“The madman is a man, in effect, without a country. Certainly without a country that gives a damn whether he lives or dies, as long as he just stays the hell out of sight.”

Ron Powers, Author & Advocate, Father of 2 schizophrenic sons

 

image of the book cover, No One Cares for Crazy People

With a fusion of intimate storytelling and broad reportage, NO ONE CARES ABOUT CRAZY PEOPLE takes us inside the tragedy, chaos, and crisis of severe mental illness in America. It derives in part from Ron Powers’ acclaimed book of the same name, a hybrid narrative of tragic family memoir and searing social history.

We follow the stories of individuals and families grappling with schizophrenia, bipolar and related disorders, all caught in the maelstrom of a disastrous system. And we go a step further, to explore the genesis-in-progress of a national crusade by a growing army of advocates.

Ron Powers is a New York Times bestselling author and a Pulitzer Prize and Emmy Award winner. He is also father to two schizophrenic sons, the younger of whom – a musical prodigy – took his own life in the family basement a week before his 21st birthday. And thus Ron and his wife, Honoree Fleming, along with their surviving son Dean (who still struggles with his disease), were ushered into what he calls the “sub-nation” of those with serious mental illness (SMI) – an estimated 11.5 million Americans, nearly 5% of the population. At least a third go untreated. Despite those sobering numbers, we remain mired in a crisis of care, a calamity hiding in plain sight, making this one of the civil rights issues of our time.

image from the movie, No One Cares About Crazy People

In addition to the Powers family saga, the film follows the unfolding story of the Burgos clan in Connecticut — where husband and father Carmelo lives with severe bipolar disorder, which impacts the entire family. They navigate from crisis to crisis, their future uncertain. We also plunge into the almost inconceivable story of Mark Rippee, 59 years old, floridly psychotic, blind and, for 15+ years, homeless on the streets of Vacaville, CA, despite his twin sisters’ fierce advocacy for him and others like him\

Crucially, the film documents, for the first time, the emergence of a national grassroots movement to radically reform our broken structures of care. Among their ranks is Taun Hall, whose activism is rooted in her own tragedy: in 2019, her son Miles, a young black man, was shot and killed by the police outside his northern California home, in the midst of a mental health emergency. Now Taun is on a mission, pushing to remake the system that failed her family so grievously.

California is the epicenter of current SMI reform activity, which is two-pronged: family activists demanding reform, and the Governor & state legislature, responding to public pressure, introducing bold, but controversial, initiatives. We’ve been following the action for two years, including pioneering State Senator Susan Eggman, who’s taken the lead on a soup-to-nuts package of legislation.

No One Cares About Crazy People will help galvanize public discussion, awareness and action, harnessing the power of storytelling as a tool for change.

Please help us manifest that vision.  All gifts, grants, and donations are fully tax-deductible, and all donors will receive credits.

image from the movie, No One Cares About Crazy People

Get Involved

We need your help. This film won’t happen without your support. Our team has been working since late 2019 (pre-COVID lockdown) to get us up and running. Now we’re 90% shot, editing has begun, and we’re full speed ahead. Click here to learn how you can get involved!

image from the movement, Right2Treatment

Watch the Teaser-Trailer

Learn More About Serious Mental Illness

Here are some resources — websites, blogs, etc. — that we have found helpful, thought-provoking, and revelatory. They may help you too.

No One Cares About Crazy People: My Family and the Heartbreak of Mental Illness in America

Author & advocate Ron Powers’ blog, filled with rage, despair, impassioned advocacy, deeply researched wisdom — and, on occasion, hope. Ron’s book can also be ordered from the site.

noonecaresaboutcrazypeople.com

SOONER THAN TOMORROW: A Safe Place to Talk About Medical Brain Disorders in Our Families

A blog and resource compendium from author and advocate Dede Moon Ranahan. Her books can also be ordered from the site.

soonerthantomorrow.com

Am I Not My Brother’s Keeper? One Family’s Saga

Personal blog from activist Catherine Rippee-Hanson — one family’s ongoing SMI tragedy and what it reveals about the system

catsvisions.org

Insane Consequences: How the Mental Health Industry Fails the Mentally Ill

This book by DJ Jaffe, the now-deceased executive director of the think tank, Mental Illness Policy Org, is a must-read.

mentalillnesspolicy.org

Treatment Advocacy Center — Eliminating Barriers to the Treatment of Mental Illness

A valuable resource for advocates, researchers, mental health professionals, politicians, and anyone else interested in the movement to improve access to treatment for those too ill to seek it for themselves.

treatmentadvocacycenter.org

Housing That Heals

Join 2 California “Moms On a Mission” who believe that “a health care system that includes a tiered array of Housing That Heals as part of a full continuum of psychiatric care will help mend our broken hearts and bend the harm curve for families like ours.”

facebook.com/housingthatheals

National Alliance on Mental Illness

The nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization, with state and local chapters throughout America.

nami.org

THE TEAM

SUPPORT THE FILM

Your support is critical, so our film can tell the important stories that will help advance a growing national crusade — a movement to radically reform our broken systems of care for people suffering with serious mental illness.