For Mental Health Professionals
The film's value in a professional or educational setting cannot be overstated. Because of its realistic and intimate depictions of schizophrenia and depression, People Say I'm Crazy is a beneficial training tool for those who work with the mentally ill. It has helped social workers better relate to those they help, and psychiatrists and psychotherapists better relate to their patients.
In addition, People Say I'm Crazy has been used by mental health advocacy organizations and other groups as a powerful vehicle for public policy change in regards to the mentally ill. Though we are far advanced from the “asylums” of the 19th and early 20th centuries, we all acknowledge that much more can and should be done.
Educators and mental health professionals may also appreciate the Study Guide that you can receive free by signing up for our newsletter. This study guide, written by John Csernansky, Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Gilman Professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois, provides a wealth of valuable information about schizophrenia, as well as suggestions for how to discuss schizophrenia issues in relation to People Say I'm Crazy.
Here is what professionals and educators have had to say about the film:
"I work with consumers from our clinic with their court cases and legal issues. Our agency has been using the film for trainings with corrections and criminal justice personnel, and we've seen a big change in how the people who've watched it work with us. Even though we're just in a little town, I had to let you know your film is helping us a lot."
- social worker in South Carolina
"I've been a nurse manager on a locked ward for over 25 years. The film completely changed my understanding of our sickest patients. I will never treat them the same way again."
- nurse manager in Chicago
"You did an AMAZING job of capturing the essence of the struggle with mental illness. We're using the film as a training tool (and an inspirational tool!) for our organization. All other films pale in comparison. THANK YOU again for the beautiful job you did in giving us this film!!"
- director of intensive care services for a county mental health department
"Mr. Cadigan, if I may, you've described the experiences like no one else could. We're using the film for training across the Province. Please congratulate Mr. Cadigan for his strength in dealing with his illness and in going public--what I can only assume were truly onerous, and admirable tasks."
- a training manager and social worker in Canada
"I lead family education groups and yours is the best film we've ever used to help parents, spouses and siblings understand their loved ones."
- director of mental health services center in Ontario Canada
"We are a small congregation with a special focus on the creative. We have numerous members who are suffering from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or some other form of mental illness, as well as numerous mental health professionals...an interesting mix and sometimes devastatingly difficult. Most recently during our annual church picnic a member had a major psychotic break and I was re-routed to the local emergency room. My parishioners followed us and instead of picnicking in the park, they held a tailgate in the hospital parking lot, praying for the patient. We are trying to encourage family-members of our parishioners to become more involved in care-giving. So we're starting to use People Say I'm Crazy and I'm writing because it is starting to make a huge difference in some of the families. We loan it out regularly and there have been some miraculous reconciliations. I think the film is a story of resurrection in the here and now, and gives hope for new life."
- a pastor of an evangelical church
"I just watched your film at a briefing with our county's supervisors and big-wigs – and suddenly they understood the seriousness of this brain disease. For the first time in years we got through to them – and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Clients in our county will soon be getting more support thanks to you."
- a county psychiatrist
"It was a treat to be able to "introduce" John to my colleagues, family and friends, by showing them People Say I'm Crazy. John's film showed everyone how important it is to work to overhaul our mental health system. I think the film inspired a whole new group of activists!"
- a state public policy analyst
"As someone working in the field of mental health, John Cadigan's movie has really confirmed for me the need to continue pushing mental health agencies to provide individualized, client-centered, normalized and responsive treatment for those suffering from mental illness. Without the proper resources these kinds of services cannot be expanded and people like John will continue to suffer needlessly because of something as simple as Medicare denying payment for a new medication that would prevent relapse. John's story emphasizes the need for resources to fund expanded, comprehensive mental health services to treat the whole individual, not just the symptoms."
- director of a county mental health department
"I work as an administrative law judge for our state's department of social services; I certainly deal with this mental health issue because it comes up in various cases. I've started using your film to educate people in our department and it is extremely effective, especially at fostering compassion so staff doesn't get so angry when people cannot behave "normally" in court."
- a judge in Alabama