About HERE ONE DAY

Thank you for visiting the Here One Day blog! I created this site to share information about my latest documentary, which, thanks for our many generous funders and donors, is now FINISHED!

Here’s a brief description of the film:

When filmmaker Kathy Leichter moved back into the apartment she grew up in after her mother committed suicide, she discovered a hidden box of audiotapes. Sixteen years passed before she had the courage to delve into this trove, unearthing details that her mother had recorded about every aspect of her life from the challenges of her marriage to a State Senator, to her son’s estrangement, to her struggles with bi-polar disorder. Playing like a Greek tragedy, HERE ONE DAY is a bracing, visually arresting, emotionally candid film about a woman coping with mental illness, her relationships with her family, and the ripple effects of her suicide on those she loved.

These stories beg for increased public discourse.  It is part of my mission with this film to reduce stigma, foster  understanding and improve current policies surrounding mental health awareness, mental health care, and suicide awareness and prevention.

Watch our trailer below.

Click below to catch a sneak peek of a scene we recently cut.

Please, share your stories with us.  

Whether it’s by posting a comment or emailing me directly. We will soon feature a page dedicated to sharing your experiences. Ending our silence is a crucial part of mitigating the isolation many families feel. We need to talk more openly about our experiences to help raise awareness about these issues, to change public perception of the mentally ill, to help others to get help and to bring more funding to research and other public resources.

In 2010, depression became the number one disability in the world according to the World Health Organization. Over 10 million people in America are affected by bipolar disorder. The National Mental Health Association reports that 30%-70% of suicide victims have suffered from a form of depression. Every 14 minutes someone dies by suicide. It remains the 11th leading cause of death in this country.

Here’s a great way to show your support for those effected by these issues! Please, read on.

Help us by spreading the word or making a donation to our  Community Screening Initiative. My ultimate goal with the film is to reach audiences through theatrical release, television broadcasts, film festivals, educational distribution, and grassroots community screenings. To request a screening please click on the link at the top of this page!

Visit this blog  for special features and updates on raising mental health awareness and suicide awareness and prevention.  Plus, you’ll find forums where individuals can post their own stories, comments, photographs and videos. Together, we can build a virtual community of support around the themes of suicide, mental illness, motherhood and loss. Please join us.

Whether it’s by reading the blog, spreading the word, or making a donation, I greatly appreciate your support!

With all my gratitude,

Kathy Leichter

"Here One Day"

Photo by Kirsten Johnson

Photo by Amir Levy

27 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kelli Karlton
    Apr 27, 2011 @ 17:52:18

    Thank you Kathy for this……I have four small kids (ages 9, 7, 4 and 8 mos.) and I lost my dad to suicide on 1/6/08…. I haven’t told my children how, all they know is Pop Pop is in heaven and in our hearts. Hugs, Kelli

    Reply

    • Kathy Leichter
      May 09, 2011 @ 01:31:26

      Kelli, thank you so much for writing. I hear you and feel for you and know, from experience, that you will at some point feel ready to tell your children. Even if it is just something small. You can be gentle on yourself. It was 15 years after my mother’s death before I was ready to tell my kids, and they still don’t know the whole story. I will say though, that when I told them, it felt like my whole body relaxed, as if something I had been holding tight with my muscles could now release. I don’t think it was half the big deal for them as it was for me. In many ways, telling them in itself was for me, even though I had thought I was doing it for them. You are brave. Happy Mother’s Day.

      Also, if you have any ability to help me finish my film, that would be amazing. Even if it’s in the form of a $ 5 donation, that’s how we are going to get it done and get the word out there. Another way to help is to forward our link to our fundraising website with a short paragraph before it just telling your friends and family about my film, why you think it’s important and why you are asking them to contribute. It’s a very grassroots effort. We want people all around the world to contribute! Please help us in any way that you can. You have already helped by writing. Here’s the link:

      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1259302825/here-one-day-a-film-about-my-mother-suicide-love-a

      With gratitude and solidarity,
      Kathy

      Reply

  2. Joan Spencer
    Apr 27, 2011 @ 18:22:22

    In order to break the stigma of mental illness we need to do it together! You have my support! :)

    Reply

    • Kathy Leichter
      May 09, 2011 @ 01:36:39

      Joan! Thank you so much for writing and for your support. We are doing it together! Just by writing, you have helped. We are creating a community of support with this film and it is growing every day. We are all connected. I truly believe that the more we share, talk, write, communicate about our experiences, the less hold the stigma will have and it will eventually melt away.

