Children of Darkness

Published on 1st April 2016 by

An Academy Award nominated documentary written and produced by Rochard Kotuk and Ara Chekmayan that explores juvenile psychiatry in America in the 70s and 80s.

The documentary gives revealing insight into the shocking lack of mental health care available to those who need it most. Many of the children are controlled with drugs and live as detainees rather than patients with any sort of humanistic rehabilitation.

One such controversial centre that became famous for its poor treatment of children with mental health problems was Elan School. This was a private behavioural program that went against humanistic approaches to rehabilitation by using aggressive and abusive techniques.

An important part of the documentary is the explicit realization that mental illness can happen to anyone from any walk of life. It was often thought that public mental institutions for the poor but in fact children from upper class families often ended up there due to poor insurance plans.

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