Two patient success stories for the annual McLean Hospital gala.

When Erin Collins-Moore called from McLean Hospital, a prestigious psychiatric hospital in the Boston area, and asked us to make two films for their annual Gala, we were excited and concerned. This seemed like a rare opportunity to make films on sensitive subjects with both patient and hospital collaboration. Our worry was, could we make honest films and protect patient privacy?
The answers came from Allen and Jessica, the subjects of the two films. 
Jessica was being treated at McLean for schizoaffective disorder, a condition that is difficult to diagnose and treat. Although she initially had concerns about talking on film, she decided to participate because of her interest in finding ways to lessen the stigma that surrounds mental illness. Jessica made suggestions about what and where we might film and how best to tell her story. 

Allen had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. At McLean he was receiving an experimental drug that had slowed down his memory loss. Once diagnosed, Allen began speaking publicly about his illness and encouraging others to seek early treatment.
When we discussed the film with Allen and his wife Jeanne, they saw that participating in the film might be another way to raise awareness about new options for Alzheimer’s patients.
Working with Allen was great fun. He introduced us to his “man-cave,” a basement office where he kept his vast collection of science fiction books. He and Jeanne explained the routines they used to help keep Allen living independently. 

Client: Erin Collins-Moore, Development Office, McLean Hospital
Producer: Cary Wolinsky
Director/Editor: Yari Wolinsky

McLean Hospital is dedicated to improving the lives of people and families affected by psychiatric illness.