      We are getting closer each day to the finish line and I am asking everyone who believes in this project to help us get there. We are asking folks to pitch in to our editing process, to keep us editing so we can finish and put the film out into the world where it is going to make a big splash! You can even donate as little as $ 5. If everyone we know gives, we’ll get there. It would mean a lot. Another way to help is to forward our link to our fundraising website with a short paragraph before telling your friends and family about my film, why you think it’s important and why you are asking them to contribute. It’s a very grassroots effort. We want people all around the world to contribute! Please help us in any way that you can. You have already helped by writing. Here’s the link to donate and that you can forward to folks:

      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1259302825/here-one-day-a-film-about-my-mother-suicide-love-a

      Please stay in touch.

      With gratitude,
      Kathy

      Reply

  3. Lillian Moffitt
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 14:23:49

    Thank you for doing this. Suicide is something that affects so many people on so many levels. When I was 12 years old I was told my mother had committed suicide. Due to life events, both before & after, in combination with that event, the depression I have battled my entire life since have included episodes of suicidal thoughts and fantasies and two near suicide experiences.

    The first near suicide experience happened when I was 21 and was single-parenting my four year old son, taking 18 credit hours at the local community college, dealing with a pregnant roommate – who was “giving the monster up for adoption, because, no offense Lillian, I don’t want to be like you,” and involved in a toxic triangle of a relationship. I wound up missing about a week of classes and work study due to being sick and it was mid-terms. I was working on a take home statistics test and couldn’t focus or concentrate and just had this looping tape of hopeless thoughts running through my brain about how screwed up everything was and how I was failing at everything I was trying to do in my life.

    A couple of weeks prior to this, I had woken up one morning and gone into the bathroom to be confronted with my mother’s image in the mirror instead of my own. I had journaled about it in the form or writing a poem that acknowledged the parallels in our lives, but also identified where I was separating myself from her and going a different path. I had spoken with one of the counselors at the college who was one of the best supports I’d ever had. But not so deep down inside of my head and my heart I was locked in the throes of a suicidal depression that I was in denial about.

    So, I found myself tracing the veins on the inside of my forearm with the pencil I was using to do my homework and my thoughts were spinning out of control and I realized that I needed to move out of that physical isolation and talk to someone, anyone. We didn’t have cell phones and I couldn’t afford a home phone at the time. So, I actually got up and got dressed and went out in the cold, windy, dark night and walked to the nearest restaurant/bar to use the payphone.

    I called one corner of the triangle and once he was on the line I couldn’t bring myself to tell him what was really happening and why I was calling. I simply asked him to come over – even though I pretty much knew it wouldn’t happen – and got told no. I basically set myself up to reaffirm my isolation and lack of value to others by calling someone who I knew was unavailable to me (on many levels). Because I didn’t actually tell him how far gone I was and chose not to ask for what I really needed and he wasn’t able to infer from my tone and my request that something was wrong, I reinforced the idea that I’m not someone who matters to other people.

    Since that was all the money I had to make the call, I walked back home. Once there I decided that I was going to (it’s hard to type it) kill myself. So, I took some time and “set the scene.” I ran a bath, put a tape it that wasn’t labeled side A/B but instead one side was Life and one side was Death. It was a soundtrack from a local play that I had attended that was about some unidentified plague of the future that was so virulent that people having physical contact with each other was punishible by death and the only ones who could have the freedom to truly interact with one another on a physical level were those with the virus that would kill them because there was no cure. I opted to play the Death side of the tape. I put candles on the counters and I got a knife from the kitchen.

    I don’t remember if I actually got in the tub and started to cut. The next thing I know, I’m desperately knocking on my roommate’s door and asking for her help and telling her what was going on. Mind you, this girl was dating a guy who I had dated but broke up with a couple of months earlier. She was critical and judgmental of me and we were no longer friends of any sort. We were just barely tolerating each other because neiter of us could afford to live on our own.

    Yet, there was a core part of me that wanted to live and that took over without my concious consent. There was almost a voice from inside of myself, that was not one I recognized, that reminded me about my son and the fact that I couldn’t leave him in the same way my mother had left me and leave him with the same family that I eventually ran away from. This voice told me that regardless of what I thought or believed there were people I mattered to who would be upset, angry, and hurt if I followed through on this path. To this day, I believe it was the voice of God speaking to me and I’m so very grateful.

    The after story isn’t all beautiful and happily ever after. I have continued to struggle and almost 21 years later the depression is still part of me and I have to be careful to pay attention to it. My son is now almost 25 and he has struggled with suicidal depression himself, as has my 17 year old daughter. We have dealt with the continual chaos that unresolved depression, co-dependency, and chronic health issues bring. Drugs and alcohol became their coping mechanisms while overeating, fixing other people’s problems, and withdrawal became mine.

