art by: Jerome Lawrence shadow voices: finding hope in mental illness
Documentary Production : Production Trips

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Boston University - 5/15/2005

Boston University
Boston University

Sunday morning, May 14, Melodie Davis joined Denver and Wayne for her first road trip connected to this documentary, while Burton and Mary took a break from a busy travel schedule. Nine hours later, the crew arrived in Boston and relaxed for the evening in a hotel near famed Fenway Park.

Monday morning, the documentary crew set up at Boston University’s Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation. The first interview was with Dori Hutchinson, Director of Services. Dori gave background on the different programs offered at the Center.

Then next interview was with Lyn Legere, who was graduating that Sunday from Boston University's Sargent College with a master's degree. Lyn told her life story of overcoming many challenges including a difficult life as a child, alcohol and drug abuse, and living with a mental illness. Today Lyn is an example of how recovery is possible. She currently is a consultant helping companies understand new Medicare prescription drug laws, and works in Boston University's suppported education program for students with mental or other learning difficulties.

The final interview was with Dr. William Anthony, the director of the Center. Dr. Anthony spoke a message of hope regarding the recovery model. He also spoke about the research currently being done at Boston University and the outlook for the future.

Thoughts from the Documentary Crew

This was a great opportunity for me as a writer, to actually meet the persons I usually only know from phone interviews, telephone calls, e-mails and (eventually) by the videotaped story that the crew brings back.

One of the more interesting encounters actually came in the hallway at the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation. While we were waiting in a hallway, one young man asked what we were doing. People are always curious when you come around with a big camera and a long, fuzzy-looking microphone. We told him we were working on a documentary on mental illness and he challenged us saying, "Is this just so much more government propaganda?" He was referring to the use of medications for mental illness patients. He felt that the issue is very political, and that "if you don't take the drugs, they'll lock you up." He referred us to a website: . We asked Dr. Bill Anthony, director of the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, during his interview about this kind of criticism, and his response was, "Everyone wants a choice regarding whether they take meds or not; most people do take meds because they feel so much better, but no one wants them forced on them."

Also, a startling statement by Lyn Legere as an aside during her interview, would make a powerful anti-smoking public service announcement. Lyn is a 53-year-old survivor of many suicide attempts, who overcame heroin addiction, an alcohol addiction, and is coping with her illness. "And now I'm working on nicotine! I'm finding nicotine much harder to give up than the other substances."

~ Melodie M Davis