment.
Client: Erin Collins-Moore, Development Office, McLean Hospital
Producer: Cary Wolinsky
Director/Editor: Yari Wolinsky
McLean Hospital is dedicated to improving the lives of people and families affected by psychiatric illness.