[Entrevue] “Invisible Children”: In the blind spot of mental illness

“My kids always knew I had a mental illness. Host Varda Etienne – Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder, revealed her 2009 diagnoses. crazy curse Documentary series design Invisible Children From his own experience. Selfishly, I did it to myself, because I saw the effects and repercussions of my illness on them. I also said to myself that I must not be the only one, as you trust. Then I realized that I had never seen a program that gave the place and the occasion for these children to express themselves. So it was absolutely necessary to do something about it.”

Thus, invisible children is the nickname for those whose parents suffer from a mental health disorder, and who go unnoticed. Often, they carry on their shoulders the weight of an equally imperceptible evil that is not theirs. While, according to official figures, approximately 20% of the population of Quebec is affected by this type of disease during their lifetime, we believe that the number of minors involved is significant.

I was able to see how these children, once they become adults, show resilience and unconditional love for their loved ones.

Matthew Caron is one of them. Now in his thirties, he especially remembers Invisible Children At the age of eight, hospital staff asked him to monitor the medication his schizophrenic mother was taking after a psychiatric stay. Soon, she committed suicide, leaving her son helpless in spite of herself. “This testimony shocked me a lot but it also calmed me. I was able to see how these children, once they became adults, show resilience and unconditional love for their loved ones,” Varda Etienne says with great affection. No one told me during the shooting “I wanted to be taken out of a house My parents.” The documentary series is poignant but not pathetic, surprising with its subtlety in tone, skillfully navigating the confessions of anonymous people, public figures, and the interventions of mental health professionals.

Mental health paradoxes

“These kids have a lot to share,” she continues. When is produced invisible kids Fired, it only took a moment for the team to be inundated with testimonials. « J’ai toujours pensé que lorsqu’on fait partie de l’entourage de quelqu’un qui a des problèmes de santé mentale, qu’il s’agisse des conjoints, des amis, des collègues, etc., on a le choix to go away. A child no ”, identifies the series designer, who here puts her rhetoric at the service of the cause.

If the reality of mental health issues being raised more publicly than ever, Varda Étienne can’t help but see a certain form of hypocrisy in him. “Doing awareness campaigns is great, but very concretely, there are still people being judged or losing their jobs because of their health,” she explains. And the media is no exception. After letting the idea mature for about ten years, Varda Étienne recently decided to come true Invisible Children. “I would have thought of getting more attention from the producers,” he was surprised.

After several rejections, I finally discussed it with Véronique Cloutier, “which is not, however, lacking in proposals,” laughs the host. The lead woman in the audiovisual scene in Quebec will accept the project almost immediately. A few months later, the result made the author of the documentary series “humbly proud.” ” Thanks to invisible kidsI can say that I have succeeded in my broadcasting career, and I admit it with all the rudeness one knows.

Quebec who abandons their children

But Varda Étienne is far from personal satisfaction and likes to push the thinking even further. According to her, “Quebec does not love her children enough,” and she does not hesitate to fit the terms heard in Childhood thieves by Paul Arcand. “These invisible children, who will nonetheless be tomorrow’s elite, are left to fend for themselves. They require an emergency response.”

“I hope so by watching Invisible Children, the government will realize the extent of the problem, and will question itself. And if so, what can he do to help them? Farda Etienne thought about everything. “We must protect our children and establish a rapid care system, so why not in a temporary home, during hospitalization or in a parental crisis?”

Invisible Children

Véro.tv (on ICI Tou.tv), starting April 17

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