Growing Up With Aaron

The Backstory

The Bassler family story unfortunately ends in tragedy. Though endings involving someone with untreated severe mental illness becoming violent are all too commonly highlighted by the media, the years and decades preceding such endings are frequently overlooked despite being critically important in understanding the circumstance of this conclusion.

In Voices, the purpose of telling Aaron’s story wasn’t to focus on the ending, but rather to shine a light on everything that preceded it. Our hope was to tell the backstory and paint a picture of Aaron as his family remembers him, and also portray our societal role in contributing to these narratives. It was an amazing privilege to watch the strength of his family as they shared their story on camera, as it was clear that they wanted others to gain a better understanding of the human side of the psychotic experience for both the affected individual and family, and what events— and opportunities for intervention— lead up to some of these heartbreaking and sometimes preventable outcomes.

- Gary Tsai, MD; Producer & Director

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