    However, I can honestly say that today, I am stronger, healthier, and happier in so many ways than I have ever been. I have a growing adult relationship with my two oldest children and can forsee a future that entails me seeing them travel through their adult lives, growing and succeeding in ways my mother never got to experience with me and that no other member of the family I grew up with has ever truly had.

    As far as my mother goes, I had thought I had resolved my feelings about her death. Then last year I went through something that made me realize there were still unresolved issue and things I didn’t know. So, I did some research and obtained copies of the coroner’s report and the investigation report and discovered that there’s a real possibility that it may not have been suicide. It could have been, but it may not have been. I actually connected with extended family who knew her when she was young and got to find out more about the person she was. I don’t know that things will ever be fully resolved, but I’m at peace about her death.

    None of these things would have been possible if I had followed through on that choice of suicide 21 years ago. I’m happy I didn’t make that final choice. But I also know that I could have easily made that choice and that there is a power outside of myself whom I owe my life to that helped me to not make that choice. As for others who have made that choice – my heart grieves for them and the generations of people in their lives who are affected by that choice.

    Reply

    • Kathy Leichter
      May 09, 2011 @ 02:28:18

      Lillian, I am sorry it took me so long to respond. Please do not interpret my silence of this past week as anything but filmmaker/mom overload. I so, so, so appreciate your sharing your story and am moved to tears and chills and even shouts of joy by it. The joy because you survived and your children have and with all of the challenges and pain, you are all still here. I am sorry about your mother, no matter how she died, and sorry that the legacy of her death and whatever legacies that she carried have caused such intense pain within all of you. It is understandable. These things just don’t go away in one generation. I believe we all are carrying many things that our ancestors experienced and that they get passed down across generations over time. With each generation hopefully things get better, even if only by infinitessimal increments. I am so glad that your survivor instinct kicked in so many years ago and that you were brave enough to continue to live. And that here we are now.

      Happy Mother’s Day.

      We are getting closer each day to the finish line of making HERE ONE DAY and I am asking everyone who believes in this project to help us get there. We are asking folks to donate so that we can keep editing and get the film out into the world where it is going to make a big splash! You can even donate as little as $ 5. If everyone we know gives, we’ll get there. It would mean a lot. Another way to help is to forward our link to our fundraising website with a short paragraph before telling your friends and family about my film, why you think it’s important and why you are asking them to contribute. It’s a very grassroots effort. We want people all around the world to contribute! Please help us in any way that you can. You have already helped by writing. Here’s the link to donate and that you can forward to folks:

      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1259302825/here-one-day-a-film-about-my-mother-suicide-love-a

      Please stay in touch.

      With enormous gratitude and love,
      Kathy

      Reply

      • Lillian Moffitt
        May 17, 2011 @ 02:11:14

        Kathy,
        Thank you for your response. I am working on accepting what is and to let go of false expectations and judgments. So, I decided that there were good and reasonable reasons for not having a comment or reply. You obviously have a tremendous amount to take care of and stay on top of just with this project alone, without even taking into consideration the day to day stuff that everyone deals with. So, believe me when I tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time and consideration to respond to my overly long comment.

        Blessings to you and your family.

  4. Catherine Schetting Salfino
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 16:13:40

    Very powerful… and so touching. I know how you feel when you talk about the fear of it happening again. I lost my brother May 22, 2008. I worry for my siblings and my children. And I’ve been in therapy ever since… to take care of me. Best of everything….

    Reply

    • Kathy Leichter
      Sep 27, 2011 @ 23:08:44

      Thank you so much for writing and sharing your thoughts, Catherine.  I am sorry not to have replied sooner, but I so appreciate your reaching out. The film editing and being a mom has taken all my energy, but I want you to know that I heard you and have wanted to write back. I am sorry about your brother. And I understand your worries.

      I truly believe the more we share, talk, write, and communicate about our experiences, these generational legacies of pain will weaken. As will the fear. Making HERE ONE DAY has helped me to keep the fear at bay, or at least be louder than it. The fear and worry can be overwhelming, but I tell myself we can only do our best. This is not an easy world to live in. I am hoping that HERE ONE DAY will make a difference for many and that it will help to make the world a better place for ALL.

      I would love to keep in touch with you. I am encouraging those who believe in this project to help get us to the finish line—completing the final cut of HERE ONE DAY! We are asking folks to help us by donating to the Finish the Film campaign , as well as simply subscribing to this blog and signing up for my monthly newsletter. I’d like you to stay updated on our journey to complete HERE ONE DAY, and ultimately, help distribute the film to audiences! And, if contributing financially isn’t possible for you right now, then just spreading the word is a HUGE help–pass along my blog page, become a friend on facebook, tell friends and family about the film. This movie is going to soar!

