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New Article and Screening of the Living with Schizophrenia Documentary

I had a busy week with interviews about my personal experiences with schizophrenia including that with Ms. Jackie Jones from Black America Web, and the the screening of the documentary Living with Schizophrenia: A Call for Hope and Recovery which was held at the Benjamin Steakhouse in New York City on Thursday, July 19, 2012. To watch the half hour film about three individuals living with schizophrenia- the misconceptions, struggles, and recovery, visit

The interview with Ms. Jones was very conversational. She asked me a few questions about my experiences and wrote a very informative article which I am excited about. Here is how the article began:

Before Ashley Smith gave a presentation before a group of law enforcement officials about schizophrenia, one of the officials had told the audience before she arrived that “there is no hope” for a person with the mental illness.

Fortunately, she wasn’t in the room when he made the remarks.

When Smith finished her talk, the official came up to her and told her he was “blown away.”

“Afterwards, he told me he hadn’t seen a presentation go so well and it was an education; he was astonished,” said Smith, who is one of the people with the condition featured in “Living with Schizophrenia,” a documentary premiering  8:30-10 a.m. Thursday at Benjamin Steakhouse on E. 41st Street in New York City.

“It’s a manageable illness,” Smith said. “There are a few misconceptions out there, that there is no hope for schizophrenia; all people with schizophrenia are violent; it’s caused by poor parenting. It’s not true.

To read this article in its entirety visit or click here.

The screening of the documentary was intimate and unique in that it gave me and opportunity to meet with and to discuss my story in greater detail with a group of journalists over brunch, and also to learn about them. The Benjamin Steakhouse set aside a private area for us to view and to discuss the documentary on their upper level, and to eat well, which I was very pleased with. Overall, the event was eloquent.

Myself along with two individuals, Josh and Rebecca, also living with the illness and who are featured in the documentary participated in the screening, which was moderated by Dr. Xavier Amador, one of the experts also featured in this film. Dr. Amador was very well spoken asking myself, and others featured in the documentary, about our experiences sharing our stories and the messages we want to share about schizophrenia from our perspectives, and that of a caregiver- Rebecca's mother Claire. He shared recent studies from different online resources, and his personal connection to his study and practice of schizophrenia.

I really enjoyed meeting with the other individuals also featured in the film. I liked hearing everyone's perspective on sharing their story, messages, and journey, it reinforces that there are many faces to schizophrenia, and by sharing our stories we can overcome schizophrenia and the stigma associated with it.

To learn more about schizophrenia visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Choices in Recovery, Embracing My Mind, Inc., and Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada).


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