Hearing [our] Voices: A Participatory Research Study on Schizophrenia and Homelessness

Original art by Laurie Arney

a documentary film by Tom Everrett, produced by Barbara Schneider, and featuring members of the research team:

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In this powerful and evocative film, people with schizophrenia talk about what it means to them to take part in a participatory action research project investigating housing for people with severe mental illnesses.

The documentary film is based on interviews conducted with nine people with schizophrenia who took part in a recent participatory action research project on housing for people with schizophrenia.

"An inspiring film that illustrates the importance of inclusion and empowerment in mental health services." Simon Davis, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.

Research team members describe their experiences with schizophrenia, their involvement in a support group for people with schizophrenia, and their involvement in the research project. The film also includes a segment from a dramatic performance about the research presented by the members of the research team.

"This outstanding video belongs in every resource centre and library that addresses the challenges faced by those who live with a mental illness." Mary Jardine, CEO, Schizophrenia Society of Canada.

The performance is woven from narratives taken from the interviews and focus groups that were conducted for this study with people who have schizophrenia and have experienced housing instability. The film allows people directly affected by housing issues to speak about their experiences in their own words.

About the Filmographer:

Tom Everrett has an honours degree in Radio and Television Arts from Ryerson University in Toronto, and is currently in his second year of the Master's program in Communications Studies at the University of Calgary.

"Spectacular! I am greatly heartened by the contribution they make to the universal soul." Dr. Janice Dickin Faculty of Communication and Culture, University of Calgary.

Tom has been involved in the production and direction of various short films, documentaries, and other independent productions in and around the Toronto and Calgary areas. His career in video production and media studies began at the age of fifteen when he won first prize in a provincial marketing contest after submitting several commercials he had shot recreationally as a high school student in small-town Ontario.

His short documentary profiling the academic work of the Alberta SuperNet Research Alliance was screened at the province-wide Alberta SuperNet Opportunities Conference in June 2006 (now being streamed regularly on the SuperNet website).

His most recent work is a half hour documentary, Hearing [our] Voices: A Participatory Research Study on Schizophrenia and Homelessness. As he commences his PhD in fall 2007, Tom hopes to continue using the medium of video to help bring public awareness to academic issues that would otherwise see little exposure or acknowledgement outside of the university environment.