Youth Mental Illness: Hiding in Plain Sight


Ken Burns Presents: Hiding in Plain Sight – Youth Mental Illness, produced by Erik Ewers and Christopher Loren Ewers, is a documentary about the mental health crisis among youth in America. The two-part, four-hour film is part of Well Beings, a national campaign from public media to demystify and destigmatize our physical and mental health through storytelling.

Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness features first-person accounts from more than 20 young people, ranging in age from 11 to 27, who live with mental health conditions, as well as parents, teachers, friends, healthcare providers in their lives, and independent mental health experts. The film presents an unvarnished window into daily life with mental health challenges, from seemingly insurmountable obstacles to stories of hope and resilience. Through the experiences of these young people, the film confronts the issues of stigma, discrimination, awareness, and silence, and, in doing so, help advance a shift in the public perception of mental health issues today.

The film includes the following individuals with lived experience of mental health challenges:

  • A teenager who surrenders to addiction at the age of 15
  • A young Native American woman who feels so isolated she contemplates suicide
  • A transgender teen who goes through periods of profound joylessness and substance abuse
  • A high school freshman whose childhood hallucinations intensify after a series of assaults
  • A 14-year-old boy who is plagued by intrusive thoughts and withdraws into his own world


Monday, June 27 from 9pm on CET
Tuesday, June 28, from 9pm on CET

Part One: The Storm
Monday, June 27 from 9pm on CET

The Storm focuses on the lived experience of more than twenty young people with mental health challenges, along with the observations and insights of families, providers, and advocates.

Part Two: Resilience
Tuesday, June 28 from 9pm on CET

In Resilience, our “heroes” speak about finding help, inpatient and outpatient therapy, the added stigma of racial or gender discrimination, the criminalization of mental illness, and youth suicide.

Post expires at 10:30am on Wednesday June 29th, 2022