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Tia Burroughs Clayton, MSS
Consultant

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Alyson Ferguson, MPH
Chief Operating Officer

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Samantha Matlin, PhD
Vice President of Learning & Community Impact

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Caitlin O'Brien, MPH
Director of Learning & Community Impact

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Joe Pyle, MA
President

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Tyrone Quarterman, BA, MPH Candidate
Graduate Student

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Vivian Figueredo, MPA
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Georgia Kioukis, PhD
Consultant

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OC87 Recovery Diaries Film Series

OC87 Recovery Diaries

OC87 Recovery Diaries Film Series Logo

Program Website
Year:
2018
State:
Pennsylvania
Winner Status:
Honorable Mention
Program Type:
Awareness
Target Population:
Community
Setting:
Online Community/Tool

Program Description

OC87 Recovery Diaries is a non-profit online publication devoted to stories of mental health, empowerment, and change. We feature long-form personal essays, original documentary films, interviews, reviews, and a mental health podcast. OC87 Recovery Diaries is an outgrowth of the full-length documentary film, “OC87: The Obsessive-Compulsive, Major Depression, Bipolar, Asperger’s Movie”, directed by Bud Clayman, Glenn Holsten, and Scott Johnston. The film, released in 2008, chronicled the life and recovery of the film’s subject, Bud Clayman, whose life and filmmaking aspirations were derailed when he was in college by his mental health challenges. While touring the nation with his film, the filmmakers were struck by the number of people who wanted to share their own stories of mental health recovery and so, OC87 Recovery Diaries was born. New essay content is featured each week, and an original film is produced once-a-month. New episodes of the podcast, “OC87 Recovery Diaries on the Radio” are released bimonthly. OC87 Recovery Diaries has a staff of ten, ranging from managerial, editorial, graphic design, advertising and marketing professionals, all devoted to sharing stories that bust the stigma of mental illness and help change the conversation around mental health in America, and beyond.

Creativity

Creativity is at the core of who we are, what we do, and why we do it. OC87 Recovery Diaries partners with Philadelphia-based FreshFly Films to produce professional, red-carpet-worthy short documentary films about individuals living and thriving with mental health challenges. Our films treat the subjects with dignity, grace, and affection; opening up viewers to unique and moving stories: inpatient mental health workers stepping out of their comfort-zones in a full-scale production of “Our Town”, a man who interviews his own depression, a woman with PTSD who has emerged from trauma and homelessness by selling newspapers by City Hall, and OC87 Recovery Diaries’ own Editor-in-Chief who is hitting back against his depression by bringing Herbie the Love Bug to the city of Philadelphia and making new friends along the way. These are stories you won’t see anywhere else, filmed with professionalism, integrity, and a firm, resolute belief in hope.

Leadership

We lead by example at OC87 Recovery Diaries, particularly in the realm of our film creation. Our films are all directed by award-winning Philadelphia filmmaker Glenn Holsten. Glenn has been at the helm of many successful and inspiring films, and he learned his trade working at WHYY. Glenn became immersed in mental health storytelling while co-directing the full-length documentary, “OC87: The Obsessive-Compulsive, Bipolar, Major Depression Asperger’s Movie” (the precursor to OC87 Recovery Diaries) and he has not stopped since. OC87 Recovery Diaries posts a new, original documentary film by Glenn once-a-month on the site and actively promotes each film via our online newsletter and through social media. We encourage film subjects and organizations sharing similar missions to promote the films as well. A one-hour OC87 Recovery Diaries special was broadcast on WHYY in October, and OC87 showed several of its films in Rochester, NY at the Reel Mind Film Festival.

Sustainability

Producing high-quality short documentary films is not cheap. It costs thousands of dollars to create each one of our mental health documentary films, from pre-production, planning, pre-interviews, travel, equipment, staff time, shooting, editing, mixing, post– hundreds of man-hours are devoted to each project. At present, OC87 Recovery Diaries’ film budget is privately funded, but we secured approximately $9,000 in sponsorship to support our WHYY broadcast, and this is an avenue we are pursuing for future short documentary film projects, in addition to foundation support. Foundation/corporate support of these films, with “naming rights” in the opening/closing credits is a wonderful way to offer high-profile name recognition and association with a product that everyone can feel good about and be proud to promote and share. OC87 Recovery Diaries is also exploring cross-collaboration with other mental health organizations for future film projects.

Replicability

Film is a powerful medium for storytelling. While OC87 Recovery Diaries features music, personal essays, interviews, reviews, visual art, and a mental health podcast, we realize that we are living in a visually-responsive society that has been raised on film. There is something uniquely moving, engaging, and present about film, and we believe that any organization, large or small, aesthetic and/or technically-proficient or not, can benefit from incorporating filmmaking into their process. With the technological advances of smartphones and free video editing software, anybody can make impactful, moving films as long as the subject matter is compelling and the story is meaningful. There is no magic formula for what makes a great story other than: when you see it; you’ll know! Start talking to people in your office, folks who use your services, ask for their permission, and then hit record on that phone: you’ll be surprised by what happens.

Results/Outcomes

Many of the “results” of our films are intangible: “the feels” people get when they see these extraordinary people, featured in the way they deserve to be portrayed. Below is some of the feedback we received from guests at the WHYY screening: “The film was inspiring and helps the audience understand mental health issues in a new way.” Karen Irwin – Community Liaison; Friends Hospital “Thank you for making this wonderful film! The whole world needs to see this.” — Sue Stauffer “I expected each story to be unique, but I loved how the mode of telling each story was so different. Excellent and engaging.” — Laura Riordan Our films are contributing in a positive way to changing the conversation around mental health in this country, and beyond. When people are portrayed with dignity and dimension, that is how they are perceived, and that is reality.