Benevolent Neglect: A story about our failing mental healthcare system

Benevolent Neglect: A story about our failing mental healthcare system

My mom grew up in the agricultural fields of the Central Valley. She’d graduate from Fresno City College, work for the State of California for close to 20 years, and provide much needed love and support to her family. Somewhat suddenly, in the early 2000s, she started exhibiting peculiar behavior and paranoid beliefs. We didn’t understand what it was at the time. Eventually, it became clear she was exhibiting a serious mental illness (SMI).

My family would try to get her adequate treatment and help for many years. But, despite our best attempts, we failed. We’d learn, through much heartache and frustration, that the mental healthcare system is unresponsive, and downright neglectful and abusive to those who are too sick to help themselves.

Directed by Michael Estrada (USA)

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