      You can sign up for the newsletter here: http://ow.ly/6fGk5  

      Thanks again for your support!

      With gratitude,
      Kathy

      Reply

  5. lydia mckee
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 04:00:55

    kathy,this is such important work, I lost my 19 year old son 6 years ago but I will never know if he was bi-polar because he died before we got a chance to help him. For so long I have felt that I did not do enought to help him but I truly did not know that he was ill. I do have the fear that this could happen again to my grandchilren should my son have children. My heart aches each day for my son who was in a pain he could not share. This is the first year that I have been able to find joy again yet I always have the feeling that part of me is gone. The shock from my sons death almost over-whelmed me but some how day by day I have survived. I find the love I have for my son gives me the strength to move forward and love more deeply because of all that he gave to me during his life time. I know that depression can be a wicked disease for all of us that are touched by it’s destruction. It seems that so many people who die by suicide had a very sensitive heart one that seemed more in tune to something the rest of us our not aware of in this world. I would love to help in any way that I can. Lydia

    Reply

    • Kathy Leichter
      Sep 27, 2011 @ 23:12:37

      Dear Lydia, your post made me cry. So much heart, truth, humanity and love. Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. I am sorry for the loss of your son. As you may have seen from my trailer, I also have two boys and I worry sometimes for their future. I have a sensitive one too. You are right to love and to love more deeply. Thanks for the reminder. It’s so hard when so much of the world and our lives gets in the way. We do our best, as parents, always, even when it is hard and we struggle. We are always doing our best and I know you did too. I really believe we need to heal ourselves but more broadly, we need to heal the world and make it a better place for ALL of us. I hope HERE ONE DAY will help with this healing.

      Perhaps like your son, my mother had a sensitive heart. I believe it also made her one of the most creative and brilliant among us. But also more susceptible to big emotion–what our society labels mania and depression. Your fear for your grandkids is understandable. However, I truly believe the more we share, talk, write, and communicate about our experiences, these generational legacies of pain will weaken.

      I would love to keep in touch with you. I am encouraging those who believe in this project to help get us to the finish line—completing the final cut of HERE ONE DAY! We are asking folks to help us by donating to the Finish the Film campaign , (every little bit helps) as well as simply subscribing to this blog and signing up for my monthly newsletter. I’d like you to stay updated on our journey to complete HERE ONE DAY, and ultimately, help distribute the film to audiences! And if you can’t contribute financially, then spreading the word is super helpful. Letting friends know, passing on the website, blog page, facebook, to friends and family. This movie is going to soar with all of the hearts and love behind it.

      You can sign up for the newsletter here: http://ow.ly/6fGk5 

      I am sorry it took me so long to write back. Editing the film and being a mom sometimes takes all of my focus.

