Now Streaming: ‘Living in HOpe’

Cathryn and a patient
Photo: Shawn Viens / Stranger Productions

By Pat Mullen

New from Knowledge Network comes a ground-breaking and intimate study of mental illness, Living in HOpe. Directed by Melanie Wood (Shut Up and Say Something), this four-episode series takes audiences inside the halls of Vancouver’s HOpe Psychiatric Centre, a 26-bed acute care facility that also provides community services and support for patients and their families. Situated in the heart of its North Vancouver community, the centre brings mental illness into the open to encourage dialogue and empathy. At HOpe, Wood presents the stories of everyday patients living with mental illness and the caregivers working tirelessly to ensure their well-being.

The series premieres today with the episode Another Day in Paradise.. This introductory tour through the halls connects audiences with patients like Blair, a Klemtu native drawn to the energy and opportunities of Vancouver; Ross, a Jack-of-all-trades who dreams to reach the stars; and Jack, a bicycling enthusiast who hopes to inspire audiences by sharing his history with mental illness. The series features characters young and old from a variety of walks of life to show the reach of mental illness as one in three Canadians will experience mental illness or a substance abuse disorder. The episodes follow the patients’ steps towards recovery and well-being as vérité-style filmmaking captures various stages of counselling, treatment, and rehabilitation without filmmaker intervention.

By following the subjects up close and in an experience that feels like real time, Living in HOpe puts audiences in close proximity with the reality of living with mental illness day by day. This intimate series works to de-stigmatize mental illness and encourage the open and empathetic conversations that inspire Canadians to speak up and seek help.

Living in HOpe is now streaming on Knowledge Network.
The first episode also airs on Knowledge tonight at 9pm with subsequent episodes premiering each Tuesday.

Living in HOpe-Trailer from Stranger Productions on Vimeo.