Sky Works Charitable Foundation
Extra Ordinary People
A New Feature Length Documentary by Laura Sky exposes the impact of discrimination experienced by people living in recovery with mental health and addiction problems and demonstrates the power of dignity, spirit and hope found in recovery. These stories portray unique dignity, spirit and hope. Running Time: 109 minutes
There is more than one way to change a mind. Some people use argument and logic to influence others to change their mind about the discrimination experienced by people living with mental health and addiction problems. Some people persuade others to change their minds by revealing the experience of discrimination and oppression against a backdrop of compassion and hope. This film promotes the latter.
Awareness and compassion are the kindling that ignites a spirit of advocacy, a spirit of change – the spirit of recovery! These stories expose the various levels of discrimination experienced by extra ordinary people who have risked their comfort to shake that of the public, and to ignite hope in the hearts of their peers.
Producer/Director: LAURA SKY
Editor: Bill Towgood
Sound: ROSS REDFERN
Re-cording Mixers: Daniel Pellerin & Jan Rudy
Researcher: Verne Sparks
Director of Photography: JIM AQUILA
Production Manager: Helen Kampfmuller
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The Central East Mental Health Committee, led by the Chairs of the Central East and Simcoe-Muskoka Mental Health Implementation Task Forces, decided to reinvest unspent task force funds toward activities that help to implement their plans. Following a consultation process with providers, consumer/survivors and family members, two specific projects were agreed upon: peer support education and public education. The geography targeted in these initiatives is Simcoe County, York Region, Haliberton/Kawartha/Pine Ridge and Whitby – given the close relationship between Simcoe and Muskoka, Muskoka was added as a partner.
The project to establish peer support education was co led by Kate Storey: who was involved in designing and delivering Like Minds: Peer Support Education, and Tanya Shute: the Executive Director of the Krasman Centre, a Consumer Survivor Initiative (CSI) embedded in the principles and values of recovery; Ann Thompson, a survivor/recovery educator and professor at York University teaching recovery and critical social work, was hired to support this project.
At the same time, Aleta Armstrong, the Community Awareness Coordinator and Gina Frederick, both from CMHA were the co- leads of the second project and they established a working group to consider options for the public education campaign. Early into the process, the four co-leads decided their was synergy in combining the leadership for both projects, and after consultation with both working groups decided to align the outcomes with the principles and values of recovery.
The public education strategy became a documentary called: Extra Ordinary People, produced and directed by Laura Sky, of Sky Works. This full length documentary was premiered as the closing event at the Rendez Vous with Madness film festival in Toronto November 17, 2007. Portraits of people living in recovery with mental health and addiction problems evoke awareness and compassion which are the kindling that ignites a spirit of advocacy, a spirit of change – the spirit of recovery!
These stories expose the various levels of discrimination experienced by the Extra Ordinary people who have risked their comfort to shake that of the public, and to ignite hope in the hearts of their peers. The stories demonstrate the power of dignity, spirit and hope found in recovery. A companion educational tool is under development that will support facilitators to engage audiences in deeper discussion and awareness of mental health and addiction, recovery and discrimination.
Continue to check this page for updates on when the training manual will be ready, upcoming screenings and viewings, and how to order copies.
Resources – Learn More About Discrimination in Mental Health
Here are a few important reports on mental health discrimination. Please see the Clearing House for a large selection of articles, reports and websites to help you become more knowledgeable and figure out what you can do to help change this picture!
– 2004 UK Report “Mental Health & Social Exclusion”
– 2007 – “A Time for Action: Tackling Stigma and Discrimination” – Report to the Canadian Mental Health Commission of Canada
– 2009, Everett – “Stigma Research and Anti-Stigma Programs” Progress from 2006 in Canada
www.mooddisorderscanada.ca – see Research papers& reports