Vision Project Presents Dorothea's Tears: The State of Mental Health Care in America

News Story: September 14, 2017
Fairfield Hills State Hospital

Vision Project announces a new film by master of arts in communication graduates Keith Maciog and Geer Teng, Dorothea’s Tears: The State of Mental Health Care in America. This eye-opening documentary about the ever-growing shutdown of state mental hospitals will be shown on Tuesday, September 26, at 6:30 p.m. in the Martire Center Media Theater (E145). A discussion will follow the screening. This event is free and open to the public.

The movement known as “deinstitutionalization” was intended to normalize the mentally ill and integrate them into the community. However, while once they were cared for by the states, the severely mentally ill are ending up in our nation’s prisons, on city streets and in county morgues. Few small towns in our nation better symbolize the problems with the mental health system than Newtown, Conn., site of the former Fairfield Hills State Hospital and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. This film, completed in August 2017, documents those who work or have worked in the trenches of the mental health system, feeling the impact of a system that many have dubbed a “failure.” Those interviewed include former Fairfield Hills employees, state officials, Sandy Hook parents and therapy professionals.  To view a trailer of the film, click here.

Dorothea Dix

The title, Dorothea's Tears, refers to Dorothea Lynde Dix who lived from 1802-1887, an American author, teacher and mental health care reformer. Her crusade to create new institutions across the U.S. and Europe changed people’s perceptions about the mentally ill.

Vision Project is an organization dedicated to the development of documentary photography, investigative journalism and education. It is run by School of Communication & Media Arts faculty member Rick Falco.