Hiding in Plain Sight

Hiding in Plain Sight

Mon, 06/27/2022 - 9:00pm - Tue, 06/28/2022 - 9:00pm

Billie struggled against bullying and stigma to discover her own authentic expression.

Credit: Courtesy of Christopher Loren Ewers

A new documentary explores the mental health crisis among American youth.

Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illiness, a film presented by Ken Burns and co-produced by Erik Ewers and Christopher Loren Ewers, is a documentary about the mental health crisis among youth in America. Premiering on Monday, June 27 and Tuesday, June 28, 2022 at 9 p.m., the two-part, four-hour film is part of Well Beings, a national campaign from public media to demystify and destigmatize our physical and mental health through storytelling. 

Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illiness features first-person accounts from more than 20 young people, ranging in age from 11 to 27, who live with mental health conditions, as well as parents, teachers, friends, healthcare providers in their lives, and independent mental health experts. The film presents an unvarnished window into daily life with mental health challenges, from seemingly insurmountable obstacles to stories of hope and resilience. Through the experiences of these young people, the film confronts the issues of stigma, discrimination, awareness, and silence, and, in doing so, help advance a shift in the public perception of mental health issues today. 

The film includes the following individuals with lived experience of mental health challenges:

  • A teenager who surrenders to addiction at the age of 15
  • A young Native American woman who feels so isolated she contemplates suicide
  • A transgender teen who goes through periods of profound joylessness and substance abuse
  • A high school freshman whose childhood hallucinations intensify after a series of assaults
  • A 14-year-old boy who is plagued by intrusive thoughts and withdraws into his own world

The documentary Hiding in Plain Sight is a central part of Well Beings, the multi-year, multiplatform health campaign including other feature-length documentariesshort-form original digital content, user-generated storytelling, a digital and social media campaign, community events, and educational curriculum created by WETA with support from a broad coalition of national and local partners. The public can join the conversation on youth mental health by using #PlainSightPBS and #WellBeings, visiting WellBeings.org, or following @WellBeingsOrg on InstagramFacebook, or Twitter.