Mental Health Week 2008

Monday 5 May 2008     And a very special event for Mental Health Week
Here are two new documentaries about positive outcomes for serious mental illness conditions, Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder.
The Progressive Recovery Group Mental Health Resource Fair, 5 May 2008.
Back From The Edge: Living with and recovering from borderline personality disorder and Not Just A Bad Day about a cutting edge treatment center in Vancouver for people with Bipolar disorder. Both Pg 13

Back From The Edge, 2006, 45 min

"Back From The Edge" Leading mental health organizations, as well as the top medical associations, are only now beginning to recognize BPD as a major mental health disorder, and this video was produced to assist the Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Resource Center, a national non-profit affiliated with New York Presbyterian Hospital.

"Due to the complexities of this diagnosis, an extraordinarily large number of people go misdiagnosed for years before receiving proper treatment," says Dr. Otto Kernberg (Professor of Psychiatry,Weill Medical College of Cornell University.) "But once they begin getting the right treatment and support, many people with borderline personality disorder can sustain loving relationships and enjoy meaningful careers."

This 45 minute documentary style video cinematically weaves heartfelt stories of patients and their families living with BPD, and commentary from the top experts in the field with important information on the recognition, diagnosis, and treatment this devastating disorder.

This diagnosis is far more stigmatized than others and viewed as almost untreatable by many in the mental health system - so some education is needed here! We'll have VIHA psychologist Chris Schmidt with us for a Q&A. Back From The Edge is very informative and provides an optimistic outlook for effective treatment and outcomes. Chris has been working with both VIHA and non-profits in mental health for the past 13 years. He has recently completed a research project as part of a master's thesis looking at the experiences of being diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. Chris has maintained a long-standing interest, as a researcher and clinician in stigma and gender roles as they relate to BPD.

There are two 8 min. talks on BPD A Look at Borderline Personality Disorder - Part 1 and A Look at Borderline Personality Disorder - Part 2. Also on YouTube Everybody hurts Created by Linda, a woman living in Denmark, who has BPD and the music by REM "Everybody Hurts" to give an evocative impression of what is like for Linda to live with the condition.

Available from for $20 including shipping with educational rights! (I brought 5 for Victoria)

Dr. Paul Termansen

Not Just a Bad Day: Living with Bipolar Disorder, 2007, 50 mins

On the surface, Mike, Erin, and Martha appear to have little in common, but all live under the shadow of bipolar disorder (once known as manic depression), a complex mental illness marked by significant disturbances in mood.
Dr. Termansen, Mary Jane and Gillian Hrankowski. Also Mike on the screen.
Mike is a charismatic young man whose partying lifestyle and abuse of recreational drugs foreshadow a severe manic episode that has him committed to a psychiatric ward. Erin is a young mom whose ability to cope with her new baby deteriorates as she swings between manic episodes and soul-crushing depressions. Martha is a divorced single mom who lost her career and marriage to a manic episode; with group therapy and medication, she is finally lifting herself out of a crippling two year depression. Treating them all is Dr. Paul
Dr. Paul Termansen presenting his film to a packed house. Filmmaker Gillian Hrankowski (right) and subjects Mike and Mary Jane.
Termansen, a psychiatrist at Community Psychiatric Services on Metro Vancouver's North Shore, where the three attend his mood disorders program. With intimate access and great sensitivity, the film details their personal struggles with the emotional highs and lows of a disorder they must learn to manage in order to lead productive, balanced lives. Colour, digital video.

Dr Paul Termansen presented his film Not Just A Bad Day to a packed house at Movie Monday on 5 May 2008. The film about his clinic for Bipolar treatment in Vancouver was made by filmmaker Gillian Hrankowski. Our presentation also included subjects Mike and Mary Jane. A classic MM evening.

Post-screening discussion with Dr. Paul Termansen, M.D., F.R.C.P.C. a former professor at the Department of Psychiatry at UBC and founder of Vancouver Crisis Center and SAFER. Dr. Termansen is currently the director of Vancouver Coastal Health North Shore Community Psychiatric Services and has a private practice in West Vancouver.

Not Just A Bad Day and Back From The Edge, about Borderline Personality Disorder are available from the Movie Monday shelf at Yo Video 107 2000 Caboro Bay Rd. To reserve call 592-5678.

Read more about director Larry Weinstein.