Powerful stories of hope stir crowd at bipolar disorder community event

By Dennis Nealon

Department of Psychiatry Communications

March 22, 2013
lisa-klein-and-laura-myers
Lisa Klein (left), producer and co-director of the film Of Two Minds, and Laura Myers of the Department of Psychiatry.

The documentary Of Two Minds drew laughter and sadness from more than 200 attendees at a March 13 UMass Medical School Department of Psychiatry event on living with bipolar disorder.

Co-produced and directed by Los Angeles-based filmmaker Lisa Klein, the film was screened as part of the Be Mentally Well program, launched by the department in 2010 to provide community education forums on mental health issues. Events in the series are held twice annually, in October and March.

“We chose this subject because bipolar disorder affects so many people and yet is so often misunderstood,” said program coordinator Laura Myers, MSW, EdD, director of the Department of Psychiatry’s Parent and Community Engagement initiative.

Klein attended the screening at the medical school and then joined a panel discussion with individuals living with bipolar disorder, a parent, and Alan Brown, MD, vice chair of Adult Clinical Services.

“Lisa’s film—following the lives of several individuals living with bipolar disorder—is powerful; filled with hope,” said Myers. “There is this sense of humor and of openness and humanity that comes through as these people talk about their lives.”

UMMS and UMass Memorial Health Care, through the Department of Psychiatry and the nationally recognized UMass Depression Center, provide clinical care, conduct research and operate education and training programs that serve thousands of individuals living with mental health challenges including bipolar disorder, which affects about 1 percent of the 308 million people living in the United States.