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Filmology: NML Medical Movie Nights: It's Kind of a Funny Story

This guide provides information and links to additional resources for films screened as part of the Filmology - NML Medical Movie Nights series.


"Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity." Constitution of the World Health Organization

"Wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence." National Wellness Institute



This guide provides information resources on the topic of health professionals' mental health and well-being.  Included below are links to global, national, & local organizations; reports, services, and literature on mental health, stress, burnout, depression, schizophrenia, suicide, stigma, and more.  Some resources may require USC login.

Where do I start?

To obtain general background information, view the resources listed in the History/Background box, as well as the Burnout / Well-being of Healthcare Professionals box.    

After that, take a look at the other boxes on this page that provide further information on specific intervention strategies.  Finally, view the links in the columns on the right side of the screen for links to global, national, local, and campus resources. 

It's Kind of a Funny Story


  Thursday, September 28, 2017,

4:30 - 9:00pm 

It's Kind of a Funny Story  Sometimes what's in your head isn't as crazy as you think.  A clinically depressed teenager gets a new start after he checks himself into an adult psychiatric ward.  An uplifting comedy about finding sanity in the most unlikely of places.  Charming, witty and smart, it's a coming-of-age that's kind of a funny story... 101 min

pre-film tabling event / therapy dogs / mindful meditation sessions

 post-film discussion will focus on wellness & self-care of health professionals

Aresty Auditorium / HSC

 Health Sciences Campus, Harlyne J. Norris Research Tower (NRT), map

Video Directions to the Aresty Auditorium from HSC Biggy lot and HSC Quad 

Click here to RSVP!

RSVPs are required however do not guarantee a seat.

All Filmology events are OVERBOOKED to maximize seating capacity in the theater. 

The RSVP list will be checked on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full.  Once the theater has reached capacity we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.

Evening Agenda

4:30-6pm    In-N-Out Truck / tabling event / therapy dogs / meditation sessions

6:00-6:05pm   Welcome / Bios

6:05-6:15pm   Film Introduction by Earl C. Paysinger, USC Vice President of Civic Engagement

6:15-8:00pm Film Screening (101 min)

8:00-9:00pm   Moderated Discussion

#NMLFilmology, #itskindofafunnystory, #MentalHealth

It's Kind of a Funny Story Trailer

History / Background Stress & Wellness

Burnout / Well-being of Healthcare Professionals



  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline: (800) 273-TALK OR (800) 273-8255 or online chat or text "TALK" to 741-741

    • 24/7 free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

  • At USC HSC: 
    • Deans On Call (24/7): Contact a dean in urgent/emergency situations at any time. Call 323-442-2553.
    • Eric Cohen Student Health Center, Counseling Services at 323-442-5631 (state that you have an urgent issue)

Emotional Intelligence


Panel Members

Click the blue links to learn more about our panelists.

Elyn Saks    

Elyn R. Saks, JD, PhD

Elyn R. Saks is Orrin B. Evans Professor of Law, Psychology, and Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law; Director of the Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics; Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine; and Faculty at the New Center for Psychoanalysis. Professor Saks received her J.D. from Yale Law School, and a Ph.D. in Psychoanalytic Science from the New Center for Psychoanalysis. She was also awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree (LL.D., Hon.) from Pepperdine University.

Saks writes extensively in the area of law and mental health, having published five books and more than fifty articles and book chapters. Her memoir, The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness, describes her struggles with schizophrenia and her managing to craft a good life for herself in the face of a dire prognosis. She has won numerous honors, including a 2009 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship (the so-called “Genius Grant”).  See full bio  


Michelle Butler, PsyD

Chief Operating Officer, Polaris Teen Center

Dr. Butler is a mental health professional who has spent over thirteen years serving both practical and therapeutic roles in the treatment of mental health disorders. She has fulfilled various roles at the highest profile treatment centers in the country, and has developed a comprehensive understanding of the treatment culture. She has spent years providing group, individual and family counseling, crisis management and intervention, relapse prevention, and multidisciplinary treatment planning.









Pamela Tobi Fishel, Ph.D.

Tobi Fishel, Ph.D is an integrative clinical and health psychologist and the Director of Residency Wellness at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California. She is the former co-founder and Director of Behavioral Medicine for the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Vanderbilt Medical School. She also co-developed the Distressed Physician Course at Vanderbilt University which incorporates emotional intelligence, narrative medicine and mindfulness.

Currently, in addition to responsibilities at Keck, she teaches a trauma psychotherapy course in the School of Social Work at USC, is a consultant for integrative health centers and the VA system, and has a unique clinical practice for individuals and families struggling with trauma and chronic illness where she incorporates self-compassion, creative arts, mindfulness, movement, depth psychology, spirituality, body-centered practices and the healing medicine of community, music, and the natural world. The guiding principle in her work is encouraging a deepening relationship with the innate gifts of one’s own soul.  








Mahima Verma

USC Alumni - Mental Health Advocate

Mahima Verma is a recent graduate of the University of Southern California with a B.A. in History.  Health advocacy became a core part of her college experience as she struggled with PTSD and depression following a series of traumatic events and side-effects of psychiatric medicine.

Mahima led the mental health group Active Minds at USC from 2016-17.  She recently attended the Mental Health America Annual Conference to learn about various policymaker, social work, medical, legal, and professional advocacy communities addressing mental health rights and services.  She is dedicated to a lifelong commitment to bettering access to young adult health services and peer support networks, especially within the South Asian American community she was raised in.  See full bio


Tabling Participants

Focus on the Positive


Psychotherapy, also referred to as "talk therapy", is the treatment of mental disorder by psychological rather than medical means.

Integrative Approaches / CAM

Wellness for Diverse Popuations

Special Guests







Earl C. Paysinger

USC Vice President of Civic Engagement

Earl C. Paysinger was appointed vice president of civic engagement on July 1, 2016, providing strategic leadership, development, and oversight for USC’s community outreach programs. As a long-serving member of the Los Angeles Police Department, Paysinger joined USC with strong familiarity with the university and the vital role it plays in Los Angeles and in the surrounding communities. Earl Paysinger brings neighborhood knowledge to USC Civic Engagement post

Allen Weiss, PhD

Meditation Instructor

Allen Weiss, PhD is a senior mindfulness meditation teacher at InsightLA in Los Angeles, the co-chair of Mindful USC, and also teaches mindfulness in companies. He started meditating in the mindfulness tradition in 2005 and in 2011 his Basics of Mindfulness class at InsightLA was noted the Best in Los Angeles by LA Magazine. He completed the Dedicated Practitioners Program (DPP) at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in 2008 and yearly attends 2 week meditation retreats. Weiss, A. (2017) Mindfulness Essentials (call number to be updated).

Therapy Dogs

Local, National, & Global Organizations

USC Organizations

USC Mental Health Awareness Month - October 2017

USC HSC Mental Health - March 2018

Resource Guides Created by USC Organizations

Peer Support

Mobile Apps

Special thanks to Audrey Ham,PhD, for her compilation of useful healthcare apps that can be used to supplement professional care. 

Artistic Endeavors