John – Living With Mental Illness has MPT premiere on May 13


Documentary about Cecil County, Maryland resident airs during Mental Health Awareness Month

John – Living With Mental illness will have its public TV premiere on Maryland Public Television (MPT) and on the MPT live stream at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 13.  The one-hour film brings attention to the challenges faced by individuals living with mental illness and the importance of addressing the stigma and misconceptions surrounding mental health. A trailer is available to view at and below.

John – Living with Mental Illness – MPT :30 teaser from Maryland Public Television on Vimeo.

The film follows the journey of John Smith, a 53-year-old Elkton, Maryland man who lives with schizophrenia and uses rapping and entertainment to cope with his mental illness. The documentary draws on John’s story to dive into the complexities of schizophrenia and ways in which it can impact a person’s life. It also explores treatments and approaches to managing this condition, and illustrates the importance of understanding and acceptance in supporting those living with mental illness.

John – Living With Mental illness features interviews with mental health experts, including therapists and psychiatrists, who shed light on the complex nature of mental illness. Viewers also hear from public officials and activists who are working to improve the lives of people living with mental illness.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one in five adults in the United States live with a mental illness, and about one in 25 U.S. adults lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.

An encore showing of the film will be offered on Monday, May 15 at 9 p.m. on MPT2/Create®.  It also will also be available for viewing on MPT’s video player soon after the broadcast at

The MPT broadcast of John – Living With Mental illness comes as the nation observes Mental Health Awareness Month.

Mental Health Awareness Month was established in 1949 by what is now called Mental Health America (originally known as the National Association for Mental Health). The goal of the observance is to increase awareness of the importance of mental health and wellness in Americans’ lives, and to celebrate recovery from mental illness.  The theme for Mental Health Awareness Month 2023 is “How our physical surroundings impact our mental health.”

The 2022 documentary was produced by Joseph Piner, Sr. and Elkton, Maryland-based CineFocus & Media Productions. More information about the film is available at

About Maryland Public Television

Maryland Public Television (MPT) is a statewide, public-supported TV network and Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) affiliate, offering entertaining, informative, educational, and inspiring content delivered by traditional broadcasting and streaming on TVs, computers, and mobile devices. A state agency, it operates under the auspices of the Maryland Public Broadcasting Commission. MPT creates and distributes local, regional, and national content and is a frequent winner of regional Emmy® Awards.  MPT’s commitment to educators, parents, caregivers, and learners of all ages is delivered through instructional events and MPT’s year-round community engagement activities connect viewers with resources on a wide range of topics.  For more information visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.