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Hopewell CEO Comments on New Film “Touched with Fire"

March 11, 2016

The new motion picture “Touched with Fire” paints a picture of creativity and mental illness depicting how a poet’s genius is impacted by bipolar disorder, according to Rick Karges, Executive Director/CEO.

“Our 20 years of experience with bipolar and other mental illness at Hopewell prove to us every day there is a connection between genius and mental illness when it comes to art, literature, poetry and music,” said Karges. “Movies such as ‘Touched with Fire’ places the public up close to mental illness. Through these types of productions, a better understanding of mental illness is possible.”

While the movie is hardly a documentary, it does underscore how manic episodes have driven poets and painters such as Lord Byron, Emily Dickinson, Van Gogh, Edward Munch, Tchaikovsky, Ernest Hemingway and Virginia Woolf to peaks of artistic expression.

According to one critic, “Katie Holmes delivers a beautifully understated and moving performance as a poet suffering from bipolar disorder, who falls in love with a fellow psychiatric patient with similar creative passions.” Karges agrees.

“There is a difference between the treatment depicted in the ‘Touched with Fire’ psychiatric hospital as compared to the Hopewell approach,” said Karges. “Yet, at a minimum, the movie will be a catalyst for positive discussion about mental illness. It shows how a commitment to medication results in positive outcomes.”

Hopewell has invested time and resources in its annual Exploring Mental Health Speaker Series. This program focuses on improving the public’s understanding of the mentally ill and combatting the stigma attached to mental illness, according to Karges.

About Hopewell

Hopewell is a 300-acre residential working farm located in Mesopotamia, Ohio, where adults with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression learn to manage their mental illness and return to independent life. Hopewell is the only therapeutic farm community in Ohio. It is ODMH-licensed and CARF-accredited. Hopewell is a member of National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and American Residential Treatment Association. Visit www.hopewellcommunity.org.

Information and assessments are available by contacting Daniel Horne, director of admissions at 440.426.2009. Visit www.hopewellcommunity.org .

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