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Sharpen's history creating 4,000 documentary films on mental health

About 15 years ago we started developing documentary film training tools to bridge the gaps in knowledge around mental disorders. Those films (Speaking Out About Eating Disorders, ED 101, Beneath the Floorboards) originally covered the topics of disordered eating prevention, weight stigma and various co-morbidities. Our Founder has had the privilege of interviewing hundreds of researchers, practitioners and individuals with lived experience in a great effort to bring more evidence-based programming into schools and universities to empower more individuals.

Back in those days, Sharpen co-Founders simply shared the films on Youtube and through DVDs. Back in those days, we had over 1 million downloads and distributed the films through grassroots channels to be implemented as training tools in medical institutions, clinical training programs and in treatment centers.

From there, we learned we needed to deploy technology so we could ensure that the films were screened and shared appropriately to various audience groups. In this way we could ensure that what parents, licensed professionals and youth would receive would be age-appropriate, and rooted in empirical research. To date, Sharpen co-Founders have created over 4,000 mental health films in collaboration with over 250 scientific experts and researchers hundreds of individuals with lived experience. All of those films are available on the Sharpen Minds platform.

Back in the early 2010's they were introduced to Timothy Brewerton, a child and adolescent psychiatrist doing upstream prevention research in the field of eating disorders, substance use disorders and childhood trauma. Dr. Brewerton and Sharpen co-Founders collaborated for many years and eventually he shared the story of Sylvia, one of his patients who suffered with DID. Dr. B invited Tim Farrell and Robyn Hussa Farrell to co-direct a feature documentary about her journey through recovery.

This week, after 4 years in development, we are now sharing a 60 minute excerpt of the film "Sylvia the Wood Nymph" at the American Psychiatric Association conference. In addition to Dr. Brewerton, the film features Dr. Robert Post, Dr. Bethany Brand, Dr. Richard J. Loewenstein, M.D., Dr. Frank Putnam, patients who have suffered from adverse childhood experiences, dissociative identity disorder, eating disorders and PTSD and who overcame their struggles.

The trailer to Sylvia is here.

You can get involved, follow the journey, or learn more at



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