Demi Lovato, Sunovion and Leading Advocacy Organizations Release Mental Health Documentary as Part of Be Vocal Initiative

Beyond Silence follows three people living well with mental health conditions who are speaking up for themselves and others

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Beyond Silence, a Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health film

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MARLBOROUGH, Mass.--()--Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Sunovion), five leading mental health advocacy organizations and multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and mental health advocate Demi Lovato today released Beyond Silence, a documentary film created by photographer and filmmaker Shaul Schwarz, who is represented by Getty Images and Verbatim. The documentary follows Jeff Fink, Lauren Burke and Lloyd Hale, three very different people who share one common experience—their lives have been transformed by speaking up for mental health. The film, which can be streamed on the Be Vocal website, chronicles their efforts to live well and break through the silence often associated with mental illness. The Be Vocal initiative encourages individuals living with mental health conditions to speak up for themselves and as a community to help advance mental health in America.

“Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to openly share my story with so many people, but it’s not just my story that deserves to be heard. I am so excited to help share the stories of Jeff, Lauren and Lloyd, and so grateful to them for letting us all into their lives,” said Demi Lovato, who served as executive producer of the documentary. “Beyond Silence, in both its darkest and most joyful moments, shines a light on the importance of hope in the face of adversity and how friends, coworkers and even pets can make a meaningful difference. I encourage everyone to watch, share and talk about this film. Only by speaking up together can we advance mental health in America.”

Combining intimate day-in-the-life footage and interviews, Beyond Silence provides a glimpse into the lives of each individual and their diagnoses—which include bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression and anxiety. The film weaves these individual experiences into a cohesive narrative about how speaking up is key to living well with a mental health condition.

“Stories have the power to change hearts and minds, shape perceptions and inspire action for the greater good,” said Shaul Schwarz, film director represented by Getty Images and Verbatim. “I am so grateful to Jeff, Lauren and Lloyd for their courage, their heart and their vulnerability. Through Beyond Silence, these individuals invite us into their most private lives to share their struggles, triumphs, setbacks and celebrations, teaching us the importance of being vocal.”

Information about Beyond Silence and the Be Vocal initiative, including tips and tools for speaking up can be found at www.BeVocalSpeakUp.com.

Quotes from the Cast

“For years I was surrounded by darkness, isolated from the world around me,” said Jeff Fink. “Life changed and a newfound sense of hope surfaced the day I got my dog, Earl. Earl became the missing link in my struggle for wellness. He helped me live more in the present and to trust in the future, take more responsibility for my own health, and find purpose in helping others with mental health challenges. I hope my participation in Beyond Silence will inspire others to search for whatever link may be missing for them so they too can find hope, stability, purpose and confidence in the future.”

“Throughout my life I, like so many others, wasn’t comfortable showing my imperfections. I had a growing career and was respected in my field, but I stayed silent—no one knew I was suffering,” said Lauren Burke. “Once I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I realized that I can help others simply by speaking up. Through Beyond Silence, I hope to show that it’s possible to live a thriving and successful life despite any challenges people may face, and that our individual imperfections are what make us unique and human.”

“Too often people find themselves isolated by their mental health status—experiencing shame or guilt for something that is beyond their control,” said Lloyd Hale. “If we spoke more openly, I think we’d find that many more people experience mental health challenges than we ever realized. By sharing my story, I hope to show others that we aren’t that different, and that together we can build a more open, supportive and accepting society.”

About Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health

Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health is a national initiative in partnership with Demi Lovato, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, The Jed Foundation, Mental Health America, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the National Council for Behavioral Health and Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. The initiative is designed to empower adults living with mental health conditions to speak up when talking with their support team and to encourage everyone to speak up as a community to advance mental health in America. The Be Vocal initiative evolved out of The Mental Health Listening & Engagement Tour supported by Sunovion in 2014. The Tour connected Demi with top mental health advocacy organizations and helped her become a stronger, more informed advocate. For more information, visit www.BeVocalSpeakUp.com.

About Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato is a platinum-selling recording artist, songwriter, New York Times best-selling author, and an inspiration to millions. Her passion for raising awareness of issues surrounding mental health and personal empowerment has touched thousands of lives.

About Getty Images

Getty Images is among the world's leading creators and distributors of award-winning still imageryvideomusic and multimedia products, as well as other forms of premium digital content, available through its trusted brands, including iStockphoto® and Thinkstock®. With its advanced search and image recognition technology, Getty Images serves business customers in more than 100 countries and is the first place creative and media professionals turn to discover, purchase and manage images and other digital content. Its best-in-class photographers and imagery help customers produce inspiring work, which appears every day in the world's most influential newspapers, magazines, advertising campaigns, films, television programs, books and online media.

About Verbatim

Visual. Global. Storytelling.

Verbatim is a creative resource for Corporate Social Impact communications offering master visual storytelling through the world renowned, award-winning photojournalists we represent and a commercial assignments agency with a global network of photographers and filmmakers.

About Shaul Schwarz

Shaul Schwarz is an award-winning filmmaker and photojournalist. His work has been screened at festivals across the globe, including Sundance, and he is a regular contributor to TIME Magazine and National Geographic Magazine. His work has also appeared in other major international publications such as Newsweek, Life and The New York Times, among others.

About the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)

DBSA is the leading peer-directed national organization focused on creating wellness for people with mood disorders.

About The Jed Foundation (JED)

JED is a leading national non-profit organization that exists to promote emotional health and prevent suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults.

About Mental Health America (MHA)

MHA is the nation's leading community-based nonprofit committed to promoting mental health as a critical part of overall wellness, and is guided by the Before Stage 4 philosophy that mental health conditions should be treated long before they reach the most critical points in the disease process.

About the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

About the National Council for Behavioral Health (The National Council)

The National Council is the unifying voice of America’s community mental health and addictions treatment organizations.

About Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Sunovion)

Sunovion is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the innovative application of science and medicine to help people with serious medical conditions. Sunovion’s vision is to lead the way to a healthier world. The company’s spirit of innovation is driven by the conviction that scientific excellence paired with meaningful advocacy and relevant education can improve lives. With patients at the center of everything it does, Sunovion has charted new paths to life-transforming treatments that reflect ongoing investments in research and development and an unwavering commitment to support people with psychiatric, neurological and respiratory conditions.

Headquartered in Marlborough, Mass., Sunovion is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd. Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Europe Ltd., based in London, England, Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., based in Mississauga, Ontario, and Sunovion CNS Development Canada ULC, based in Toronto, Ontario, are wholly-owned direct subsidiaries of Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. Additional information can be found on the company’s web sites: www.sunovion.com, www.sunovion.eu and www.sunovion.ca. Connect with Sunovion on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube.

Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a U.S. subsidiary of Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd.
© 2017 Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. All rights reserved.

For a copy of this release, visit Sunovion’s web site at www.sunovion.com

Contacts

Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Kristina Coppola, 508-787-4368
Sr. Manager, Corporate Communications
kristina.coppola@sunovion.com

Contacts

Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Kristina Coppola, 508-787-4368
Sr. Manager, Corporate Communications
kristina.coppola@sunovion.com