Delaney Ruston

Silence around mental illness is common around the world, especially in impoverished countries. Documentary filmmaker Delaney Ruston shares her personal experiences of her father’s mental illness, and the discovery that sharing personal stories have the power to inspire compassion and break the silence to create collaboration and action. Delaney Ruston has been making documentaries to inspire compassion around mental illness for over a decade.

Her award winning PBS documentary, Unlisted: A Story of Schizophrenia chronicles Ruston’s experience of reconnecting with her father, who suffered from schizophrenia, after hiding from him for ten years. Her recent award-winning documentary, Hidden Pictures, explores mental illness in India, China, Africa, France and the United States. Through partnerships with top mental health advocacy groups, Ruston has used these films and others to launch grassroots mental-health awareness campaigns.

Her most recent initiative has brought together over 100 international organizations, including the World Health Organization, to simultaneously host screenings of Hidden Pictures on October 10, 2013, World Mental Health Day. A Stanford-trained physician, Ruston did her film training in San Francisco during her internal medicine residency, which was followed by a Fellowship in Ethics and Communication at the University of California, San Francisco.

Ruston was later appointed to the faculty of the University of Washington’s Department of Medicine in Seattle, WA. She later left this position to spend years providing care at the underserved in clinics throughout Seattle, including the Pike Market Medical Clinic. Ruston recently returned from living for two years in New Delhi, India where she completed a Fulbright Scholar Fellowship focused on making films about community mental health workers.

Sign Up For TEDxSeattle News & Special Events!

What is TEDxSeattle?

Seattle, and all the upper left-hand corner, are known for trailblazing ideas put into action. We welcome and champion those who want to challenge the status quo and drive change. TEDxSeattle is a platform that amplifies the ideas of those change makers; a forum to foster new perspectives, and a community committed to challenging its members to be better.