Not Without Us: A New Film on Human Rights

NYAPRS Note: The following comes from Pat Deegan, who writes "I was privileged to contribute to a new film titled 'Not Without Us.' The film was created by Sam Avery and the Mental Health Peer Connection<> in Western New York...and deals with the topics of recovery, community and civil rights in mental health systems."This powerful film features Pat, Bob Whitaker, Larry Davidson, MHPC's and NYAPRS Co-President Maura Kelley and includes footage from last January's NYAPRS Legislative Day events. Not Without Us is a film deconstructing the complex issues at the heart of one of the most harmful and prevalent forms of discrimination in America - the chronic abuse and stigmatization of people labeled mentally ill. Watch what happens when this group of people, often portrayed as a problem to be solved by society, bands together to stand up for their rights by redefining the nature of the problem and reclaiming their status as integral members of society. Mental Health Peer Connection<> is part of the WNY Independent Living family of agencies. It exists to empower people with mental illness to take charge of their life and overcome the stigma and obstacles society places in their way. Sam Avery<> is a documentary filmmaker based in the WNY region who works as Program Director for the Digital Media Academy at Harvard University and teaches Digital Video Production and Documentary Film at the University at Buffalo. Most recently, Mr. Avery's work with documentary film placed him in South Africa and Swaziland, working in collaboration with a University film student and Burundian refugee to explore the complex relationship between filmmaker and subject