For the past seven years I have been making films on recovery without medication from extreme mental states called psychosis or schizophrenia. For the past four years, since I ended my therapy practice, this has been my full-time work—and my passion. I have made four films and have mailed DVDs of them to all corners of the English-speaking world, and I have felt honored to watch their message spread: to mental health consumers, psychiatric survivors, mental health professionals, teachers, family members, journalists, libraries, and universities.
In 2013, thanks to a grant from The Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care, I came out with new DVD versions of my first three films—each translated into more than 16 languages. My business quickly became far more international, yet I noticed a trend: that I sold a great majority of my films to the more wealthy countries of the world—and a far minority to the less wealthy countries.
This troubled me, especially since my films were purposefully translated into the languages of many less-than-wealthy places. Having visited many of these places myself, I have seen firsthand how the medical message of psychiatry, often embedded in the translated promotional literature of the drug companies, is all that reaches them.
So, after a lot of anxiety and blunt consideration of my options, I decided to make my films, including all the translated versions, available online for free. My idea was to put them on Youtube, and also put some versions (ie. the three films subtitled in Simplified Chinese) on other video hosting sites in countries that might not allow Youtube (ie. China).
I have found it scary, even terrifying, to come to this decision—because I would lose my income. Some weeks back I spoke about this with a trusted friend, and she said something that really affected me.
“Daniel,” she said, “I remember a few years ago you said you wanted to start a revolution. Well, you don’t start a revolution by focusing on money.”
And when I looked inside and consulted with my deeper self, I realized that she was right. And so, I now offer my films for free—as my contribution to the revolution of consciousness in mental health.
Today they are my gift to the world.