Living With Mental Illness

WQED Pittsburgh's Living with Mental Illness campaign is an ongoing commitment to explore various aspects of mental health, examine different illnesses, focus on new research and treatment, and introduce people who are living with mental illness. The multi-platform project is intended to raise awareness, showcase positive outcomes and above all, end stigma.

WQED Pittsburgh is also proud to join the national Well Beings Tour, a series of community-based outreach events hosted by public media stations across the country. The goal is to demystify, destigmatize, and normalize mental health matters. The Pittsburgh event focuses on Healthy Connections between teens, parents and educators.

Full-Length Features

The Long Shadow of Childhood Trauma

New studies show childhood trauma affects physical health across a lifetime. Advocates are calling on pediatricians to consider life events as they diagnose and treat children, with the goal of improving lifelong health.

Before Stage Four: Confronting Early Psychosis

First-time psychotic episodes are frightening for the entire family. But there can be hope for people who receive proper, coordinated care.

Losing Lambert: A Journey Through Survival and Hope

This documentary follows the emotional story of a Pittsburgh-area mother who lost her 16-year-old son to suicide. Kathy O'Hern Fowler would emerge as one of the region's best-known advocates for "Survivors of Suicide."

Long Road Home

Long Road Home focuses on the compelling stories of Pittsburgh area veterans coping and healing with the emotional wounds of war, after combat in Iraq, Vietnam, Korea, and World War II.

Bundle of Nerves: Our Anxiety Epidemic

Through personal stories of those affected, this documentary examines the causes, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of anxiety. It also spotlights innovative initiatives that explore the issue in vulnerable populations.

Rose's Garden: Surviving My Mother's Mental Illness

Rose Clancy was raised by a mother who suffered from mental illness, and now Rose's gardens are helping her cope with memories of a troubled childhood, while raising awareness of an issue that impacts millions.

Short Features

These webisodes explore various mental illness topics through the personal stories of those affected, with helpful advice from experts in specific fields.

A Critical Connection

We look at difficulties teens have in discussing mental health issues with their parents.

VOICES: Mental Health and the Black Community

Black Pittsburghers share their stories of mental health treatment and breaking barriers.

Rising Above

Michelle Wright shows how those who are forced to live below the poverty line are still managing to make a positive difference in their own lives - and in the lives of others.


Dr. Michael Rancurello talks about the importance of early intervention. Local artist DJ Jackson explains how schizophrenia took over his life and what helps him stay on track.


Dr. Gary Swanson explains the symptoms of major depression. Local school teacher Brenda Weingartner shares details of her long battle with the illness, including how she finally found relief.

Self-harm: Cutting

Self-harm is a common yet misunderstood behavior and instances of it are on the rise. Learn about the mental health issues that drive people to engage in intentional non-suicidal self-harm.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Dr. Alicia Kaplan explains the characteristics of OCD and the different treatment options available, while Squirrel Hill native Jordan Pearlman shares how the illness has affected his everyday life.

Mindful: Exploring Mental Health Through Art

Using artists to get the conversation going on mental illness—that's the idea behind a unique exhibit on display at the Society of Contemporary Craft in the Strip District.

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Christine Michaels, Executive Director of NAMI Southwestern Pennsylvania talks in depth about the stigma often associated with mental illness.

Culture of Compassion

Christine Michaels talks in depth about the importance of compassion in dealing with diseases of the mind.

Mental Illness, Violence and Media

Christine Michaels speaks about NAMI's goal to separate mental illness and violence, a connection often made by the media.

Depression and Teenagers

Dr. Gary Swanson from the Allegheny Health Network explains how loved ones can differentiate normal behavior from signs of depression in two very different age groups: teenagers and the elderly.

Depression in Old Age

Dr. Gary Swanson from the Allegheny Health Network explains how loved ones can differentiate normal behavior from signs of depression in two very different age groups: teenagers and the elderly.

Mental Health and College Students

Treating anxiety has become an enormous challenge for college mental health experts. In this web extra, learn more about factors that contribute to mental health issues in college students and discover steps to help young people ease their anxieties and manage common pressures.

WQED Multimedia's "Living With Mental Illness" campaign was made possible by the generous support of our sponsors.

Highmark An Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

Staunton Farm Foundation