The recently released documentary “Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness” explores the personal experiences of youth with mental illness. With over 20 young people, psychiatrists, parents, school counsellors, and peers sharing their stories, this docuseries looks into the many perspectives of the youth mental health crisis. Co-directed by Erik Ewers and Christopher Loren Ewers, “Hiding in Plain Sight” is an emotional and educational piece that shows the very real battle of mental illness that so many of us face. 

The series tackles difficult conversations ranging from the stigma surrounding mental illness; the double-edged sword of social media; the challenges that many face in finding medical treatment; the concerns many families have about substance use, self-harm, and the rising rate of teenage suicide; and how families and youth living with mental illness have coped.

“Hiding in Plain Sight” depicts the reality that mental illness does not discriminate based on socio-economic background, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. An estimated 70% of mental health problems appear during childhood or adolescence.1 Providing support and education about mental health care for children and youth is imperative.

“Hiding in Plain Sight” also includes voices from many groups that are often not included when discussing mental illness. Black and Indigenous youth, as well as LGBTQ+ teens and youth who have experiences in foster care, share their accounts in this series and discuss how their symptoms were perceived. Poignant and moving, this documentary series also provides additional insight from medical professionals, school staff, and advocates, leaving viewers with hope for future care and attention for children, youth, and families affected by mental illness. 

“Mental illness is one of the most significant health crises in the world—as pervasive as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease—but it often exists in secret and is endured in isolation.”


Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness is available to watch online for free through PBS until July 25, 2022.

Click here to watch the first episode, “The Storm.”