Socialworkersspeaks on FacebookFollow Us on TwitterRSS Feed

PBS Documentary offers intimate look at people living with mental illness

Sharon, a woman who is living with mental illness, and her son, Tuan, in a scene from "Voices."

Sharon, a woman who is living with mental illness, and her son, Tuan, in a scene from the documentary “Voices.”

Psychiatrist and filmmaker Gary Tsai’s mother suffered from schizophrenia so Tsai is more aware than many others about the emotional ups and downs of having  a family member who lives with a mental illness.

Instead of educating people about mental illness solely through his job as medical director of substance abuse for Los Angeles County, Tsai teamed up with other filmmakers to make “Voices: A Story about the Human and Untold Stories of Psychosis”.

The film will air on PBS channels ub May, which is National Mental Health Month. Tsai said he hopes the film will enable him to educate a wider audience about mental illness.

“You are able to reach a certain subset through film,” Tsai said. “And people pay attention to compelling stories (on film).”

Find out when “Voices” is airing in your area or how to host a screening by visiting this link.

Gary Tsai. Photo courtesy of LinkedIn.

Gary Tsai. Photo courtesy of LinkedIn.

“Voices” follows three people who are living with mental illness and their families. Tsai said his filmmaking team interviewed hundreds of people before finding their subjects.

Professional social workers are the largest group of mental health services providers in the United States, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). There are more more than 200,000 clinically trained social workers, outnumbering psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychiatric nurses combined.

Tsai said it is important social workers watch and use the film to educate people about the realities of mental illness.

“I think social workers are a critical component to the treatment teams of people living with mental illness,” Tsai said.

Social workers help overcome mental illnesses and substance abuse. To learn more visit the National Association of Social Workers’ “Help Starts Here” Mind and Spirit website. NASW is also part of the Change Direction national campaign to educate the public about the five signs a person may suffering from mental distress.


|   Leave A Comment
Tagged as: , , , , , ,



  1. I can’t find this on my area’s public TV schedule. How can I find out when it airs? When I click on the link above, it just has a “Host a Screening” option.

  2. Theresa:

    Good morning. Go back to the page and scroll down the page to find when the film is playing in selected markets. If you do not see your city you may have to contact your local PBS station. Keep in mind air dates will be constantly updated. The film will also be made available for purchase.

    Greg Wright
    NASW Public Relations Manager

  3. Could there be another screening, please? on PBS? Susan

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.