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PBS Films Story Behind Mental Illness At New Canaan's Silver Hill Hospital

Dr. Sigurd Ackerman, president and medical director of Silver Hill Hospital,with actor Sam Waterston, host of "Visionaries."
Dr. Sigurd Ackerman, president and medical director of Silver Hill Hospital,with actor Sam Waterston, host of "Visionaries." Photo Credit: Contributed

NEW CANAAN, Conn. — An upcoming installment of the award-winning public television documentary series will visit Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan and challenge preconceived notions of what the treatment of mental illness and addiction looks like.

The PBS “Visionaries” documentary, “Only in the Darkness Can You See the Stars,” was shot at Silver Hill Hospital. It will be featured on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 8 at 11 a.m. on Connecticut Public Television.

The documentary takes viewers for a rare look inside the hospital campus and finds a homelike setting where patients and clinicians are working together to turn around troubled lives. Powerful stories of patients’ personal journeys along with unusual access to therapy sessions offer a unique window into the treatment that can be offered in a 21st-century psychiatric hospital. The program puts a human face common plight of the many people who struggle, often in silence, to overcome mental illness and addiction.

“The best way to shed the stigma associated with mental illness and addiction is not only to shine light on the tremendous challenges facing individuals and families who are struggling but also on the treatment opportunities that are now available to them,” said Dr. Sigurd Ackerman, president and medical director of Silver Hill Hospital. “The 'Visionaries’ documentary is an important – compelling – opportunity for the public to see how our staff works with patients who are fighting hard to reclaim their lives and their mental well-being. As you will see in this documentary, the path to recovery requires commitment, focus and hard work by everyone involved. But the ultimate outcome can be amazing when people get the help they need.”

Visionaries, Inc. has been producing the Visionaries documentary series for public television since 1995. The documentary series, hosted by actor Sam Waterston, “highlights the rarely told stories of nonprofit organizations all around the world that are working to make a positive difference in their community and beyond.”

To find out where and when Silver Hill Hospital’s “Visionaries” documentary is airing, click here .

Silver Hill is a nationally recognized, non-profit hospital for the treatment of psychiatric and addictive disorders. Since 1931, it has helped people find the path back to mental health and wellness.

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