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Treatment of mental illness over history has been trial and error.

Science and societal factors shape ever-shifting definitions of mental health and illness.



The Rise and Fall of the Asylum

Meet detainees at the nation’s largest de-facto mental health facility, Cook County Jail.

New Frontiers

Today, with cutting-edge treatments for mental illness, the biggest battle is inclusion.


Mysteries of Mental Illness Preview

Mysteries of Mental Illness explores the story of mental illness in science and society.


Episode 1 Preview: Evil Or Illness

Episode 1 explores ancient ideas of mental illness and the establishment of psychiatry.

Episode 2 Preview: Who's Normal?

Episode 2 Preview: Who's Normal?

How did we develop mental illness standards rooted in empirical science rather than dogma?

Episode 3 Preview: The Rise and Fall of the Asylum

Learn about the asylum, and its rise and fall as a place for treating the mentally ill.

Episode 4 Preview: New Frontiers

A look at today’s most cutting-edge treatments for the mentally ill.



Who's Normal?

What is mental illness and who's normal? This clip considers how we define these queries.


How do the beliefs of the day shape our understanding of mental illness?

Cecilia's Story

Hear Cecilia McGough talk about her struggles with schizophrenia.

Brain on Fire

Learn about a mysterious illness known as 'Brain on Fire'.

Michael Walrond and Depression

For years Michael Walrond battled depression, and for years he suffered in silence.

Ginny Fuchs & OCD

Olympic boxer Ginny Fuchs shares a little of what it's like to live with OCD.

Schizophrenia and Stigma

For a long time, Cecilia McGough found talking about her hallucinations very difficult.

Psychiatry and Homosexuality

In the U.S., as recently as the early 1970's, homosexuals were considered mentally ill.

The Wrong Body

Mia Yamamoto spent most of her life being made to feel like she was 'mentally ill'.

Ryan Mains & PTSD

Army Veteran Ryan Mains has struggled to accept his diagnosis of PTSD.

A PTSD Diagnosis

Scientists are searching for trauma's biological fingerprints, to understand PTSD.

Experimental Treatments and the Rise of Eugenics

What gave rise to the Eugenics program in the United States?

The Kirkbride Asylum

Kirkbride's 'hospitals for the insane' were built for those who had nowhere else to go.

The Asylum Hill Project

Some 30,000 patients came through the Mississippi State Asylum, and many never left.

The Mass Incarceration of the Mentally Ill

Asylums were closed down, but the mentally ill are still being institutionalized.

Psychedelics and Mental Illness

A chemist accidentally created the psychedelic, LSD, while searching for new medications.

Cook County Jail

How did prisons and jails become a frontline treatment for the mentally ill?

Cynthia Piltch and Electroconvulsive Therapy

Cynthia is turning to ECT, or Electroconvulsive Therapy, to manage her severe depression.

The Lobotomy

In 1936, neurologist Walter Freeman performed the first lobotomy in the U.S.

Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery

Matthew Rosenberg is having deep brain stimulation surgery to help his OCD condition.

New Frontiers in Mental Health Care Access

Sidney Hankerson works to bring informal healthcare to culturally relevant settings.

My OCD World

An Olympic boxer struggles with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.


Decolonizing Mental Health | Preview

DECOLONIZING MENTAL HEALTH calls for a redress of ways we define and treat mental health.

Decolonizing Mental Health | Overview

Experts like Shawna Murray-Browne speak to what the current mental health field lacks.

Shawna Murray-Browne | Decolonizing Mental Health

Shawna Murray-Browne’s quest to help BIPOC access ways of nurture, care, and healing.

Lloyd Hale | Part 1 | Decolonizing Mental Health

Lloyd Hale’s story of teenage schizophrenia and the lack of mental health support.

Lloyd Hale | Part 2 | Decolonizing Mental Health

Lloyd Hale’s journey from being a convict to a peer support specialist living in recovery.

Idris Mitchell | Decolonizing Mental Health

How Idris Mitchell’s bipolar disorder put him in an eternal pursuit of beauty and joy.

Dr. Vivian Jackson | Decolonizing Mental Health

Dr. Vivian Jackson’s 6 As and how they tackle the many disparities of mental healthcare.

Natasha Stovall | Decolonizing Mental Health

Natasha Stovall’s centering of whiteness aims to cure psychiatry’s colorblindness.

Paul Hoang | Decolonizing Mental Health

Well-known in his community, Paul Hoang is teaching people empathetic mental healthcare.

Kelvin Nguyen | Decolonizing Mental Health

Kelvin Nguyen unlearns shame and embraces therapy to help himself and others.

Linh An | Decolonizing Mental Health

Anthropologist Linh An calls for a just mental healthcare system that dismantles racism.

Linh An and Sharyn Luo | Decolonizing Mental Health

A good mental health treatment process must include families and friends.

Drs. Fosters-Circle of Life | Decolonizing Mental Health

Native psychologists push for a move away from self and into the circularity of nature.

Drs. Fosters-Modern Warrior | Decolonizing Mental Health

Those leaving the reservation for higher education have tools to protect their community.

Shelby Rowe | Decolonizing Mental Health

Struggle against a culture that robs Native people of their identity and sense of self.

Adriana Alejandre | Decolonizing Mental Health

Adriana Alejandre decides to change the way the Latinx community views mental healthcare.

Rosalba & Alan Calleros | Decolonizing Mental Health

A mother's struggle to find adequate mental healthcare for her son with a disability.

Dr. Igda Martinez | Decolonizing Mental Health

Dr. Igda Martinez is dedicated to empowering unhoused people and breaking stereotypes.

Dr. Hooman Keshavarzi | Decolonizing Mental Health

Dr. Keshavarzi is building psychological treatment processes around faith-based concepts.