      With gratitude and thank you again for reaching out,

      Kathy

      Reply

  6. Jody Agard
    May 04, 2011 @ 04:50:59

    As an adolescent I knew that my dad had this “bi-polar disorder” but I had no idea what that even meant. My mom tried to protect my brother and me from the challenges that my dad faced monthly, weekly or even daily due to his illness. It was a long road for my dad, but little did any of us know that there was a sign in front us that read “LONGEST ROAD – JUST ONE MILE AHEAD”.
    My world as I knew it came crashing down when I was 15 years old and a freshman in high school. I found out on Friday May 20th, 1992 that my loving father whom I adored with all of my heart and soul had committed suicide. That was the day that changed my life forever. At 3:10 p.m. as I sat Indian style in front of my long mirror that was hanging on the back of my closet door my mom yelled for us to come downstairs. My brother and I both stood in the kitchen clearly annoyed by the fact that mom interrupted us from our every day life. With a confused look that I’ve never seen on her face before, my mom said to us “It’s your father”. Before she could say another word, I immediately blurted out “He committed suicide, didn’t he?” I still have no idea where those words came from. When I said them, I surely wasn’t expecting the answer that I got in return. Suddenly my mom’s face turned deeply saddened and pale, as she said “Yes honey, I am so sorry.” “I love you and we WILL get through this together.”
    I just remember thinking to myself “This isn’t happening, it was just a nightmare. There was no way that dad who loved me & our family so much that he could ever do that, WHY?” It seemed so unreal to me that I went to gymnastics class…20 MINUTES after finding out. My poor mom didn’t know what to do. As I did my routine all across the floor, my mom sat and waited for me to return home an hour later. Soon enough, it was steadily becoming MY reality & I was forced to wake up. I felt like I was slowly dying myself, it was hard to catch a breath, the tears just wouldn’t stop. Now here I was the one who couldn’t bear the thought of living life without my dad…I was his “lil’ secretary”. I had so many different emotions. I felt angry, hurt, confused, sad, betrayed, disappointed, numb and abandoned and they changed minute to minute, especially in the beginning. I felt like I was losing my mind. How could he do this? I cried myself to sleep most nights for many years after my dad was gone. The pain felt unbearable, but I knew (hoped) that the pain would ease as time went on and it would “get better”. At least that was what everyone kept telling me anyways. “It will get better Jody, You just have to give it time.” I found myself firmly holding onto those words. With every lump in my throat, with every tear that fell down my face; I found myself pushing through the toughest of times, with the loving support of my mother of course. With each passing obstacle, I became “stronger and stronger” on the outside. But I must have been a good actress because I felt like I was slowly dying on the inside.
    When I was 25 years old (9 years ago), my mom decided that I was mature enough to have my father’s journals. I learned of these journals the same week that he died. I begged and pleaded with my mom for her to give them to me, even back then. But she was smart enough to question it and with the help of our therapist she told me “It was best that I wait until I was older, so that I could have a better understanding of them.” My dad wrote in those journals throughout their entire two year separation. He began writing just one month after moving into his new apartment and he continued until 5 days before his suicide. Journal by journal, page by page, word by word, I have read through these journals countless times, every year, for 19 years without fail. I guess I missed him a lot at night time because I always seemed to bring them out around bedtime. I wouldn’t stop reading until I became so mentally and physically exhausted that I would finally just pass out. I would read them like I was looking for something, as if I were going through a dictionary to try to find a specific word. I didn’t even know what I was looking for most of the time. I was hoping to find some sort of hidden suicide note telling us that he was sorry and explaining how much he loved us I suppose. Needless to say, that left me feeling even more confused and empty for many years. I’ve commented to my mom several times over the previous years about how “I just didn’t get it.” Here’s a man who supposedly loved us and had no problem stopping in the local grocery story parking lot to write in his journal, but yet he couldn’t leave us one sticking suicide note!?” If “WTF” were around back then…I would have said it. But I guess that I found my own way of dealing with it or not dealing with it I should say.
    On January 24, 2011, I had epiphany. It was so vivid, it was as if someone said to me “JODY, YOU ARE SO BLINDED BY THE FACT THAT YOU DON’T HAVE THIS ONE SILLY SUICIDE NOTE….YOU ARE UNABLE TO SEE THAT YOUR DAD GAVE YOU FIVE JOURNALS OF HIS DEEPEST, MOST IN DEPTH LOOK AT WHO YOUR FATHER WAS AND WHAT HE WAS REALLY GOING THROUGH!” It was true. There wasn’t anything holding my dad back in those journals, his entries are raw. I finally began to LET GO! I felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I felt such an overwhelming feeling of peace and once I was able to let go; a whole new world began to open up. I suddenly decided that I would start transcribing his journals word for word, sentence by sentence and journal by journal. Once I read the entries from start to finish, I realized that it was a story and I understood the character of my dad in a whole new way. Although at times, it was an extremely sad love story; it was my dad’s story, it was my dad’s life. He LIVED through this pain.
    THIS was my reality! Here are just a few of my father’s entries (verbatim): “Sometimes I look at the situation with an optimistic view point and other times more so other times I feel all hope is gone.”
    “Life has no meaning whatsoever to me anymore. Every day has been filled with nothing but pain on top of pain and it’s not getting any better.”
    “Sometimes when I’m alone here and think about us and this terrible dilemma I get so depressed so I don’t know if the reasons I’m depressed is because of the situation or if I’m depressed because of the bipolar disorder. They both have a fine line between the two and it’s hard to tell them apart, maybe time will tell.”
    “Now that I’m taking Lithium again which is even more confusing first I know I have that Bi-polar disorder which Lithium will help, but also because of Barb and I being separated from each other that is something no drug or vitamins can alleviate. All I know is I still love her more than ever and I would hate to lose her now.”
    “ I feel very much alone sometimes I know I am different, why do I feel like either I have high spirits and feel good or so low spirits that suicide would be inviting.”
    “Where do I turn for help? Organizations, Priests, psychologists, marriage counselors, friends?”

