Mental (Seishin) (2013) - Rotten Tomatoes

Mental (Seishin) (2013)

Mental (Seishin) (2013)

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Mental illness is a real and growing problem in Japan, but one that is not acknowledged in many quarters. Government funding for mental health care has been shrinking, putting a greater burden on existing clinics and their staffs, and a strong stigma against acknowledging psychological problems is still common. Dr. Masatomo Yamamoto is a psychiatrist who runs Chorale Okayama, an outpatient mental health facility in Japan, and filmmaker Kazuhiro Soda presents a glimpse into his work and his patients in the documentary Seishin (aka Mental). Among those seeking help at Chorale Okayama are a woman who murdered her own child, a businessman who can no longer handle the stress of his job, and a woman who developed an eating disorder after being taunted for her fat legs; Yamamoto's other patients are dealing with everything from multiple personality to panic disorder. Yamamoto's goal is to return as many of his clients as possible to a productive life in society, and offers occupational therapy in two small businesses affiliated with Chorale Okayama, a dairy and a restaurant. However, though Yamamoto has much to be proud of, he usually finds himself dealing with more than he has the resources to handle, and a handful of his clients opt to commit suicide rather than see their treatment through. Mental was an official selection at the 2009 Miami International Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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