The Mysteries of Mental Illness

Premiering Tuesday and Wednesday, June 22 and 23 at 8 p.m.
Explore the stories of those living with mental illness today in a broader historic, scientific and social context. In four powerful, hour-long episodes, the series traces how our understanding of mental illness has evolved from ancient ideas of spiritual affliction to the latest 21st century neurobiological breakthroughs. At a time when mental health has been thrust to the fore by COVID 19, this mini-series provides a valuable framework to create deeper national understanding and dialogue.

Throughout history to today, we’ve continued to grapple with deceptively simple questions about mental health: What is mental illness? From where does it come? Around one in four people suffer from mental illness.

An American is more likely to need services from psychiatry than from any other medical specialty. But a diagnosis of a mental disorder carries a stigma that a heart condition or other physical ailment doesn’t — in large part because mental illness is poorly understood and has been for so long.

Many Americans’ diagnoses have grown more acute during the coronavirus pandemic, and people who had been previously undiagnosed – including many who remain so – are now suffering for the first time from depression and other disorders that have been exacerbated by the present-day crises. One of the most critical barriers to treatment is the stigma of mental illness.


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