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Behavioral Health Network, the Gándara Center and NEPM to present discussion of 'Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness.'

30-minute screening on Thursday, Oct. 20 of Ken Burns’ film by Erik Ewers and Christopher Loren Ewers and panel discussion with the filmmakers and local behavioral health experts.

Oct. 12, 2022, SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Behavioral Health Network, the Gándara Center and New England Public Media will present “Hiding in Plain Sight,” a panel discussion on the subject of youth mental health. The event, which will be held on Thursday, Oct. 20 at 5 p.m. at Valley Venture Mentors in Springfield, is a follow up to “Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness,” a powerful documentary recently presented by PBS and Ken Burns.

The program will start with the screening of a 30-minute portion of the film, followed by a discussion with the film’s co-directors Erik Ewers and Christopher Loren Ewers; Enrique Vargas Gonzalez, an outpatient psychotherapist at Springfield’s Gándara Center; and a young person with mental health challenges featured in the film. The discussion will be moderated by Katherine Cook, Behavioral Health Network’s senior vice president.


“Hiding In Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness” premiered on NEPM TV in June 2022 and is available for streaming at video.nepm.org. It features first-person accounts from more than 20 young people, ranging in age from 11 to 27, who live with mental health conditions, as well as parents, teachers, friends, healthcare providers in their lives, and independent mental health experts. The film presents an unvarnished window into daily life with mental health challenges, from seemingly insurmountable obstacles to stories of hope and resilience. Through the experiences of these young people, the film confronts the issues of stigma, discrimination, awareness, and silence, and, in doing so, helps to advance a shift in the public perception of mental health issues today.

“We're proud to partner with Gándara Center and NEPM to help share this important documentary with the community. Hearing stories firsthand from young people struggling with behavioral health conditions is a powerful way to break through the stigma that makes it challenging for many to seek help” said Steve Winn, president and CEO of BHN.

“Youth are faced with a number of challenges and struggles and many times their mental health is impacted. The signs and symptoms of depression, anxiety and other serious behavioral health issues are not always easily recognized,” said Lois Nesci, CEO of the Gándara Center. “It’s great to see that Ken Burns and the filmmakers are doing their part to break the stigma and focusing on the mental health of our youth today. The Gándara Center provides a number of bilingual, culturally competent mental health services to youth, adults and their families. We understand the lifelong impact mental health can have on the youth we serve and their families."

Hiding in Plain Sight: A Film Screening and Discussion
Thursday, Oct. 20 at 5 p.m.
Valley Venture Mentors
276 Bridge St., Springfield, Massachusetts



“Hiding in Plain Sight” Co-director and Editor Erik Ewers is an expert in all aspects of filmmaking, having served as music producer, writer, director, film producer, picture editor, and sound effects, music, and dialogue editor. He has worked with documentary filmmaker Ken Burns for more than 30 years and currently serves as Burns’ senior editor. Erik has won one editing Emmy, three program Emmys, and the ACE Eddie Award for “Best Edited Documentary of 2015.”

“Hiding in Plain Sight” Co-director and Director of Photography Christopher Loren Ewers has been working behind the camera for over 20 years and has traveled the world exploring the human experience through the lens. He studied cinematography at Boston University and photojournalism at the New England School of Photography. His cinematography has been featured in each of Ken Burns’ films since "The Vietnam War," which premiered on PBS in 2017.

The Gándara Center’s Enrique Vargas Gonzalez is a bilingual psychotherapist skilled in family, couples and individual therapy. He has experience working with LGBTQ communities and other minorities and is a gambling addiction specialist. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in clinical psychology from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

Behavioral Health Network’s Katherine Cook holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Cleveland State University and a master’s degree in social science administration and social work from Case Western Reserve University. With over 30 years experience in leadership, social service administration, strategic planning, organization development and clinical oversight, Katherine recently joined the BHN team after working in various executive level leadership positions across New England. She is dedicated to the improvement and redesign of the mental health service delivery system and supporting the mental health needs of her community.


Behavioral Health Network has been providing behavioral health services to children and families in western Massachusetts since 1938. The agency provides community-based services that include innovative, integrated whole-health models as well as traditional clinical and outpatient and therapeutic services, day treatment, addiction services, crisis intervention, and residential supports.


Gándara Center has been providing bilingual, culturally sensitive behavioral health, substance use, prevention and educational services to the region since 1977. The agency was founded to ensure access and services to Hispanic, African American and other underserved populations and communities. Today, the Gándara Center serves a diverse multicultural clientele in more than 100 locations across Massachusetts. Its family-centered and community-based approach reaches more than 15,000 children, families, and adults every year.


New England Public Media is a community-supported, independent non-profit organization based in Springfield, Massachusetts. Through a deep commitment to independent local journalism, trusted educational content, inspired cultural offerings, and civic engagement, NEPM endeavors to share new voices and inspire new conversations. It provides audiences with a broad array of local and national programs across all media —TV, radio, online, and mobile, including PBS and NPR programs as well as locally produced series, podcasts and specials. Its four digital TV channels, and two radio networks present news, jazz and classical music, documentaries, talk, drama, plus cultural and educational programming.

For more information, visit nepm.org or follow NEPM on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


Vanessa Cerillo
Senior Director, Marketing, Communications and Events
New England Public Media