Into the Light

Into the Light

Into the Light is a feature documentary about a Brendan O'Toole, a Marine returning from Afghanistan with psychological injuries, who meets a therapist, Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, who is confronting her own family struggles with mental illness. Barbara works with veterans like Brendan to help them reintegrate into society. In the course of her work, national in scope and recognized by the White House and the Pentagon, Barbara comes to confront her own family story about her mother's schizophrenia. Brendan and Barbara's stories weave together as we understand the larger context that 1 in 4 adult Americans suffer from a diagnosable form of mental illness.

In addition to a PBS broadcast in late 2017, the film will be used by a working group of mental health professionals to jumpstart a national conversation about mental health under the tag line "Hear a story, tells story, change a story." We believe that mental illness today is where cancer was in the 1960s, and AIDS was in the 1990s. People don't want to talk about it, and the country needs nothing short of a culture shift which speaks of hope and aspiration for this critical issue.


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