    He was so confused about everything. It was clear that my dad also felt “different” than other men his age. But why did he feel this way? Was it because he needed to take a pill every day to keep his brain properly chemically balanced? Or was it because his friends didn’t understand him when he told them that he was too depressed & couldn’t get out of bed and they couldn’t understand why? Or maybe it was because there were few people in his life that truly understood what he was going through. My opinion is that maybe it was a combination of all of them. Maybe the recipe for disaster was one cup validated reasons plus one cup internal insecurities and years later you have yourself a nice big plate of Confusion.

    I firmly believe that the long term solution to help fight the Stigma that goes along with a mental illness, or any other disease for that matter; AIDS, cancer, diabetes, etc…all starts with loving and accepting yourself as well as accepting the lemons that we are all handed at one time or another in this beautiful little thing called LIFE. I also believe Educate, Educate, and Educate. “Knowledge is Power”!!
    I am a firm believer that EVERYTHING happens for a reason. With each situation that crosses our path, each allows us to learn and later grow from the experience and/or heartache. But it’s up to me just as much as it’s up to each and every single one of us to find the answers. It took me 19 years…but I am finally at this place that I never thought I’d get to! Peace. My dad’s death has taught me to never give up. Mental illness is a disease. Just like diabetes and cancer. Suicide is a cause of death from that disease. Just like diabetes and cancer. It should be treated as such.
    My father’s story is sad and it is real. Just like many others. My hope is that if there is anything, big or small that I can do to prevent even just one father from taking his own precious life or helping one daughter get through a parents’ suicide or to prevent even one person from judging another because he or she has Bipolar Disorder or to prevent one teenager from adding their name to that teen suicide list – those would be a few of the many reasons for my dad’s suicide. I don’t know the reason(s) for my dad’s suicide, but all I can say is that I DO know I wouldn’t be the person who I am today. I feel that through my dad’s death; I have found passion and a purpose in my life. I am thankful and I am blessed to have had him in my life for the fifteen years that he was with us. I am truly excited about this chapter of my life.

    My love goes out to those of you who are struggling to keep your heads above water, whatever the situation you may be in. You may not have the answers you’re looking for today or even next year, but rest assured the answers will come when the timing is just right. Be patient.

    As cheesy as this may sound…You are not alone and “IT WILL GET BETTER!!”
    Xoxo – Jody.

    Reply

  7. Lana Carol
    Jun 01, 2011 @ 13:25:27

    Wonderful work Kathy.

    Reply

    • Kathy Leichter
      Sep 07, 2011 @ 17:13:58

      Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, Lana!

      I would love to keep in touch. I am encouraging those who believe in this project, as you so clearly do (and we thank you) to help get us to the finish line—completing the final cut of HERE ONE DAY. We are asking folks to help us by donating to our Finish the Film campaign. Any amount helps! In June we raised over $ 30,000 from more than 200 people. Each person gave what they could and together we moved mountains. That money enabled us to get to a rough version of the film which was a major milestone. That’s what we are working on now: editing that rough version down until we have the final film.

      Another great way to stay in touch is to subscribe to this blog and sign up for my monthly newsletter. That way, I can keep you updated on our journey to complete HERE ONE DAY and you can follow the film as it soars out into the world. I would also love to hear any ideas you have about distributing the film to audiences and doing screenings. Perhaps you have some ideas of groups that might be interested in the film?

      You can sign up for the newsletter here: http://ow.ly/6fGk5

      With gratitude!

      Kathy

      Reply

  8. Stacy Suttle
    Jun 17, 2011 @ 07:55:10

    Thank you for sharing your story with the world, Kathie.

    I was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and the treatment, therapy and support I’ve received has turned my life around. I gained the strength to really take a mental inventory of my life and to identify my triggers and drop them. My life is difficult enough, managing not only my mental health, but raising an autistic child and working full-time around that. I have asked my husband for a divorce and felt a TON of stress just lift right off. I feel like I can “feel” again. Like I have regained a piece of me that I had forgotten I had.

    I’ve escaped the darkness, weighing me down. Keeping me isolated for days…weeks even. And a few weeks later, the mania would kick-in. Cleaning frenzies at 3 in the morning, rapid speaking, moving from one task to another in quick succession, little sleep, feeling energized and…alive. But then I’d be sucked down into that black hole by the slightest thing: an imagined slight by a co-worker, a facial expression interpreted inappropriately and I was welling up with tears and off to my room again to hide from the world.

    I’m scared and excited at the prospect of divorcing and getting back on my own two feet. My husband is 100% supportive and in agreement of this step. We’ve been miserable together for the past few years, and we both know this is the best thing we could do for our son, and for ourselves. I am stonger, capable, and am able to handle my daily stress in a healthier manner.

