52 minutes | May 26, 2020

Mental Illness and Providing Care to Loved Ones With Serious Mental Health Problems

On this episode of Silent Presence, Rich Patricia revisits a story that he produced in 2008. As a child, he grew up in a household where he cared for a loved one who was suffering from serious mental health problems. He first noticed the changes when he was in 6th grade and they became very serious all throughout high school. In 2008, eleven years ago, he decided to produce a documentary film called Strive for Happiness. This film was his first attempt to open the dialogue about mental illness in our country and have others speak about their own experiences as caregivers for loved ones who also suffer from serious forms of mental illness. So, he decided for Mental Health Awareness Month to extract the audio from this documentary and replay it today as a podcast for all of you. "Strive For Happiness" is a documentary film about the lives of those who live with or care for loved ones who suffer from the many forms of severe mental illness. The director's hope is that this film raises awareness about the illness, removes some of the stigmas that still exist, and hopefully makes some change in policies that currently exist (funding, etc.) The film is documented by director, Richard M. Patricia as it takes a closer look at his life growing up in a household with a "loved one" that suffered from bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. The interviews throughout the film reflect what his life was like growing up in a household dealing with mental illness. His hope is that this film will catch the attention of many family members throughout the country that know or lived with a loved one who suffers from mental illness. This film will also relate to anyone who cares for someone with an illness in general. Richard M. Patricia, of Phillipsburg, NJ, has won a prestigious Award of Merit in the Feature Documentary category from The Indie Fest out of California. The award was given for Patricia’s heart-felt documentary film, Strive For Happiness, which is a film about the lives of those who live with or care for “loved ones” that suffer from a serious form of mental illness. This award will be added to his 1st place Telly Award which Patricia won in 2008. Strive For Happiness features exceptional interviews, information, visuals and sound. “It’s very exciting to be a recipient of such an outstanding award and a part of a great organization like Indie Fest. I am so happy that my film has been able to affect so many people throughout the country.” 01:00 – Rich Patricia introduces his life living with a loved one who suffered from mental illness and his goal to find happiness 04:02 – Various guests talk about life with their loved one before the mental health problems 07:40 – Difficulties with mental illness as a caregiver 10:16 – Not knowing what to do for your loved one with mental health issues 12:04 – Never give up on loved one with mental illness 12:30 – Rich Patricia talks about growing up confused and frightened 13:52 – It’s not their fault but am I making the right choices 15:33 – As a caregiver, mental illness is emotionally draining to deal with 17:54 – I just want normalcy in my life 19:50 – People in your life don’t understand the illness and expect a lot from you. “Just fix it” they say. Get them help. Getting a loved one help is not as easy as you think 27:01 – The cost for mental health care is incredibly expensive while more and more programs are being cut 29:00 – I refinanced my home and used my 401K to support my loved one with mental illness 31:21 – I see how someone’s life can tumble. I see how homelessness happens. You’re only one bill away from becoming homeless 33:14 – Mental health portrayal in the news and on television. Portray the facts on tv and in entertainment 38:00 – The Stigma around mental illness, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder 43:00 – Be compassionate towards those with mental illness. Have empathy and gain a better understanding of the illness that affects one in four individuals 46:20 – Educate others about mental health 50:10 – Everybody is only one step away from being in a situation like this 51:00 – Finding happiness in life. Click below for additional Mental Health Resources Mental Health Information -  https://www.mentalhealth.gov/ Mental Health America - https://www.mhanational.org/ National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-TALK (8255) SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline, 1-877-SAMHSA7 (1-877-726-4727) National Alliance on Mental Illness - https://www.nami.org/ For more information about the Silent Presence Podcast you can visit: https://silentpresencepodcast.com/
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