MUSC Center for Global Health reflects on World Mental Health Day

Reflection: World Mental Health Day

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) commemorated World Mental Health Day on October 10, 2013 by screening the film Hidden Pictures: A Personal Journey into Global Mental Health as the feature event for the day. Groups from the immediate Charleston community presented literature on mental health services offered around the county. The National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI), Trident United Way, the Out of Darkness Community Walks Charleston, and the South Carolina Department of Mental Health all participated in the events that took place throughout the day.

Roughly 80 people attended the film screening and panel discussion. From our evaluations, attendees thoroughly enjoyed both segments of the commemoration and, even more, the Vietnamese cuisine catered by Mi Xao. MUSC Center for Global Health is looking forward hosting more global health programs in the future. If you’d like to see a specific global health program or speaker, please let us know here!

Stay tuned for other great events by visiting our website, Thank you for your continued interest in global health!

See below for details from this event.

Event schedule for October 10, 2013:


  • Gail Stuart, Ph.D., APRN, FAAN - Dean, College of Nursing
  • Cynthia Swenson, Ph.D. - Professor, Family Services Research Center
  • Michael de Arellano, Ph.D. - Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science
  • Moderator: Baron Short, M.D., M.S.C.R. - Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science

About the film:

Filmmaker Ruston experienced the silence that surrounds mental illness from her own family experience (as seen in the Award winning film, UNLISTED).When she learns that 450 million people globally have a mental health condition she realizes their plight is the most hidden of all. How are people accepted or rejected? What is mental health care like? Who is helping?

In Hidden Pictures, Ruston takes us on her journey to answer these questions, uncovering deeply personal stories in India, South Africa, China, France, and the US. Powerful narratives involving bipolar illness, depression, schizophrenia and anxiety, show the universality of our seemingly different worlds.

Through arresting images and poignant verite scenes, the film explores questions such as how do families cope in countries where 80% of people with mental illness go without treatment? What happens when cultural framing of mental illness conflicts with potentially more effective treatments? How can a person be involuntary hospitalized with no right to appeal, as is the case in half the world?

The film ends with an exciting exploration of how people around the world are leading transformational programs to improve the mental health landscape. From the classroom in an international school to the set of Good Morning America with politician Patrick Kennedy, to a new anti-stigma campaign by American actress, Glenn Close campaign, Bring Change 2 Mind, we witness individuals from all backgrounds speaking out for change. What emerge are scenes of true compassion that remind us that we all have the power to help make the hidden pictures of mental illness be a thing of the past.

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