Mentor and youth in conversation in a basketball gym
Hiding in Plain SightImage by: Movember
Mentor and youth in conversation in a basketball gym
15 June 2022

Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness Documentary Airs on PBS

3 minutes read time

Watch Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness, a documentary by Ken Burns and partly funded by Movember, streaming on PBS nationwide.

The film, which investigates the growing youth mental health crisis in America, will be broadcast over two nights and is presented by acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns.

Featuring interviews with young people, between the ages of 11 and 27, parents, teachers, friends, healthcare providers and mental health experts, the film reveals the daily challenges of living with a mental health condition - from seemingly insurmountable obstacles to stories of hope and resilience.

The US has the world’s highest rate of mental illness, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the crisis, with young people bearing the brunt.

Half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14 and 75 per cent by the age of 24. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in young people aged 10-24 and 78 per cent of those who die by suicide are male.

"Suicide is complex, but research shows that when men understand what they can do to support their mental wellbeing and maintain strong social connections with others, they reduce their risk of suicide.

By helping to fund documentaries like ‘Hiding in Plain Sight’, Movember is shifting the conversation around mental health and working towards a world where men of all ages are comfortable talking and asking for help when they need it.” - Movember’s US Director of Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Michelle Carlson

Executive producer Ken Burns says: “We hope that this film will save lives. As a society, we continue to test the resiliency of youth without truly understanding how the stresses of today, including this unprecedented pandemic, are impacting them.

" It is a remarkable journey that captures the unique voices of these young people as they navigate an extraordinarily difficult era in our country’s history. "

The documentary is the highlight of Well Beings, a national campaign, supported by Movember, and aimed at breaking down the stigma surrounding mental illness.

Launched in July 2020, the campaign includes other feature-length documentaries, a digital and social media campaign and short-form digital content including Movember’s Rooted & Rising project, which is aimed at inspiring young Black men to improve their self-care.

Movember’s work with young people in the US includes Making Connections Chicago, which aims to improve mental wellbeing of boys aged between 9-15 by creating safe spaces to connect and support one another.

Making Connections Kahili Valley works with young men and boys from Micronesia who live in the Kahili Valley neighbourhood in Honolulu, Hawaii, teaching them how to repair and build bikes, while building cultural identity.

Making Connections Oklahoma is a high school-based suicide prevention program aimed at American Indian men and boys, in an effort to reduce suide rates in thie population.

Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness will be available for streaming on all station-branded PBS platforms including and the PBS Video app.

If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs emotional support we urge you to head to for crisis support options. To speak with someone immediately, contact your local 24-hour support service.