“Elizabeth’s Story” video wins 3 awards for online advocacy
When 4,000 Kaiser mental health clinicians and healthcare professionals went on strike throughout California in December of 2018, David and Seong Brown joined them on the picket line in San Francisco. Just months earlier, their daughter Elizebeth Brown had died by suicide, and they didn’t want other parents to face the same struggles getting care from Kaiser as they had endured.
Inspired by the commitment of clinicians to fix Kaiser’s broken mental health care system, the Browns agreed to work with NUHW on a short documentary about their daughter. The film recently won two gold medals and a silver medal from the Telly Awards, an international organization that honors “excellence in video and television across all screens.”
Seong Brown was nervous about welcoming a four-person documentary crew into her home for 10 hours, but drew strength from telling her story. Several months after making the film, she joined several other Kaiser patients outside Kaiser headquarters to demand a meeting with then CEO Bernard Tyson. Kaiser locked the doors to its headquarters to keep the families outside, but Seong pounded on the windows, and eventually got her meeting with Tyson. She and several other Kaiser members have continued to engage Kaiser about the struggles patients face to access mental health care, and remain determined to help clinicians achieve lasting reforms.
“We are grateful to Kaiser clinicians for having the courage to tell the world about the problems with Kaiser’s mental health system and the strength to fight for the lives of people like my daughter who didn’t get the care she needed from Kaiser,” Brown said. “We’re not giving up, and we will continue to support you until no child in California is denied, timely appropriate mental health care.”