Beyond Silence: Documentary Highlights Stories of Lives Transformed by Speaking Up
On February 22, 2017, five leading mental health advocacy organizations, Getty Images, Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc., and singer, songwriter and mental health advocate Demi Lovato released Beyond Silence, a documentary made in collaboration with independent filmmaker Shaul Schwarz, Getty Images and Verbatim. The documentary follows Jeff Fink, Lauren Burke and Lloyd Hale, three very different people who share one common experience—their lives have been transformed by speaking up for mental health. The film, which can be streamed on the Be Vocal website, chronicles their efforts to live well and break through the silence often associated with mental health conditions.
About Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health
In 2014, Platinum-selling recording artist Demi Lovato participated in The Mental Health Listening & Engagement Tour, where she took part in a series of discussions with seasoned advocates to better understand the mental health landscape and complex challenges facing the community. The Tour, supported by Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc., connected her with leading mental health advocacy organizations, including the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), and helped her become a stronger, more informed advocate. She also shared her personal experience learning to live well with a mental health condition at national advocacy events across the country. The Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health initiative evolved from this tour.
In 2015, Ms. Lovato took the next step in her journey as a mental health advocate. As a part of Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health she teamed up with the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, the JED Foundation, Mental Health America, National Alliance on Mental Illness, National Council for Behavioral Health, and Sunovion Pharmaceuticals to encourage those living with or affected by mental health conditions to speak up for themselves and for their community. Ms. Lovato continued her advocacy by asking all Americans to speak up for mental health by submitting their stories to Be Vocal. The resulting video makes a powerful statement, showing that together we can make a difference in the conversation around mental health.
In 2016, Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health partnered with Getty Images and award-winning filmmaker and photojournalist Shaul Schwartz to create and issue The Be Vocal Collection, which showcases the images and stories of 10 interesting people from across the country who live with various mental health conditions. The collection offers new images in an effort to reframe how people with mental health are visually portrayed in the media. To see the people featured in the project and read their stories, go to BeVocalSpeakUp.com.
DBSA is proud to partner with Be Vocal and salutes them for shining a new light on people living with mental health conditions and empowering them to speak up—to improve not only their own lives, but the lives of others.