    I hope your Mother’s story will inspire people to seek treatment and to understand: it’s an illness. It’s not your fault. Be proud and strong. You CAN get well again.

    It’s a process, not an event.

    Reply

    • Kathy Leichter
      Sep 06, 2011 @ 19:28:56

      Dear Staci, I am so deeply inspired and moved by you! Thank you for sharing your story of survival with us. Your strength and commitment to do the tough, rewarding work to ensure your mental stability has no doubt proved fruitful for your own health and well-being and that of your child and the others that you love. You are an amazing mom! Way to go! I admire you. Your testimony will be a shining example of hope and triumph for many people who are still suffering and for all the folks who visit our blog.

      I would love to keep in touch. I am encouraging those who believe in this project, as you so clearly do (and we thank you!!) to help get us to the finish line—completing the final cut of HERE ONE DAY! We are asking folks to help us by donating to our Finish the Film campaign. Any amount helps! In June we raised over $ 30,000 from more than 200 people. Each person gave what they could and together we moved mountains. That money enabled us to get to a rough version of the film which was a major milestone. That’s what we are working on now: editing that down to the final version.

      Aside from any actual monetary help, simply subscribing to this blog and signing up for my monthly newsletter would be fantastic. That way, I can keep you updated on our journey to complete HERE ONE DAY. I would also love to hear any ideas you have about distributing the film to audiences, doing screenings, etc..

      You can sign up for the newsletter here: http://ow.ly/6fGk5

      With gratitude!
      Kathy

      Reply

  9. Depression Treatment Center
    Jul 10, 2011 @ 15:56:25

    What a courageous and much needed film. I feel that this film will educate both people with bi-polar and depression and those who know and love them. Having contemplated suicide myself, hearing people express the damage done to them by suicide is very moving. I think this film will help many people understand with compassion. Great work!

    Reply

    • Kathy Leichter
      Sep 27, 2011 @ 20:58:40

      Thank you so much for your comments! I am happy to be in touch with you and admire the mission of Puakanti Wellness Center. Your work is important — we definitely have shared goals in breaking the silence and increasing understanding surrounding mental illness and specifically depression. Are there other places you suggest we contact or national networks through which you could help us spread the word? Would you be interested in bringing a screening of HERE ONE DAY to the Depression Treatment Center? If you are willing to endorse our project on your website and link to our site, we would so appreciate it and certainly link back. We are trying to spread the word about our film far and wide. Perhaps you are open to writing something about HERE ONE DAY on your website? We would certainly appreciate any and all efforts! You can comment here, or email me at kathy@twosunsmedia.com.

      I am also encouraging those who believe in this project to sign up for my newsletter and stay updated on our journey to complete HERE ONE DAY, and ultimately, distribute the film to audiences! 

      You can sign up for the newsletter here: http://ow.ly/6fGk5 or sign up to pre-order a copy of the film or book a screening, here: http://hereonedayblog.com/pre-order-here-one-day/

      Lets stay in touch.

      With gratitude,
      Kathy

      Reply

  10. Moreen Roy
    Sep 08, 2011 @ 11:59:02

    Kathy, Thank you for sharing your mother with us. Mental illness has also plagued my family. My mother has had mental illness for years and we have all dealt with her ups and downs too. Almost 8 years ago I lost my son to suicide, he was also bi polar. Thank you for your courage to publicize your mom’s story…It gives us all courage.

    Love,
    Moreen

    Reply

  11. Christine
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 23:34:54

    I lost my father to suicide and my mother had mental illness for as long as I can remember, and now Alzheimer’s Disease. I made a donation and look forward to the completion of your film. Thank you for the work you are doing to address stigma and mental illness in the family. I am very interested in screening the film at the university it teach with the health science students OT, RN, MSW, PA students to continue to faciliate increased knowledge and awareness of mental illness. Kind Regards

    Reply

  12. Randye Kaye
    Jun 07, 2012 @ 14:48:28

    Hi Kathy,
    I wish I had known you were at APA this year! I was, too, presenting our family story on mental illness (schizophrenia) in my son – and would have loved to touch base. I think your documentary is not only important, but also beautifully presented, artistically and “heartistically”. The more we do to put a human face on mental illness and the families it affects, the more we can do to (hopefully) reduce stigma, promote empathy and understanding, and help create and promote change.

    Best to you, and I hope our paths cross soon. Meanwhile I will tweet away about your film.
    Randye Kaye
    author, “Ben Behind His Voices: One Family’s Journey From the Chaos of Schizophrenia to Hope”

    Reply

  13. Randye Kaye
    Jun 07, 2012 @ 14:56:43

    Hi Kathy –
    I wish I had known you were going to be at APA this year – I was, too, presenting our family story about my son Ben’s schizophrenia and how important family involvement can be. Would have loved to meet you!

