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HBO Original Two-Part Documentary ONE SOUTH: PORTRAIT OF A PSYCH UNIT Debuts June 25

The Intimate Documentary Chronicles An Inpatient Program For Young Adults Struggling With Their Mental Health

  • The HBO Original two-part documentary ONE SOUTH: PORTRAIT OF A PSYCH UNIT, produced and directed by Peabody Award-winner Alexandra Shiva (“How to Dance in Ohio,” “This Is Home”) and Lindsey Megrue (“This Is Home”), debuts TUESDAY, JUNE 25 (9:00-10:20 p.m. ET/PT), followed by part two on Wednesday, June 26 at the same time on HBO. Both parts will be available to stream on Max beginning June 25.

  • Synopsis: A young woman is plagued by crippling anxiety after her GPA drops. A young man struggling with depression is recovering from an overdose. A first-generation college student repeatedly contemplates suicide. These are the stories of some of the patients on the “One South” unit of Northwell’s Zucker Hillside Hospital in Queens, New York. They are not alone. One in 10 young adults in the United States are diagnosed with a serious mental illness. Utilizing rare access, ONE SOUTH: PORTRAIT OF A PSYCH UNIT demystifies the treatment process and offers a compassionate understanding of mental health issues young adults are facing today and how to help them.

    This intimate look behind the locked doors of one of the only inpatient units in the U.S. that specializes in treating college students follows several young patients undergoing treatment for serious mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and personality disorders. Many of the patients have come to One South because of suicide attempts or ideation. The film echoes the trajectory of a hospital admission, from intake to discharge, through the ups and downs of treatment, spending time with patients as they attend one-on-one and group therapy sessions, participate in mindfulness activities, and make meaningful connections with their peers.  The film also highlights the work of the dedicated medical team, who grapple with the limitations of the U.S. healthcare system as well as concerns about the effectiveness of treatments and the future safety of their patients.

    Demonstrating the urgent need for such programs, ONE SOUTH: PORTRAIT OF A PSYCH UNIT is a timely and uplifting story of hope. The work is intensely emotional, with the goal of patients taking their insights, newly learned skills, and treatment plans, to leave the safety of the unit and commit to a path of mental health and healing.

  • Featured Participants: Alongside the patients, the film features the psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, and mental health workers of Northwell Zucker Hillside Hospital and the counselors and supervisors of the college program. 
  • Part One and Part Two Descriptions:
    Debut date: TUESDAY, JUNE 25 (9:00-10:20 p.m. ET/PT)
    Young adults in crisis arrive at One South and the doctors and staff rush to evaluate, stabilize, and support them, with the goal of readying them to leave the unit with a practical out-patient treatment plan. The patients have several group therapy sessions and meet one-on-one with doctors daily. While away from the patients, the staff also meet to support each other.

    Debut date: WEDNESDAY, JUNE 26 (9:00-10:20 p.m. ET/PT)
    As treatment progresses, patients form connections with each other and learn coping skills such as distress tolerance and radical acceptance as they gain insight into their own behavior. The staff counsels the patients about what to watch for as they try to reassimilate to life outside. As several patients successfully leave the unit, new patients continue to arrive.
  • Credits: HBO Documentary Films presents ONE SOUTH: PORTRAIT OF A PSYCH UNIT, a Gidalya Pictures Production. Directed and produced by Alexandra Shiva and Lindsey Megrue. For HBO: executive producers, Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller; coordinating producer, Anna Klein.




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