    I love your documentary so far – it does what I also hope my book (“Ben Behind His Voices: One Family’s Journey from the Chaos of Schizophrenia to Hope”) is doing – put a human face onto mental illness, both for the person diagnosed with it and the family it affects so strongly. Your footage does that, both artistically and “heartistically.” It makes we wish I had known your mother.

    I am so sorry for Nina’s pain, and your family’s loss.

    I hope someday our paths cross, Meanwhile, I will spread the word about your film in my blogs etc. Here’s to reducing stigma, promoting understanding, and helping to create change and awareness with our stories.

    Best,
    Randye Kaye

    Reply

  14. roberta eisen
    Oct 28, 2012 @ 20:11:04

    Thank you again for making this movie. It was so important and powerful for me personally and professionally. Forty years ago when my mother commit suicide, i suffered with years of shame and guilt. I am grateful that i fought for my mother';s right to be buried in the regular part of the cemetery, but experienced “shiva” (our mourning period) with no support from my religious affiliation; a synagogue that my mother taught Sunday school and where I grew up, was not allowed to accept and honor her death as others that died in different ways. I paid the price for many years and am grateful for movies such as this that honor well educated and respectful women like my mother, who knew of no other options at that time.
    Thank you again Kathy.

    Reply

  15. Carol
    Nov 27, 2012 @ 18:07:50

    mazingly realistic to me! My parent’s were successful and involved with our community. Behind the scenes my family battled with my mother’s depression. My mother somehow believed that if she sought help, then she would be classified as crazy and people would know find out and she’d be an embarrassment. This is just how she felt and she was adamant about it. My dad always took care of her. He was such an amazing man that truly loved her. He was a retired doctor and business owner and my mom retired from an upper management position with a large corporation. From an outsider things looked great. He passed away in 2007 and her depression became even worse. Less than a year after my father, my sister died of an overdose in 2008. My mother tried to commit suicide in July 2010 and my other sister who was still alive and I had to force her to voluntarily be committed. That day she said in a horrible voice to me, “I hope you are happy that you and your sister can commit me and take all my money. Next time I won’t call you.” By the way she had called me at my work to tell me goodbye, which made me realize something wasn’t right and I left. Those words have haunted me and played over in my mind quite a bit. I even had a note she wrote, but being that she knew what to say and here she was an middle-upper class 63 year old widow, she managed to talk them in to letting her go before the entire hold time was up. I didn’t want her committed, but we were desperate to get her help. On January 20, 2011 my mother shot herself. We tried so hard to get her help.

    I just happened to stumble upon your page because I recently started a blog and was contemplating writing about my mother on it and I was like wow when I saw the trailer for your documentary! My mom looked so much like your mother!! She had the longer wavy black hair, thin and beautiful when she was young. She was also 63 when she committed suicide. I just want others to know how important it is to know how to get help! I also struggle with the idea of telling my children (3 and 4) in the future what happened to my family. I’ve been wanting to get more active and involved with suicide prevention and awareness. You see a lot out there about teenage suicide, parent’s dealing with their children’s suicide, but I had no idea how to handle my own mother’s depression. Thanks so much for sharing your story!!

    Reply

  16. Joy Davy (@joy_davy)
    Apr 11, 2013 @ 18:14:53

    Heartbreaking and freeing at the same time. Your work will help to deepen our compassion for the mentally ill and for their families. Thank you

    Reply

    • Kathy Leichter
      Apr 11, 2013 @ 18:22:38

      Thank you, Joy! It is true–it’s heartbreaking and freeing and this is our goal: deeper compassion and understanding for the mentally ill, their families and those who have lost a loved one to suicide. You said it! Where did you hear about the film? Thanks so much for writing. Please help us spread the word. DVDs will be available this fall and we plan to do nationwide community screenings so if you have any ideas for places/groups that would like to screen the film, please let us know.

      Reply

  17. Dorothy Paugh
    Sep 18, 2013 @ 14:10:15

    Kathy, I suggested your film to Maryland Public Television after watching their one and only offering for National Suicide Prevention Week on assisted suicide. Hope to catch it and meet you in Columbia, MD on Oct. 9. See my comments to PBS Frontline in the Alliance of Hope for Suicide Survivor’s blog on 9/18/2013 “Seeking Airtime for Hope.” Google my CNN op-ed on “Guns and Suicide: One Mother’s Heartbreaking Tale” published front and center on the first anniversary of my son’s death, April 13, 2013.

    Reply

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